By Costa Nkomo
SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, was set to attend late MDC Glen View South MP, Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java’s funeral wake late Wednesday and her burial on Thursday.
According to MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, Mudenda indicated his willingness to pay his last respects to the late legislator, who succumbed to injuries sustained in a road accident last month, in a telephone call earlier Wednesday.
“We have heard from Advocate Mudenda, he has extended his condolonces to the Tsvangirai and Java families for the loss.
“But I told him that we are unlike Zanu PF. At a function like this, we respect the family and it is not a party affair. We acknowledge and respect the Speaker of Parliament, so he will join us tonight and tomorrow for the service representing Parliament,” Chamisa told thousands of MDC followers who attended Tsvangirai-Java’s farewell rally in Glen View Wednesday.
Chamisa said Mudenda’s gesture could mark a change in political attitudes between the ruling Zanu PF party and the opposition.
“This is what we expect. I know (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa has his followers, I also have mine. If there is an incident like we have, we should move out of our political zones and comfort each other.
“Mnangagwa should be able to comfort us while we do the same,” the opposition leader said.
It could be the first time Mudenda or a sitting ruling party Speaker of the National Assembly is attending the funeral of an MDC lawmaker.
Zanu PF national commissar Victor Matemadanda also visited the Tsvangirai home in Harare to pay his respects and on behalf of the ruling party. President Mnangagwa has also extended his condolences.
Matemadanda described the late Tsvangirai-Java’s death as sad adding she had shown traits of a “future leader.”:
“Zanu PF politics shapes MDC politics and vice-versa. She was a future leader and her death is a loss to our country. We are saddened,” Matemadanda said.
Tsvangirai-Java was daughter to late former Prime Minister and MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Meanwhile, Parliament has extended RTGS$ 7 500 assistance to the Java family.
The late MP’s husband and clergyman Batsirai Java accepted the assistance but indicated he would forward it to the family of one of the accident victims and MDC activist Paul Rukanda who died in the same crash.
The MDC according to Java will also help the third victim Tafadzwa Mhundwa’s family.
Mhundwa was Vimbai’s maternal uncle.