CHINHOYI — MDC-99 president Job Sikhala says his admiration for former Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has led him to Christian his newly-born son after him.
Sikhala told journalists in Chinhoyi on Friday Fidel Castro was his ninth child from his polygamous marriage.
“Today (Friday), my first wife Ellen was blessed with a baby son, who becomes my ninth child, whom I have named Fidel Castro after the Cuban leader, although there was resistance from my family,” said Sikhala.
He accused President Robert Mugabe of destroying the health delivery system and challenged the octogenarian leader and the First Lady to use local health facilities to get medical attention instead of spending millions on medical bills incurred at foreign health centres.
“The next time Grace thinks of having a baby she must go to the same 24-hour clinic where my wife delivered today. Why do they (President Mugabe and Grace) want to go to Asia? It is because they destroyed the local health delivery system,” Sikhala charged.
Sikhala’s role model, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, born August 13 1926, was one of the pioneer leaders of the Cuban revolution.
While studying law at the University of Havana, he became a recognised figure in Cuban politics standing up against the then president Fulgenico Batista, and the United States’ political and corporate influence in Cuba.
He eventually led the failed 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks, after which he was captured, tried, imprisoned and later released. From Mexico he led the 1956 invasion of Cuba that overthrew Batista’s US-backed government.
Thereafter, Castro became Cuba’s prime minister. In 1965 he became first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba at its inception.
He transformed Cuba into a one-party socialist republic and served as its leader until his resignation on health grounds in February 2008, passing on the baton to his younger brother, Raul.
He also held the supreme military rank of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Castro, a Mugabe ally, currently serves as first secretary of his party.