VETERAN nationalist, Edgar Tekere who died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer has been declared a national hero.
Born in Rusape on April 1 1937, Tekere attended St Faith’s Mission Primary, St Augustine’s Penhalonga Secondary Schools.
He was a member of early nationalist organisations in the then Southern Rhodesia who was among the five founding members of Zanu.
He came into politics in 1957 when he joined the African National Congress (ANC); in 1960 he became really active in political affairs when he joined the National Democratic Party.
In 1961 he joined the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) and was elected its secretary for Salisbury District Council.
In 1963 he joined Robert Mugabe, Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole, Dr Edison Zvobgo and Enos Nkala to form the Zimbabwe African National Union, Zanu. He at one time served as Deputy Secretary of Youth and Culture of Zanu in May 1964.
In the same year (1964), he was detained by the Rhodesian government together with President Robert Mugabe, Didymus Mutasa, among many other nationalists.
In 1975, he accompanied Zanu leader, Cde Robert Mugabe and crossed into Mozambique on foot after serving 10 years at Sikombela and Hwahwa State prison. He served part of his detention at Salisbury Prison, Kwekwe and Sikombela.
Tekere was to assist in leading the guerilla warfare in which Zanu got most of the aid from the then Mozambican President, Cde Samora Machel and the FRELIMO party.
Edgar Tekere received the code name “mukoma” (big brother) by close family members and relatives and was elected by a democratic process to be the first Zanu-PF Secretary-General following Zimbabwe’s independence.
After the February 1980 majority elections, Tekere was appointed Minister of Manpower Planning. He later served as Zanu-PF Manicaland Provincial Chairman.
In 1988, Tekere left Zanu-PF to form his own party the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) which contested the 1990 elections.
After failing to make an impact on the political scene, ZUM collapsed in 1994, leading to Tekere’s retirement from active politics.
Tekere, a controversial politician, made headlines for both wrong and good reasons after retiring from active politics and he later rejoined Zanu-PF.
He died on Tuesday at Murambi Private Clinic in Mutare after a long battle with prostate cancer.
He is survived by his wife Pamela and one daughter. He has been accorded national hero status and burial arrangements are yet to be announced.
May his soul rest in peace.
Incoming search terms:
- heroes acre zimbabwe
- tekere declared national hero
- Mandela dies ~ Breaking News, National 5 Dec, at 22 : 42 PM
- Tsvangirai failing to pay workers ~ Breaking News, National 4 Dec, at 23 : 00 PM
- New diamond miner to start exploration ~ Breaking News, National 12 Nov, at 02 : 31 AM
- Tsvangirai falls over at TB Joshua service ~ Breaking News, National 7 Oct, at 04 : 58 AM
- Biti loses Chatham House prize ~ Breaking News, National 13 Sep, at 05 : 10 AM