Brother Edgar Tekere – may your soul rest in peace

I had not wanted to write anything until my mind kept on urging me to say goodbye to a real national hero. I would be acting against my conscience to refrain from paying tribute to a great son of Zimbabwe, Mukoma (brother) Edgar Tekere.

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It was very saddening to learn about his untimely death this week. However, after reading his book, A lifetime of Struggle, I knew that his day would come one day, because Tekere wrote about how he was poisoned by his political enemies and he referred to it as ‘kuitwa kafiramberi’ (being killed slowly).

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While some reports are saying that Tekere died of cancer while others specifically name the cancer as prostrate, I don’t know if I should believe that unless his family convincingly says so, however I still wonder if the poisoning may have contributed to what eventually claimed my hero’s life.

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Can we have a clarification of who diagnosed Tekere of cancer and if his family believes that. The establishment would obviously want us to conveniently forget that Mukoma Tekere vakaitwa kafira mberi nevavengi vavo (that brother Edgar Tekere was administered poison which was going to kill him slowly by his enemies).

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To lose a genius like Tekere is very devastating. When you read the methodology  used by his biographer to write his memoirs, you immediately realise what a genius Edgar Tekere was. Few people have a sharp memory like he had and kept diaries for that long despite the intervening periods in prison and in the liberation struggle.

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There were many who went to the war of liberation, but few told us in such excellent and frank detail about what went on there as Mukoma Edgar Tekere did. No library was ever going to satisfy my curiosity until I read Tekere’s memoirs. What inspired me most was Edgar Tekere’s patriotism and principled stand against corruption.

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Another important lesson from Tekere’s memoirs and his death is that no matter how much we disagree in politics, we should learn to tolerate each other rather than wish our opponents death let alone bring about their demise. Of course, like all human beings Edgar Tekere made mistakes. What is important when we make mistakes is not to be arrogant or suppress victims but to apologise and move on.

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Without many, I just want to conclude by thanking my hero and great inspiration Mukoma Edgar Tekere for sacrificing all he had for Zimbabwe’s independence and for an unqualified franchise albeit now I am being barred from exercising my right to vote not because of his fault, but due to circumstances beyond his control. Mukoma Edgar Tekere zororai murugare (Brother Edgar Tekere, may your soul rest in peace).

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At the same time, I wish to use this opportunity to thank people who have been publishing my articles and readers those who have sent me feedback including a few threats, not that I took them seriously though! I am taking leave of writing articles so as to concentrate on my academic pursuits. The struggle continues.

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©Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, zimanalysis2009@gmail.com