Questions as MDC launch Learnmore Jongwe memorial at inception of anti-domestic violence campaign

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By Nkosana Dlamini

MDC has launched an appeal for donations towards late founding legislator Learnmore Jongwe’s memorial on a day Zimbabweans begin a two-week campaign against gender-based violence.

Jongwe died aged 28 in 2002 under mysterious circumstances in a Harare remand prison.

He was awaiting trial on allegations of stabbing his wife eight times and killing her in the process.

In a statement circulated via social media Monday, MDC spokesperson Daniel Molokele said the Trust was planning a graveside visit to the once firebrand politician.

“The Learnmore Jongwe Memorial Trust is planning to host a graveside visit to Samambwa village in Zhombe at the end of this month (November),” Molokele said.

“In this regard, the Trust is also planning to buy some groceries towards the family (mother) of our late icon and legend.

“If you would like to make a cash contribution towards the groceries, please do feel free to do so by mid-day on Wednesday 27th November 2019.”

The MDC went on to share mobile phone numbers through which well wishers could channel their donations.

However, it is the timing of the appeal that leaves a lot to be desired, having coincided with a day the country begins commemorations for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The period is from 25 November of every year up to 10 December.

Jongwe is regarded as a hero within the main opposition circles for his bravery in forming the MDC and confronting the then brutal Robert Mugabe led regime.

But he has divided opinion as, to some, his case is a constant reminder of a society that is ever struggling to find solutions to rampant gender-based violence.

Jongwe is alleged to have murdered his wife after reportedly finding her in a compromising position with another man in July 2002.

His mysterious death fuelled speculation he could have been food poisoned with some believing he committed suicide.

The former Kuwadzana MP was founding spokesperson of MDC, often winning admiration for his eloquence and great understanding of national issues.

For someone who died October 24, 2002, it is anybody’s case why MDC decided to wait for the start of the global anti-domestic violence launch to publicise its own plans to remember its hero.