LIBERATION stalwart and former Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Sithokozile Mathuthu has died, aged 50.
BY SILAS NKALA/ NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
Mathuthu reportedly succumbed to cancer at her Harare residence yesterday.
Her husband, Jonathan Mathuthu, confirmed her death.
Mathuthu also once served as Media, Information and Broadcasting Services deputy minister and at the time of her death she was Zanu PF women’s league deputy secretary.
Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said Mathuthu’s death was a sad loss not only to the family, but to the country as a whole.
“Yes, I received a call today (yesterday) informing me of the sad development. It’s a very sad story; we have lost one of our comrades. She had not been feeling well but we were hoping she will recover but we have lost her,” Moyo said.
Moyo said top party officials from her home province Matabeleland North, were expected to discuss and recommend her hero status.
He said he was not yet clear on where the mourners were gathered.
Zanu PF central committee member, Collen Ndebele said Mathuthu’s death had dealt the province a severe blow as for decades she had fought for Matabeleland North province’s recognition and inclusivity in government programmes.
“We worked with umama uMathuthu since when we were still young and her death is forever going to be hard to believe and accept. She was the person who opened ways in this province, both in government and in the party,” he said.
“For this place to be called Matabeleland North, it was because of her and even for a place to be named Lupane, it was because of her.
“Moreso, for government departments to exist it was her force when she was a governor. She relocated to stay in Lupane where there was no decent accommodation for her and structures were constructed.
“She worked hard and wanted the province to be successful and its people to be relevant in the nation.”
Provincial administrator Lathiso Dlamini said she was too junior to comment about the death of Mathuthu and referred questions to Matabeleland North Provincial minister Cain Mathema who said he was not aware of Mathuthu’s death.
“I haven’t heard about it from anybody. I am only hearing about it from you now. Look for that person who told you,” Mathema said.