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President Mnangagwa Mourns Nationalist Jane Lungile Ngwenya | FULL TEXT

6 August 2021

Condolence message by His Excellency the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, following the death of Cde Jane Lungile Ngwenya, 6th August 2021.

I received with deep shock and grief news of the passing on last night of Cde Jane Lungile Ngwenya at Mater Dei Hospital after a long illness.

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Only less than two and half months ago, on 13th May 2021, I had an opportunity to pay a courtesy visit to her at Coronation Cottages Home in Bulawayo.

Little did I know that this would be our last meeting in this life. Our Nation has lost a dedicated cadre-leader and stalwart of the nationalist movement and our Liberation Struggle.

What breaks my heart is that her demise came just three days before our Nation would have honoured and celebrated her outstanding contribution to the national cause by conferring the Grand Commander Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award on her, the second-highest honour Zimbabwe reserves for her most distinguished sons and daughters.

Indeed, she would have been the first living female recipient of such an outstanding award.

Born on June 15, 1935, in the then Buhera Reserve under colonial Rhodesia, the late Cde Ngwenya stood out as a firebrand female cadre who lent militancy to the nationalist movement in its early phase.

Alongside nationalist luminaries, she founded and launched the National Democratic Party, NDP, thereafter founding ZAPU after the NDP had been banned. She never looked back right through to the end.

It required men and women of exceptional courage and belief, both to confront the brutal Rhodesian settler system at that time and to keep the spirit of militant nationalism alive. Jane was one such personality, even sacrificing her marriage for the cause.

Her fearless personality made her an ideal candidate to lead the Youth Wing of the nationalist movement.

As a member of the Youth League, I served under her, and vividly recall her bold and exceptional leadership in that role.

Through her persuasive broadcast messages aired from Zambia, many youths gathered the courage to join the armed struggle.

Never to avoid risks of the struggle, she carries to the grave injuries she sustained in a bomb blast which claimed our late National Hero, Jason Ziyapapa Moyo on January 22, 1977, in Zambia.

After Independence, she would continue to serve our Nation as Deputy Minister of Labour, Manpower and Social Welfare, a key portfolio that oversaw the rehabilitation of returnees and refugees from the Struggle.

Her role and contribution both before and after Independence thus leave a rich and inspiring legacy for our Nation.

On behalf of the Party, ZANU-PF, Government, my family and on my own behalf, I wish to convey my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Ngwenya family for losing a leading guardian and mentor.

As they go through their bereavement, may they take comfort from the knowledge that our whole Nation joins them in mourning her sad departure.

May her soul rest in eternal peace.

E.D. Mnangagwa


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