- “He was firm, principled, compassionate, kind and trusting … He dedicated his entire life to the struggles of the working class, the poor and the downtrodden."
By Mutsa Makuvaza
OPPOSITION MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa has described the late MDC founding member Esaph Mdlongwa as a “man of integrity, courage and honour all wrapped in humility and simplicity.”
The father of South African music impresario Oscar “Oskido’ Mdlongwa, Mdlongwa, died aged 73.
His family says he had been admitted at a private hospital, Mata Dei in Bulawayo, for almost a week.
“Saddened…. The passing on of the MDC founding National Organising Secretary, Umdala Esaph Mdlongwa is a blow to us,” Chamisa wrote on Twitter.
“A man of integrity, courage and honour all wrapped in humility and simplicity. We worked with him as we formed and built the great party that we have become. RIP Big man!”
Although the late Mdlongwa endured a long battle with diabetes, the family says he had been admitted as a suspected Covid-19 patient.
MDC Alliance vice-president Welshman Ncube said Mdlongwa was originally a trade unionist who took up politics and became a father figure to many who are currently in opposition leadership positions.
“He was firm, principled, compassionate, kind and trusting … He dedicated his entire life to the struggles of the working class, the poor and the downtrodden.”
The MDC Alliance in a statement said: “He was the party’s first organising secretary and is a former MP for Pumula-Luveve in Bulawayo.
“We are deeply saddened by this news and express our deepest condolences to his family.”
At the time of his death, Mdlongwa had retired from active politics choosing to guide leaders from behind the scenes.
In his youth, like many young men in Southern Africa, Mdlongwa went to SA and worked in mines. There he met Oskido’s mother, the late Emily Molefi.
On his return to Zimbabwe he worked for the national railway company- which was a hotbed for the birth of the biggest opposition movement in Zimbabwe. – Zimbabwe Voice / Agencies ■