No heroine status for JZs widow

BULAWAYO The government has not conferred national heroine status or any other recognition on Elina Mnkandla Moyo, the wife of.....

liberation struggle hero Jason (JZ) Ziyaphapha Moyo who died more than a week ago.

JZs widow, who is said to have suffered a stroke, passed away on January 30 at her Bulawayo home and was quietly buried at West Park cemetery in the city without any support from the state much to the chagrin of some of her husbands colleagues in the liberation struggle who have accused the government of neglecting former ZAPU cadres.

JZ, among the foremost cadres of the struggle and who was said to have been close friends with President Robert Mugabe, died in the struggle. He was assassinated in early 1977 by parcel bomb.

Elinas daughter, Bancane Moyo, told journalists recently that the family had received no support from the government despite the role her mother played during the struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence.

The governments failure to take notice of Elinas death has angered JZs former ZAPU colleagues especially because she died days after the government granted national heroine status to the late wife of national hero, Leopold Takawira who passed away two weeks ago.

ZAPU cadres say JZ’s wife and Takawira’s wife endured the same pain and challenges during the struggle and both deserved recognition as national heroines.

Asked for comment Isaac Dakamela, the Zanu (PF) Bulawayo chairperson, said the partys leadership in Bulawayo was only informed of the death of Elina Moyo a day before she was due to be buried and there was little the party could have done on such short notice.

Dakamela said: “We (provincial leadership) was informed about her death on Monday when she was supposed to be buried on Tuesday. As such, we never had any time to meet as a province to deliberate on her status.”

But Methuseli Moyo, the spokesman for Dumiso Dabengwas ZAPU party blamed the failure to grant to JZs widow national heroine status on tribal and regional politics.

“This is a simple tale of tribal and regional politics. There is no way Ziyaphapha Moyo’s wife can be buried at a park such as West Park Cemetery while the wife to Leopold Takawira, whose contribution to the liberation war is almost the same, is buried at the National Heroes Acre,” said Moyo.

He added: “It is as if no-one has died. Zanu PF has showed all and sundry that it believes in politics of discrimination, tribe and regionalism and it is high time Zimbabweans and the people of Matabeleland stand up and challenge this kind of politics,” said Moyo.

Meanwhile a cousin to the late JZ, Thomas Ngwenya, said the family had sent Ms Moyo’s curriculum vitae to Zanu (PF) requesting a heroine’s status.

However, there was no response from Zanu-PF until the close of business yesterday.

Rtd Col Ngwenya said Mrs Moyo played a pivotal role in the liberation struggle because she looked after the family while Cde Moyo fought against the colonialists.

Moyo is survived by two children, George and Bancane, as well as 13 grandchildren.

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