BY NIZBERT MOYO/ SILAS NKALA
A FORMER stalwart of the Zimbabwe armed liberation struggle, Teresa Thaka, has died after a short illness at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.
She died on Thursday aged 76.
Her daughter, Sithembinkosi Thaka, confirmed the death yesterday.
Thaka was a member of Zapu during the liberation struggle.
Zapu acting president Isaac Mabuka described Thaka’s death as a dark cloud hanging over their organisation with lightning striking one member at a time.
“Today, we mourn one of the leaders who were at the forefront for the revival of Zapu. One of those members who while in Zambia assisted several fighters both materially and morally as they passed through her home to the fighting zone and died while she was a member of Zapu presidency,’’ Mabuka said.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said Thaka, together with her late husband, liberation stalwart Enock Thaka, worked in Zambia during the early stages of the armed liberation struggle.
“The family literally converted their home in Zambia into a transit place, where almost all of the party and struggle leaders passed through and got all the necessary support and assistance before they left the country,” Maphosa said.
He said Thaka remained resolutely committed to the struggle for independence as well as the party until Zimbabwe attained her independence.
Maphosa added that with the same tenacity, Thaka continued fighting in the new Zimbabwe for equality, fairness, freedom and justice as ingredients for a sustainable development of the new country and its people.
“She saw the party through the most difficult time of Gukurahundi, yet she remained resolute in her political beliefs and aspirations,” he said.
Thaka believed the relative peace or its semblance, “with all its shortcomings and misgivings, is the least our people needed in order to have development”.
Maphosa said Thaka’s death was a great loss not only to Zapu, but the entirety of Zimbabweans.
Mourners are gathered at her home in Burnside, Bulawayo.
Enock died at his Burnside residence in Bulawayo on March 22, 2019 after a rather long illness during which he was in and out of hospital several times.
Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.
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