Acting President, Cde John Nkomo has described the late nationalist, Cde Edgar Zivanai Tekere, as a fearless fighter who wanted to see his country free from the shackles of British imperialism.
Cde Nkomo was speaking at the burial ceremony of the late national hero, Cde Edgar Tekere at the National Heroesâ€™ Acre this morning.Â
He said Zanu-PF declared Cde Tekere a national hero for his involvement in the political history of Zimbabwe from the early stages of his life when he was expelled from St Augustines mission for being involved in furthering the agenda of the youth movement.
â€œWhen news of his death started filtering, the immediate action in everyone was of disbelief. The question which everyone was asking was, how Zanu PF was going to react.
â€œBetween Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the nation waited patiently to hear what the party would say until he was declared a national hero.
â€œHe deserves to be a national hero, an icon of the liberation struggle,â€ said the Acting President.
The late nationalist, Cde Edgar Tekere has been described as a courageous, fighter and honest politician.
â€œHe was an honest and straightforward politician, a character which was built over many years.
â€œCde Tekere could not run away when the going got tough.
â€œWhen he made up his mind to fight for political independence, we are told he accepted the challenge whole heartedly and expected others to do the same,â€ said Cde Nkomo.
Cde Nkomo said Cde Tekereâ€™s involvement in politics led to his subsequent incarceration that saw him being detained in various prisons throughout the country for a period of 10 years.
Cde Tekere who was battling with cancer died on Tuesday at Murambi Clinic in Mutare.
He was 74.
He was founder member and then president of the Zimbabwe African National Union who helped organise the party during the Lancaster House talks.
Together with the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, Cde Tekere served ten years in Hwa-Hwa State Prison as political prisoners of Smith’s government.
The two left upon release and crossed the Eastern Highlands Border in Mutare through the mountainsÂ on foot, following the Gairezi River trail to Seguranza Military Camp in Mozambique, to mastermind and kickstart guerilla warfare, aided by the then president Samora Machel, in 1975.
At independence, Cde Tekere was elected the first Zanu PF Secretary-General and became instrumental in inviting Bob Marley to perform at Rufaro Stadium, for the official Zimbabwean Independence Celebration.
Cde Tekere was appointed Minister of Manpower Planning in President Mugabe’s Cabinet in 1980.
In 1988, Cde Tekere defected from Zanu-PF and formed his party the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) which contested Zanu-PF in the 1990 elections.
After failing to make an impact on the political scene ZUMâ€™s collapsed in 1994, leading to Cde Tekereâ€™s retirement from active politics.
In 2007 he released his memoir â€˜A lifetime of struggleâ€™ where he sadly attacked the works of various liberation war heroes demeaning the roles played by these gallant people.
He is survived by his wife, Pamela and one daughter.