Jane Ngwenya’s departure, a huge loss for Zimbabwe: ZAPU

Opposition ZAPU has described the death of freedom fighter, Jane Ngwenya, as a “huge loss” for Zimbabwe.

Ngwenya (86) passed on at Mater Dei Hospital Thursday evening where she was receiving treatment.

“Her death is a huge loss for Zimbabwe for she contributed to its fighting for freedom,” ZAPU spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa told CITE.

“She (Ngwenya) sacrificed her life to the people’s struggle, losing her marriage in the process. She also risked her family’s safety back home by openly recruiting for nationalist movement over radio. Had the Rhodesian authorities identified her, they could have targeted her family.”

Iphithule maphosa

Maphosa said Zimbabwe’s history was incomplete without the mentioning of Ngwenya’s name.

“Mama Jane Ngwenya’s name is part of Zimbabwean history.” He said.

“She was a pioneer of our national struggle for independence, contributing much to recruiting into the nationalist movement through her radio broadcasts from Zambia.”

He added: “She was one of the pioneer women leaders of the struggle under the ZAPU banner. Although she later left ZAPU during the party’s difficult time in the early 1980s, we do recognise her contribution to our country’s freedom.”

Ngwenya was born in Buhera district in Manicaland on June 15, 1935.

She was pushed into politics when she bore witness to the harassment of her grandfather for resisting displacement and noticing the unfairness and injustice of the white’s system that totally disregarded Africans.

In 1960, Ngwenya was among the nationalists who formed the National Democratic Party (NDP) following the ban of the ANC in Northern and Southern Rhodesia in 1959.

In 1963 Ngwenya was arrested for influencing Africans to rebel against the Smith government and spent three months at the then Gwelo prison.

She was arrested again for attending a gathering addressed by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo in Bulawayo.

She was sent to Whawha Prison and was later transferred to Gonakudzingwa detention camp.

She is one of the pioneer women and most senior nationalists to leave the country into neighbouring countries to wage the war of liberation.

During her time in Zambia, she ran a radio program at the Voice of the Revolution Radio in Lusaka where she encouraged Zimbabweans to join the armed struggle.

On January 22, 1977, Ngwenya was injured after the explosion of a parcel bomb that killed Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo in Lusaka.

In 1980 she was elected into the House of Assembly representing Bulawayo constituency and once served as a deputy minister of Labour, Manpower and Social Welfare.

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