MARIA Msika, the wife of the late Vice-President Joseph Msika, has died. Maria, who was 89, died yesterday.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
According to a family representative, she had been struggling with hypertension.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo confirmed the death of the former Vice-President’s wife.
“It is true she passed on this morning. The passing-on of Gogo Msika is a tragedy, not only for her family, but Zanu PF and the nation at large. She gave tremendous support to her late husband, VP Joseph Msika, while he was languishing in various prisons, detention facilities and restriction centres across the country during the liberation struggle,” he said.
Moyo said the late Maria had single-handedly fended for her children, while her husband was locked up by the Rhodesian regime.
“She was a mother figure of great humility, courageous character, a down-to-earth personality, kind-hearted and solid in all her deeds.
“Such people never die, but depart for higher responsibility. Her pleasant deeds will live forever and Zimbabwe is the poorer for her death,” the Zanu PF spokesperson said.
Moyo said funeral arrangements would be announced in due course. Maria’s death comes less than a month after the passing of former Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s widow, Maud, last month.
Maria was early this year reportedly bedridden at the family’s home after suffering several strokes since her health started deteriorating in 2004.
She could neither speak nor eat on her own and was only fed through a tube inserted through her nose.
Msika, a Zapu liberation war stalwart, died 2009 aged 85 due to renal failure and hypertension after serving as President Robert Mugabe’s deputy for nine years.
He had succeeded revered nationalist, Joshua Nkomo, who died in 1999.
Although they did not take a visible part on the liberation war front, the wives of the country’s President and his successive deputies are all buried at the National Heroes Acre.
Sally, Mugabe’s Ghanaian first wife, was conferred with the highest honour on the land, when she died in 1992.
Johanna, the wife of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, died in 2003, four years after her husband’s death, and was also interred at the national shrine.