Full statement by ZAPU Secretary General Mthulisi Hanana on the death of ZAPU National Chairperson Mark Nzula Mbayiwa.
It is with a deep sense of sorrow that we learnt of the passing of our Party Chairperson Cde. Mark Nzula Mbayiwa last night.
As a party, we are still in shock at his sudden demise since Cde. Mbayiwa attended all party related activities yesterday including an evening Presidency meeting.
In Cde. Mbayiwa the party has lost a great and committed cadre, a leader, a mentor, a torchbearer and an unflinching revolutionary.
We have lost a dependable comrade, a reservoir of party history and a fountain of knowledge. We are poorer without him.
Comrade Mbayiwa is one of the senior leaders who pulled out of ZANU PF at the revival of ZAPU and served as a National Executive member for Matebeleland North. He served the party diligently and made immense sacrifices for ZAPU.
He has also previously served in various administration roles and as Treasurer General.
During the buildup to our last Congress, he had accepted Nominations from provinces to stand as a Presidential Candidate.
In a great show of humility, magnanimity and political astuteness, he stood down at the last minute and endorsed the current ZAPU President.
He has worked with President Nkomo extremely well which shows his love for the party and the party’s ability to handle the political transition.
Cde Mbayiwa played a key role in the establishment of the current ZAPU administration and was an integral part of the Presidency.
At the time of his demise, he was our National Chairperson and he was also the Acting Treasurer General. His contributions to ZAPU are invaluable.
Cde. Mbayiwa is also a gallant freedom fighter and veteran of the Liberation Struggle having joined politics as a youth coordinator in 1973.
In September 1975 Cde. Mbayiwa was arrested for political activism. In October 1976 he and 15 others, crossed to Zambia to join the armed struggle.
It is in Zambia where he met Cde Nikita Mangena. After being involved in the electrification of Freedom Camp, he went for military training in Angola which was being done by Cubans and Russians.
He later came back to Zambia to work at the ZPRA Headquarters in Kasupe where he was in charge of all Communication Equipment.
By 1980, he had been deployed to all Frontal Basis. His dedication to dismantling colonialism in Zimbabwe is unparalleled.
Post-Independence, Cde. Mbayiwa continued with communication and was in charge of the same at Esigodini, Gwaai River Mine and Entumbane Assembly points.
He also joined Zimbabwe Defence Forces where again he served with distinction. He received the 5-, 10-& 15-year service medals from the army.
Cde. Mbayiwa is also a recipient of the Liberation Silver Medal, Mozambican Campaign Medal and the DRC Campaign Medal.
He was commissioned as Captain Regimental Signals Officer and rose through the ranks and retired as a Colonel.
Upon retirement, Cde Mbayiwa worked as a branch Manager at Amtech and later established a private practice trading as Maclyn Spares.
In 2008, he stood as an Independent Candidate in Nyamandlovu Constituency. In 2009 he was part of the ZAPU revival group.
On behalf of President Nkomo, Members of the Presidency, National Executive, National Peoples’ Council and the generality of ZAPU members and on my own behalf, would like to extend our greatest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Cde. Mark Mbayiwa.
May the family find comfort in the memories that they created and the immense sacrifices that Cde Mbayiwa made in fighting injustice both before and after Independence.
The country has lost a son of the soil, an administrator par excellence, an avid political scholar and a gallant freedom fighter.
Cde Mbayiwa passes on at a critical point in ZAPU and the country where we are preparing to dislodge ZANU and end the misery of our people in the coming 2023 elections.
His death is a blow to all of us. The gap he leaves will be hard to fill.
Retired Col. Mark Mbayiwa is an undoubted hero. His works speak for themselves.
He is survived by his wife and 4 children
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Hamba kahle Qhawe lama Qhawe