Zanu PF, MDC-T fight over corpse

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Zanu PF and MDC-T hostilities resurfaced at a funeral in Glen View yesterday after the rival activists battled to control proceedings of the burial of an MDC-T district leader, Queen Gondo, who died in Harare on Sunday.

Gondo (47) was MDC-T chairperson for Highfield West ward 29 and relatives told NewsDay she had stressed her wish to be buried by the former opposition party.

However, other relatives, who are reportedly staunch Zanu PF supporters, would have none of it.

Yesterday, they attempted to bar MDC-T activists from travelling to Hwedza for her burial, indicating she would instead be buried by the former ruling party, Zanu PF.

Those accused of being Zanu PF supporters who tried to “bulldoze” their way refused to comment over the issue.

What ensued was outright drama as Gondo’s children threw themselves in front of the hearse in protest, thereby stopping Zanu PF from taking the body to Hwedza.

Gondo is now expected to be buried at Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare today, at a funeral ceremony to be graced by MDC-T supporters.

Gondo was reportedly assisted through her illness by MDC-T councillor (Ward 29) Peter Marange, the district chairperson for the area, and another activist, Moses Manyengavana, until she died on Sunday morning at a local hospital.

MDC-T youth spokesperson for Harare Maxwell Katsande said the relatives of their late chairperson wanted to deny them the opportunity to give their “heroine” a befitting send-off by barring them from travelling to Hwedza for the burial.

“She was our chairperson and we were standing firm to her wish that she wanted to be buried by her colleagues in the party.

“Even her children stood firm against the barring of party supporters from burying their beloved one,” Katsande said.

“We had no power over the body because her relatives were there, but all we stood for were the words of our heroine that she would be buried by the MDC-T.”

Gondo’s relatives, however, tried to downplay the political drama that ensued at the funeral wake.

“There were some family problems that we, however ironed out, and she will be buried tomorrow (today). Don’t listen to what other people are saying. Get the truth from me,” said a close relative who refused to be named.

But, another relative told NewsDay: “As the MDC-T people were bringing her body home, one of her relatives jumped out of the moving vehicle and reported to the police that they had stolen her relative’s body.

The police took Marange, who explained to them what had happened.

“They are Zanu PF and one of them (identified as Sekuru Steven) is a war veteran, so they did not want MDC-T people at their rural place for fear of a backlash from other villagers.”