Journalist and filmmaker-cum-Government critic, Hopewell Chin’no, said the late academic Alex Magaisa rejected attempts by ZANU PF to lure him to support the ruling party following the 2017 military coup.
Addressing guests at Magaisa’s memorial lecture held in Harare on Thursday, Chin’ono said:
Contrary to the nonsense I was reading on social media, they (ZANU PF) approached Alex and I just felt that out of respect, after the period of mourning if they continue, I will set the record straight.
We know the people. We have got names and some of them came through me. But Alex said, ‘No. I am a Zimbabwean. If you do things right, you do not need Magaisa’s support. Do not look for individuals. Do the right thing and the whole country will support you’.
In his tribute to Magaisa last Sunday, researcher Dr Phillan Zamchiya also claimed that the late intellectual resisted ZANU PF co-optation. He wrote:
Words fail me. Mukoma is no more. Dr Alex Magaisa [Save] is dead. He suffered a cardiac arrest. Around 10 am this 5th of June 2022 in the United Kingdom. As usual, I tried to phone. The phone rings. But this time Mukoma can not answer.
Save cannot breathe. He cannot talk. Save can not write. Save cannot see. I am just left with waMagaisa’s last words to me which capture his legacy and must inspire a generation.
Thanks, Munin’ina [My young brother]. You know your word means a lot to me. We have remained in one corner because integrity matters. I have been courted millions of times. And I could be very rich Munin’ina! But my principles cannot allow that.
‘I cannot abandon the few that believe in me. 2017 they came with everything. They still come because they would like to parade me! But I cannot do that munin’ina… I’m not Nyathi!’.
He lived true to his words to the very bitter end. WaMagaisa has gone with his legacy intact. Maybe he can hear in those far-away spiritual lands where the dead goes. I do not know. I have never been there. But Mukoma is now there. I am blown. I am guttered.
He was a democrat at heart. A fighter to the bitter end. A patriot par-excellence. An intellectual with finesse. A cultured man. A man of the people. A family man. Who can replace mukoma? None.
Magaisa died from a cardiac arrest in the United Kingdom last week on Sunday at the age of 47.