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Laiton, reporter in his own class

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CHARLES Laiton was born in 1972 to parents of Malawian origin. His father was a reverend at the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in Karoi. They stayed in Chikangwe for some time and this is where Laiton attended secondary school. Because his father was a reverend he would be posted anywhere and there was a time when they stayed in farming communities.

Cassim John

He moved around various schools because he would be with his parents wherever they would have been posted. CCAP was known for planting churches in disadvantaged communities like mines, and as such Laiton stayed in all those places until the time he was in secondary school.

He had to stay in one place where he could write his O Levels and that was at Chikangwe High School.

He was staying with friends and relatives while his father was doing the work of God elsewhere.

After completing  Ordinary Level,  Laiton found himself in the Beatrice area with  his relatives and then he came to Harare, where he joined colleagues from CCAP like Martin Katundu, whose father  was a reverend too and they became a family and stayed at CCAP in Mbare where his funeral would be held years later.

Laiton then joined the Justice ministry as a court interpreter by that time he was still single and that is the time he studied and completed A Level from home and he continued to work as a court interpreter where he rose through the ranks to a principal court interpreter after about six to eight years.

He worked as a principal court interpreter up to 2010, round about the time NewsDay was formed.

By then Laiton had already graduated from Christian College of Southern Africa (COSSA) with a diploma in Journalism and Communication.

He joined NewsDay as a court reporter in 2010 and rose to senior court reporter, a position he held at the time of his death.

Laiton was in a class of his own, his writing was unique and completely different from the usual run of the mill court reports. The readership got a different dish altogether.

Laiton’s work showed his skill as a court interpreter, his understanding of procedures, his understanding of the law and also his understanding the functions of the Justice ministry and the court system.

He had his stories very polished and he became a shining star.

Laiton married in the late 1990s and his wife died in 2010 after which he remarried, he is survived by five children.

He was known as somebody who loved music because around 1996/7 he recorded an album. He also produced two singles that made headlines and were very popular on radio stations.

He joined the church choir as a young boy in Chikangwe and at all the places he went when his father was doing God’s work, he would be in the choir.

As part of CCAP Voice of Mbare, they recorded  a few albums but there were times the albums were recorded without him because of work commitments but he was a great singer.

Laiton, as an elder in the church, was instrumental in developing  the church into a modern place of prayer. The security system at CCAP Mbare was actually  done with the guidance of Laiton.

Laiton fell ill early 2020 before the lockdown but he continued going to work. He had enrolled with a local college for a degree programme but passed on before completing it.

Around June, his condition deteriorated drastically. He was admitted to Parirenyatwa Hospital and died on December 21 and he was buried at Zororo Cemetery.

Go well my friend.

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