BY SILAS NKALA
THE MDC Alliance yesterday described the late Chief Vezi Maduna Mafu of Filabusi as a traditional leader who pushed for the development of villages.
In 2018, the main opposition developed their alternative economic policy, “SMART”, which stands for Sustainable and Modernisation Agenda for Real Transformation.
Chief Maduna (86) passed away last Friday at his home at the Avoca area of Insiza South in Matabeleland South.
He was one of the oldest and longest serving traditional leaders in the country.
He is survived by his wife, Lizzie Maduna Mafu, 12 children and 28 grandchildren.
“We cherish his quest to push for development of ‘SMART’ villages whose building blocks are ‘SMART’ homes. Chief Mafu insisted on homes with improved housing, sanitation facilities, accessible water sources and special protected areas for grazing of livestock.
“He also stood firm for responsible mining of gold in his area. Indeed, he fought tirelessly for conservation of wetlands in his area,” a statement by the MDC Alliance secretary for local government and rural development Sesel Zvidzai read.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary- general Mbuso Fuzwayo described the late Chief Maduna Mafu as a courageous leader who fought white colonial rule with his people, and also fearlessly confronted the ruling Zanu PF government on several occasions concerning the Gukurahundi issue.
“The nation has lost an illustrious son. We are indeed poorer without his counsel, wisdom and leadership, and he undoubtedly is a national hero. Maduna’s courageous leadership dates back to the days of the liberation struggle against the settler regime. He led his people from the front against the Rhodesian government, earning himself years in detention.
“He remained unmoved by the threat on his life, and the withdrawal of privileges by the Smith regime, his heroic acts inspired his people, surrounding areas and the nation at large to join the liberation struggle,” Fuzwayo said.
He said when the Zanu PF government committed the Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s in Matabeleland, Chief Maduna was very outspoken against the atrocities.
Chief Maduna’s son, Talent Mafu said burial arrangements were still underway as the family was still in the process of informing relatives and traditional leaders of the passing away of the Filabusi chief.
The late Chief Maduna Mafu participated in the liberation struggle in the 1960s to 1970s.
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