BY OBEY MANAYITI/VENERANDA LANGA
THE late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s daughter Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java, has died.
She died yesterday afternoon after being hospitalised for close to a month at a private hospital in Harare following her involvement in a horrific accident while coming from an MDC caucus meeting in Bulawayo on May 14.
Her husband, Grace Ministries leader Apostle Batsirai Java confirmed the development.
“My wife is gone,” Java said.
Vimbai, who was also Glen View South legislator, is the eldest daughter of the late MDC founding president and one of the Tsvangirais’ offspring who was active in politics.
She was involved in a head-on vehicle collision that claimed two other party members, her campaign manager and organising secretary for her constituency Paul Rukanda, and Tafadzwa Mundwa, her late mother, Susan’s cousin.
The driver of the Mazda vehicle that was involved in the head-on collision with Vimbai’s car was being driven by one Staff Sergeant Lunga of army ordinances.
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Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore last month confirmed that the soldier died two weeks later from injuries sustained from the accident.
However, sources told NewsDay’s sister paper, The Standard that the Mazda vehicle had four people in civilian clothes, including the driver, but military uniforms were discovered at the back of the vehicles during police searches.
Three of the passengers were from the military intelligence department, as shown by the identity documents, while one did not produce the ID, but only said he was a retired soldier. The soldiers reportedly allowed a Honda Fit that encroached Vimbai’s lane, also driven by a soldier to leave the accident scene before the police arrived.
Vimbai suffered a broken collar bone and had big lacerations on the head, apart from fractured ribs.
She was rushed to Harare, where six specialists attended to her, performing four surgeries by the end of last month, with the husband forking out in excess of US$10 000 and more in RTGS for her treatment.
There were also reports of an unidentified man caught trying to sneak into the intensive care unit where Tsvangrai-Java was being treated.
The family said the man kept giving different reasons why he wanted to see the MP after first claiming that he was her relative from Botswana, then a friend to the husband, a party member sent by the women’s assembly to check on her health and finally, a well-wisher who wanted to pray for her.
When the news of her passing-on broke out yesterday afternoon, there was an outpouring of condolences from the MDC family and beyond. Manase Tsvangirai, brother to the late Prime Minister, who is the family spokesperson, yesterday said they were shocked with the passing on of Vimbai. He said they had hopes that she would survive the accident after doctors had indicated that she was stable and recovering.
“This is devastating, it’s horrific. Vimbai was a promising politician and she even won an MDC secretary-general position at the just-ended congress and she seemed okay all along,” he said. “It is only in the early hours of today (Monday) that we were told to pray for her. The next thing we hear was that she had passed on around past 2pm. This is so sad.”
He, however, said it was disheartening that some family members only learnt about the passing on Vimbai through social media.
In a statement, the MDC said it was in shock.
“The MDC has learnt with shock the sad passing on of Hon Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java this afternoon. The eldest daughter of our late icon Dr Morgan Tsvangirai, Hon Java, was the recently elected women’s assembly secretary-general and a Member of Parliament for Glen View South.”
Manicaland senator Christine Rambanepasi, who is mother-in-law to Vimbai, yesterday fainted in Parliament after receiving a message that she had passed on.
Mourners are gathered at Tsvangirai’s Strathaven house in Harare.