Died at her Harare home last Friday … The late Victoria Chitepo
The party said the joint burial was an attempt by Mugabe to ensure there was little focus on the Chiteposâ€™ â€œillustrious history and great legacyâ€, adding that the Zanu PF leader was â€œtroubled by the memorable work done by Herbert Chitepo during the liberation struggleâ€.
Mugabe will preside over the joint interment on Wednesday after he declared former CIO spy and Zanu PF activist Mwashita, 58, a national heroine.
Mwashita died last Friday, the same day as Victoria Chitepo, 88, wife of Zanu chairman Herbert Chitepo who was assassinated in Zambia in 1975.
In a statement Tuesday, the opposition PDP said the â€œconferment of national heroine status to the late Mwashita is highly demeaning to the people of Zimbabwe but especially the late Victoria Chitepoâ€.
â€œMai Chitepo, who died last Friday at her home, was an unwavering struggle icon who fought tirelessly for the liberation of Zimbabwe, despite facing personal challenges after her husband; Herbert Chitepo was murdered by known Zanu leaders in March 1975 in Lusaka, Zambia,â€ said PDP defence secretary Tawanda Bvumo.
â€œShe continued to diligently serve the people of Zimbabwe after independence in various ministerial positions that she held and will also be remembered in helping in the upliftment of marginalized, rural women.â€
Mwashitaâ€™s honour, however, was undeserved.
â€œMwashita like other Zanu PF crooks is a well-known fraudster who received hundreds of thousands dollars from the War Victims Compensation Fund in 1997 after claiming to have suffered 94% disability from war injuries,â€ explained Bvumo.
â€œMwashita is also remembered for vote rigging in the August 1995 Harare South parliamentary election against an independent candidate, Margaret Dongo.â€
Violence and election rigging
He added: â€œHowever, after Dongoâ€™s defeat was announced, she was convinced that the election had been rigged, and challenged the result in court.
â€œThe subsequent court case revealed serious defects in the electoral roll, including the registration of many non-resident voters, suggesting that at least 41% of the names on the roll were inaccurate.
â€œDongo went back to Harare South as an independent candidate in the re-run and on 25 November 1995 she won the re-run against Mwashita.Â Mwashita then resorted to the use of political violence against those perceived to have voted against her and Zanu PF.â€
The PDP official claimed Mugabe was trying to ensure the country is not reminded of the â€œillustrious history and great legacyâ€ of the Chitepos.
â€œRobert Mugabe are troubled by the memorable work that was done by Herbert Chitepo during the liberation struggle.Â It is a shame that since Zanu PF is responsible for the death of Herbert Chitepo; it wants to score cheap political points even in death,â€ he said.
â€œIt is for this reason that as the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party (PDP), we will not be going to the National Heroesâ€™ Acre to pay our last respects to Mai Victoria Chitepo and we will honour the role she played during the struggle and post-independence in private.
“As PDP, our position is that the conferment of hero status is an important status and it cannot be done by a subjective organisation like the Zanu PFâ€™s Politburo, which will most certainly discriminate against deserving individuals other deserving people such as the late Patrick Kombayi and Wilfred Mhanda.â€Post published in: Featured