By Nompumelelo Sibanda
FORMER deputy Minister and ex-Mbare MP Tendai Savanhu, who quietly succumbed to COVID-19 on Sunday, also quietly got buried as local politicians snubbed his funeral while his other colleagues are scattered across South Africa in exile.
Savanhu was at one time fingered to be leader of the spine-chilling Chipangano terror group that bashed opposition MDC members at will while Robert Mugabe looked the other way ten years ago.
His burial was a lonely affair as former comrades snubbed even sending condolences, but Norton MP Temba Mliswa (INDEPENDENT) says he feels better after having buried his friend.
“Much as I’ve stopped attending funerals in recognition of the threat of COVID-19 and the restrictions thereof, under strict observance of COVID-19 funeral regulations, I honoured the pledge made between my friend and I that no matter who went first, the one would bury the other,” Mliswa said Tuesday.
Mliswa described Savanhu as “an honest party cadre” and added that while other politicians had snubbed Savanhu in death, he wasn’t surprised because “politics and its players can be fickle”.
“I’m glad you served the party well. I’ve always emphasised the need to separate politics, development and relationships.
“Sadly, many politicians weren’t in attendance at the late Tendai Savanhu’s burial save for Hon. Kashambe… Good show, you stood for your brother. Relationships are more important than politics…. lessons must be learnt,” said Mliswa.
Another of Savanhu close confidante and relative, Saviour Kasukuwere, couldn’t make the funeral as he is in exile outside the country.
Meanwhile, a member of the Savanhu family who is in Europe has told the Zimbabwe Voice that even close relatives snubbed the funeral over political differences.
“Tendai had long ceased being a Zanu-PF member, but most family members had long banished him from their circles due to the toxic politics he played. It’s not easy being a Savanhu family member, with victims of Chipangano time and again telling you they still have the trauma they suffered from those violent youths.
“In our WhatsApp family groups, some members clearly indicated they would not attend even though they live in nearby Mt. Pleasant,” said the family member.
Savanhu was kicked out of Zanu-PF in 2015 as factional battles got heated in anticipation of Mugabe’s resignation or death. – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺