Full statement by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere on the death of UK-based Zimbabwean academic Alex Tawanda Magaisa.
Today, Zimbabwe received the tragic news of the untimely passing of academic, lawyer and champion of democracy – Dr Alex Tawanda Magaisa.
We are informed that he passed away around 10 AM this morning following a cardiac arrest.
Magaisa was a patriot who contributed to the betterment of Zimbabwe in a number of spheres.
He was born on the 9th of December 1975. He read law at the University of Zimbabwe and at the University of Warwick.
He participated in Zimbabwe’s constitution-making process as a key advisor to COPAC, the parliamentary committee that wrote Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution.
He also served as an advisor to the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Dr Morgan Tsvangirai between 2012 and 2013.
He taught law at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom and was a prominent constitutional expert.
Magaisa was a towering figure in the Citizen Movement. He exhibited thought leadership and endlessly gave of his intellect, ideas and insight to the struggle for democracy.
He firmly believed in the philosophy of placing citizens at the centre of all matters of governance.
He loved Zimbabwe and always spoke fondly of his communal lands in Njanja, Chivhu.
Most citizens will remember Magaisa for his widely-acclaimed blog, The Big Saturday Read which offered in-depth analyses of law and politics in Zimbabwe.
Magaisa was unafraid to speak truth to power and to offer constructive criticism to friends and foes alike.
He had a remarkable capacity to deconstruct complex principles and ideas into bite-size treatises that gripped the attention of citizens of all walks of life.
True to his commitment to enhancing a culture of respect for the rule of law and constitutionalism, he wrote a handbook on citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms under the Zimbabwean Constitution.
A dark cloud has fallen over the nation. The citizens have been robbed of a voice, a heart and a beautiful mind.
Magaisa leaves a rich legacy and an indelible mark on the struggle for democracy and good governance in Zimbabwe.
We are grateful for his industry in sharing his bold ideas for a better Zimbabwe and we pay homage to him for seamlessly adhering to principle – even when it was inconvenient or unpopular. It is going to be impossible to fill the void left by him.
As a tribute to his legacy, we undertake to champion the values he stood for and to ensure that his dream for a prosperous Zimbabwe where the dignity of all people is respected comes to fruition.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Shamiso, his family, siblings and loved ones.
Rest in peace, Musaigwa.