Veteran nationalist Jane Ngwenya dies

Veteran nationalist Jane Lungile Ngwenya has died.

She was 86.

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

ZAPU acting president Isaac Mabuka confirmed the news to CITE adding that the history of ZAPU and ZPRA was incomplete without mentioning Ngwenya’s contribution.

“She was one of the pioneers of the liberation struggle and she used her platform on Radio Zambia to encourage people to join the liberation struggle. A lot of people used to listen to the station in the evenings. There is noone who can talk about the history of ZAPU and ZPRA without mentioning her contribution,” said Mabuka.

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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