MASVINGO MOURNS MBUYA MUZENDA | People from Masvingo Province yesterday joined the rest of the nation in paying tribute to the late Mbuya Maud Muzenda, who died on Tuesday.
Mbuya Muzenda (88) died at the Avenues Clinic after battling hypertension and diabetes.Her death came when the province was still in mourning after the death of Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Senator Shuvai Ben Mahofa on Heroes Day.
Sen Mahofa was buried at the National Heroes Acre on Sunday.
In an interview, Masvingo Provincial Chiefs Assembly chairman Chief Chitanga — Mr Feleni Chauke — described Mbuya Muzenda’s demise as a huge loss to the province.
“She was a fountain of wisdom who gave direction to the young people in the province. Mai Muzenda’s presence helped the province to move forward as people knew that there was someone who could be approached for advice and help when things got tough, especially after her husband, the late Vice President Simon Muzenda’s death.
“Her passing on is a huge loss, especially coming after the death of Sen Mahofa, another respected mother figure in Masvingo Province,” Chief Chitanga.
Zanu-PF Masvingo Provincial Youth League chairman Cde Nobert Ndaarombe said Mai Muzenda’s death had robbed the province of a voice of reason and advocate of peace.
“Mai Muzenda was a humble, loving and caring mother for the people of Masvingo, who continued with her husband’s legacy.
“She was our shield who always protected us by giving sound and mature advice. We have been left exposed now that she is no more,” Cde Ndaarombe said.
His sentiments were echoed by Zanu-PF Ward 23 chairman in Gutu South Cde Clemence Maponga, who described the late Mbuya Muzenda as a stabilising force that gave moral direction to the people of Masvingo.
“It’s yet another painful loss to the people of Gutu and Masvingo at large, coming soon after the death of another heroine Sen Mahofa.
“Mai Muzenda lived a life of humility, sacrifice, dedication and commitment and was an inspiration to many people across Masvingo.
“Her association to the late VP Muzenda automatically propelled her to the position of mother of the province, who was always available to proffer advice to the young,” Cde Maponga said.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators Association national executive member Cde Namatirai Chivanga said Mai Muzenda complemented her revered husband.
“After Baba Muzenda’s death, we took solace in that he left behind his wife to continue looking after and guiding their children and the people of Masvingo, but her death has orphaned us.
“We have lost a source of inspiration and a mother who was truly caring and committed to peace and unity,” she said.
Zion Christian Church-Kumuka Kuvakafa leader Bishop Lyphet Matenda said even the Christian community in Masvingo was devastated by Mbuya Muzenda’s death.
“She was the wife of a luminary, the late VP Muzenda, but she never showed it. To many Christians in Masvingo, Mbuya Muzenda was an epitome of humility and love.
“She worked for peace and unity throughout her life and Masvingo has been robbed of yet another larger than life character, who will continue to inspire generations to come,” he said.
Prominent Masvingo businessman Mr Taurai Mudzwiti said the history of Masvingo would be incomplete without mentioning the name Mbuya Muzenda.
“She was a loving mother who dedicated her entire life to helping others, especially the disadvantaged. She was a model woman, whose life is an example to other women,” he said.
Mr Mudzviti said Mbuya Muzenda loved peace, unity and development.
“Her death has robbed Masvingo of yet another pillar on which our great province was balanced, we will dearly miss her,” he said.
Veteran Masvingo lawyer Advocate Isaiah Muzenda said Mai Muzenda’s life epitomised the struggles of an African woman, having endured painful and difficult moments alone with her children while her husband was away waging the war to free Zimbabwe from colonial tyranny.
“She remained a resilient woman, who never baulked even under pressure from colonial authority. She weathered the storm alone, looking after her children alone while the late VP Muzenda was away.
“That she also walked the same journey with a luminary like Dr Muzenda, her late husband, speaks volumes about her virtues as a wife and a mother,” Adv Muzenda said.