ZANU PF yesterday snubbed a memorial service for the late former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice-Chancellor and Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association (Zinatha) president Professor Gordon Chavunduka.
Report by Everson Mushava
Chavunduka died on Friday last week in Harare at the age of 82. Despite joining the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T where he served as chairman of the party’s Guardian Council, Chavunduka had a nationalistic background, but Zanu PF officials were conspicuous by their absence at the memorial service held at the Anglican Cathedral.
Chavunduka was part of the Lancaster House conference negotiators that brought independence to Zimbabwe, as a member of Abel Muzorewa’s United African National Council, alongside others like Olivia Muchena, who is now Women Affairs minister under President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.
Chavunduka was appointed Vice-Chancellor at the UZ by Mugabe in 1992.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “Some of us were not here so we could not attend. We also understand he was now a
fully-fledged member of the MDC-T. It is very difficult if faced with such a situation.”
Addressing mourners at the memorial service, Tsvangirai showered praises on Chavunduka describing him as a true giant
who was not only a source of wisdom to the MDC-T, but a luminary in various fields.
“We are gathered here to celebrate the life of a true giant of our times,” Tsvangirai said.
“We were favoured, in the MDC, when he joined us and provided wise counsel. We found him to be a generous reservoir of knowledge, experience and wisdom, which he shared effortlessly.”
Tsvangirai added: “When the social, cultural, intellectual and political history of Zimbabwe is written, Professor Gordon
Chavunduka’s name will certainly feature among the titles of great sons and daughters who have made an indelible mark on the nation’s pathway.”
Chavunduka’s body was transported to his Dowa farm in Rusape yesterday ahead of burial this afternoon.