The death of the former illustrious freedom fighter and veteran nationalist, Edgar Tekere, has left a void in Zimbabwe’s body politic.
The maverick outspoken and fearless politician, who blocked President Robert Mugabe from creating a one-party State not long after independence, has been described as a gallant fighter who made sacrifices to emancipate the people of Zimbabwe from colonial shackles.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said: “The Prime Minister joins the rest of the nation in mourning this great icon of the liberation struggle. He is an undisputed national hero. He had a value system and was always a frank man who spoke strongly against corruption and who espoused the virtues of multi-party democracy. Zimbabwe has truly lost a gallant son and undisputed national hero.”
Edwin Mushoriwa, the deputy president of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, said: “Tekere is a hero to some of us who saw him forming the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) and stopped the one party state mind. He was therefore a peer and a principal of democracy in Zimbabwe.”
Spokesperson for the MDC formation led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, Maxwell Zimuto, said: “Tekere’s character made him stand out as one of the pillars of Zimbabwe’s history. It is a great loss to the country and as a party we wish to express our sincere sympathy to the Tekere family. He is indeed a hero whose political footprints will remain forever.”
Matabeleland North Governor Sithokozile Mathuthu (Zanu PF) said: “I am very sorry on the passing-on of Tekere who was a freedom fighter and one of the people who opened the path of our revolution. On behalf of the people of Matabeleland North, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Tekere family and the nation at large. We should really celebrate the life of someone who did a lot to liberate this country.”
Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland East Ray Kaukonde said: “Tekere was a great revolutionary who contributed immensely to liberating this country. We cannot wash that part of his life away. He is one of the leaders who were the pioneers of the revolution which led to our liberation from colonial rule.”
MP for Hurungwe North Peter Chanetsa (Zanu PF) said: “We worked with Tekere to liberate this country and we cannot wish it away. He pioneered the liberation struggle together with President Robert Mugabe and Chief Rekayi Tangwena. That is the revolution and we should accept that along the way some fall by the wayside, while others continue. Tekere was always with us in liberating this country.”
Chairman for the Mutare Business Council Patrick Matsanga said: “Tekere was one of the few people who would inspire others to fight for something that they would think was insurmountable. He would pave the way to fight for it.”
Passmore Nyakureba, a Mutare resident, said: “His death is a loss to all those who fought for democracy and all his life he has been fighting for the emancipation of the people.”