By Bulawayo Correspondent
MATABELELAND-based political parties and pressure groups have described the late Fibabusi Chief Vezi Maduna as a true leader and a freedom fighter who deserved to be interred at the National Heroes Acre.
Chief Maduna died Saturday morning at his homestead at the age of 86.
The late Chief Maduna was once tortured and detained by the Smith regime for his role in the fight against colonial injustice.
He was also vocal about the Gukurahundi atrocities that occurred in the early 1980s. He once wrote a letter to the United Nations (UN) asking them to set up a special commission to investigate the genocide. He also wrote President Emmerson Mnangagwa imploring him to resolve the Gukurahundi issue.
“The nation has lost an illustrious son. We are indeed poorer without his counsel, wisdom and leadership and he undoubtedly is a national hero. Maduna’s courageous leadership dates back to the days of the liberation against the settler regime,” said Mbuso Fuzwayo Ibhetshu Likazulu, coordinator in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.
“He led his people from the front against the Rhodesian government, earning himself years in detention.”
Fuzwayo said after independence, the late Chief Maduna continued to fight for the rights of his people.
“Chief Maduna’s commitment to defend his people against the abuse by the government did not end with independence, he stood again with his people against the present black Zanu PF government when it committed genocide against our countrymen.”
“He never compromised his love for his people in exchange for a seat at the table of the oppressor. He never betrayed the heroics acts of his forefathers but stood to prove that bravery flowed in his blood,” said Fuzwayo.
MRP president Mqondisi Moyo described the Chief Maduna as a fighter.
“To the Insiza community, friends and relatives, we say MRP is mourning with you. We have lost a fighter; we have lost a selfless chief. We will continue to fight for his wishes and aspirations as he reaffirmed his position on the stance taken by us on the restoration agenda of Mthwakazi as he said this was the only permanent solution to the woos of Mthwakazi,” said Moyo.
Social and cultural activist, Bernard Magugu described Chief Maduna as a staunch defender of cultural and human rights.
“Chief Maduna spoke about cultural rights fearlessly along the likes of former Ntabazinduna chief, Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni. He knew very well that without the installation of a Ndebele king, cultural rights of the people were incomplete,” said Magugu.