TANETA, the eldest daughter of Home Affairs Minister Teresa Makone and her husband, Ian, an advisor to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has paid tribute to her sister, Nyarai, who committed suicide on Saturday after battling “depression for a little more than eight years".
Nyarai – who was laid to rest on Monday – was found dead at her family home in Domboshava while her parents were attending the Orange Democratic Movement’s Convention with the Prime Minister in Kenya.
“Suicide is never the answer to any problem and I wish she had not taken this extreme way out," Taneta said.
"But she had been welded to an unbearable wall of suffering for eight years with no respite, an agony whose depth became abundantly clear when we found her body... lifeless but incredibly at peace.
“Visually at least, my baby sister appears to have found the rest she so desperately sought for eight years.”
Taneta said everyday of those eight years was a struggle in handling a regime of countless medicines “to manage the extremes of her condition, visiting psychologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, relying also on extensive prayer, fasting, retreats, music, art and design and virtually anything to restore herself to a sense of equilibrium.”
She added: “There are so many living angels amongst us who did all they could to help my sister. Some took her into their homes abroad for respite and change of scenery, others involved her in community outreach programmes that she was passionate about and anything to help lift the dark cloud of despair and doubt that hovered over her.”
Nyarai is reported to have left a note apologising to her family and her devastated mother said: “This is so difficult for us. Nyarai was an articulate, intelligent and caring young woman. Lately she has been very happy and doing really well.
“Nyarai was not just my daughter, she was my best friend. I have dealt with people who have been bereaved but until something awful like this happens to you, you can never understand how it feels.”
Several key meetings scheduled for Monday including the weekly meeting between President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were cancelled to allow senior government officials to attend the 32 year-old’s burial at Glen Forest Cemetery in Harare.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman, William Bango, said the principals may meet Tuesday after the weekly cabinet session.
Tsvangirai – a long-time family friend of the Makones – told mourners at Nyarai’s burial she was just like his own daughter.
“I am mourning an assertive daughter. Nyarai was a unique girl and I can tell you that she was very brilliant. But unfortunately, all that brilliance has gone.
“Nyarai represents a generation of Zimbabwean youths, whose expectations we should strive to fulfil. The gap between their expectations and what we are delivering as a country is so wide. Every youth here expects to have a job, to have a family.”
Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere also attended the burial along with a host of ministers and MPs.