THE family of the late liberation war musician, Dick Chingaira, popularly known as Cde Chinx, reportedly spurned the liberation war hero status bestowed on him by President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday, demanding national hero status.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA/OBEY MANAYITI
Zanu PF national director of administration, Dickson Dzora, confirmed the development yesterday, saying the Chingaira family had since appealed to the Zanu PF politburo to review its decision.
“It is true that the family has rejected the provincial hero status. They have appealed to the politburo and the matter is now going to be discussed in today’s (yesterday’s) meeting,” he said.
NewsDay understands that Dzora, War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube and permanent secretary Walter Tapfumaneyi left the Chingaira family home in Sentosa with egg on their faces on Tuesday evening after the family refused to accept the letter conferring the singer the provincial hero status.
“They (Dzora’s team) brought the letter and the family refused to accept the honour awarded to Cde Chinx,” a source who preferred anonymity told the NewsDay.
“They (family members) wanted him declared a national hero. They demanded that the three get into the house and read the contents of the letter, but they did not do that after sensing the tension.”
According to the source, efforts were made that night to call Zanu PF secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, to apprise him on the situation, but there was no immediate solution.
Cde Chinx died last Friday at a private hospital and his burial has been delayed by Zanu PF taking time to decide on his status.
Yesterday, war veteran and Buhera South legislator, Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF), spent the better part of the day camped at the Zanu PF headquarters demanding audience with Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe to influence the politburo to upgrade Cde Chinx’s hero status.
“I came here. I wanted to see the First Lady, they denied me access, I wanted to see the President, and they also denied me access,” he said.
“Now, I am going to call the politburo members one by one and influence them to demand that the politburo meeting will only go ahead after Cde Chinx has been accorded national hero status.”
Sources said Chinotimba initially confronted Chombo and quizzed him on why Cde Chinx had been given a lower status when other Zanu PF officials like the late national commissar, Elliot Manyika, were declared national heroes when they were not involved in the liberation struggle.
NewsDay saw Chinotimba storming out of the boardroom adjacent to the politburo meeting room with fellow Zanu PF members in hot pursuit, trying to cool him down.
Last month, Chinotimba donated several items including sofas to Cde Chinx.
Meanwhile, war veterans’ secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, urged the Chingaira family to bury the late musician at his rural home in Rusape if Zanu PF refuses to review his status.
“It is very disheartening and discouraging. If you want to think of Chinx, his contribution to the liberation war, his songs recruited a lot of people and boosted morale,” he said.
“If he fails to go to the National Heroes Acre, then what merit are they using?
“As war veterans, we are seeing that the Heroes Acre has nothing to do with our contributions during the liberation war.
“The idea coming out from war veterans is that let’s mobilise resources and buy an area where we will bury true heroes, who are being sidelined.”
War veterans’ spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya, weighed in, calling for a national debate on the awarding of the hero status.