Tekere buried by Zanu PF mob
HARARE – The abducted body of the late veteran nationalist and founder of Zanu PF, Edgar Tekere has been laid to rest at the the Zanu PF Warren Park Hill-top cemetary cemetery which they call heroes acre and acting President John Landau Nkomo was the key speaker while Robert Mugabe is still working ways at the SADC summit to salavage his continued hold on power.
Edgar Tekere, a founding member of President Robert Mugabe’s party who went from being Mugabe’s staunch friend and ally to one of his harshest critics, died Tuesday at the age of 74. His family said he died of cancer.
During has always said he didn’t want to be burried at the Zanu PF heroes shrine.
Mugabe was attending a regional summit in South Africa on Sunday. For the first time since independence in 1980, Mugabe did not officiate at his party’s shrine outside Harare for fallen guerrillas and political leaders.
Vice President John Nkomo said Sunday despite a “bad patch” in his political life, Tekere did not join other opponents in “going to bed with the enemy” — former Western colonial powers.
John Nkomo described the late nationalist, Edgar Zivanai Tekere, as a fearless fighter who wanted to see his country free from the shackles of British imperialism.
Nkomo was speaking at the burial ceremony of the late national hero, Edgar Tekere at the National Heroes’ Acre this morning.
He said Zanu-PF has no choice but to declare Tekere a national hero for his involvement in the political history of Zimbabwe from the early stages of his life when he was expelled from St Augustines mission for being involved in furthering the agenda of the youth movement.
“When news of his death started filtering, the immediate action in everyone was of disbelief. The question which everyone was asking was, how Zanu-PF was going to react.
“Between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the nation waited patiently to hear what the party would say until he was declared a national hero.
“He deserves to be a national hero, an icon of the liberation struggle,” said the Acting President.
The late nationalist, Edgar Tekere has been described as a courageous, fighter and honest politician.
“He was an honest and straightforward politician, a character which was built over many years.
“Tekere could not run away when the going got tough.
“When he made up his mind to fight for political independence, we are told he accepted the challenge whole heartedly and expected others to do the same,” said Nkomo.
Nkomo said Tekere’s involvement in politics led to his subsequent incarceration that saw him being detained in various prisons throughout the country for a period of 10 years.
Tekere who was battling with cancer died on Tuesday at Murambi clinic in Mutare.
He was 74.
He was founder member and then president of the Zimbabwe African National Union who helped organise the party during the Lancaster House talks.
During the war, Tekere served on the Zanu High Command, or Dare reChimurenga.
Together with the Robert Mugabe, Tekere served ten years in Hwa-Hwa State Prison as political prisoners of Smith’s government.
The two of them left upon release and crossed the Eastern Highlands Border in Mutare through the mountains by foot, following the Gairezi River trail to Seguranza Military Camp in Mozambique, to mastermind and kickstart guerilla warfare, aided by the then president Samora Machel, in 1975.
At independence, Tekere was elected the first Zanu-PF Secretary-General and became instrumental in inviting Bob Marley to perform at Rufaro Stadium, for the official Zimbabwean Independence Celebration.
Tekere was appointed Minister of Manpower Planning in President Mugabe’s Cabinet in 1980.
In 1988 Tekere defected from Zanu-PF and formed his party the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) which contested Zanu-PF in the 1990 elections.
After failing to make an impact on the political scene ZUM’s collapsed in 1994, leading to Tekere’s retirement from active politics.
In 2007 he released his memoir ‘A lifetime of struggle’ which was attacked by Robert Mugabe and his henchman.
He is survived by his wife, Pamela and one daughter.
Tekre’s body arrived in Harare yesterday after being flown from Mutare and lay in state at One Commando Barracks.
It was accompanied by a delegation led by Manicaland Zanu-PF Chairman, Mike Madiro and the wife of the late nationalist, Pamela Tekere and was met at Manyame Airbase by senior army officials.
The body was ferried from One Commando Barracks to Stodart hall in Mbare for viewing and then for burial at the Zanu PF national shrine.
Business came to a standstill in Mutare as the funeral cotege proceeded to Moffat Hall where friends and relatives gave the late national hero a befitting send off.