Politics

Chamisa prepares to visit rural Zhombe for Learnmore Jongwe event

Story Highlights
  • Jongwe, who was a lawyer by profession, handed himself over to police some two days after fleeing his Harare home where the body of his wife, Rutendo, was found with multiple stab wounds.

By Mutsa Makuvaza

THE leadership of the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa is preparing to visit Samambwa Village in rural Zhombe, Midlands Province, in the coming days as part of the commemoration of founding MDC spokesperson Learnmore Jongwe who died in 2002.

Jongwe, who was a lawyer by profession, handed himself over to police some two days after fleeing his Harare home where the body of his wife, Rutendo, was found with multiple stab wounds.

He went and consulted his family elders in Samambwa Village during the days he was fugitive, before his lawyer urged him to return to Harare and hand himself over to law enforcement authorities.

He admitted to stabbing his wife during a domestic row but denied intending to kill her. He was due to go on trial in the Harare High Court on 25 November 2002, but was found dead one October morning in the prison where he was awaiting trial.

Members of his party believe he was murdered, but there has never been proof to back that up, with other reports saying he committed suicide. However, his college friend and MDC Alliance legislator for Hwange Daniel Molokele-Tsiye has been consistent in remembering the death of Jongwe and highlighting the late Kuwadzana MP’s legacy.

“Warmest greetings to you all my dearest friends. Kindly take note that we will be visiting the late Learnmore Jongwe’s family at Samambwa village soon,” Molokele advised this Monday.

He called on well-wishers to contribute in whatever form to make the trip worthwhile. It could not be immediately confirmed if Chamisa would make the trip, but a party insider told the Zimbabwe Voice that Chamisa would be visiting Zhombe for the Jongwe commemoration.

“As you might be away, president Chamisa has been on Bulawayo over the past few days, connecting with structures and key organs of the party. He is going to Zhombe in the coming weeks if not days,” said the source.

“Jongwe was and remains a hero to many of us and our leaders recognize the contribution he made to the opposition struggle.”

Before studying law at the University of Zimbabwe, Jongwe had attended school in Zhombe and Lower Gweru. A very brave and eloquent students leader, Jongwe joined the MDC when it was formed in September 1999 and his energy earned him the attention of allies and foes alike.

Chamisa took over from Jongwe in leading the party’s information department also the Kuwadzana seat. Chamisa has also previously attended the Jongwe commemorations in Zhombe.

The Jongwe home lies at the heart of Samambwa Village, on the northern parts of Zhombe, where the local chief, Samuel Samambwa, is a close ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In all past elections, Zanu-PF has been winning resoundingly in Zhombe wards, and the current MP is Edmore Samambwa, a Zanu-PF youth league member. The community survives on artisinal mining of gold, communal farming and an irrigation project led by locals with support from the Agriculture Ministry. – Zimbabwe Voice ■

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