The late war veteran and former member of the National Assembly and former Senator, Vivian Mwashita has been declared a national heroine.
Conveying the message to the Mwashita family in Harare today, the Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, Ignatius Chombo said the Politburo has been fully convinced that the late Cde Mwashita deserves to be laid to rest at the national shrine considering her works during the liberation war and after.
She will be buried on Wednesday this week, the same day Cde Chitepo will also be buried, making it the first time ever for two heroines to be laid to rest at the national shrine on the same day.
Cde Chombo said the past week had been difficult for Zanu-PF following the demise of Cdes Mwashita, Chitepo and Chinyani Chinamano, the son of national liberation heroes, Cdes Josiah and Ruth Chinamano.
“On Friday, after receiving news of the death of Cde Chitepo, we then received a letter from Cde Charles Tawenga advising us of the death of Cde Mwashita. “Then on Saturday, we also received news that the last son of Cdes Josiah and Ruth Chinamano had been found dead in Highfield.
“We then asked war veterans who worked with Cde Mwashita during the liberation struggle, the likes of Cde Chiwenga, Cde Shiri, Cde Tapfumaneyi and Minister of Water, Mai Kashiri (Oppah Muchinguri) for a detailed history of her contribution.
“They put everything together, starting from Rusape where she was born, then when she came here (to Harare) where she did her primary school, before going to St Peter’s Kubatana in Highfield where she did her secondary education.
“They also wrote about how she went to the liberation struggle in 1975 where she was trained by such comrades as Augustine Chihuri before she also became a trainer during the bombing of Nyadzonia.” Cde Chombo said the Politburo was convinced that Cde Mwashita deserved to be interred at the national shrine.
“As the Politburo, we completed the consultations this afternoon as instructed by President Mugabe that we should consult all the members to ensure there was consensus.
“Politburo members concurred that she was a consistent cadre who was committed to the liberation of the country. She is someone who was consistent during the liberation struggle and remained so even after Independence. Others were expelled while some were suspended from the party because they sold out, but she remained consistent.
“We even checked her history during her tenure in the Central Intelligence Organisation for more than 10 years and when she became an MP. We found out that her history was that of a consistent cadre. So, President Mugabe said she should be declared a national heroine,” said Cde Chombo drawing ululation from mourners who broke into song and dance.
He said the family had also agreed to have Cde Mwashita buried at the national shrine alongside Cde Chitepo tomorrow. “It is the first time that it is happening that we have national heroines being interred at the national shrine at the same time,” said Cde Chombo.
Cde Mwashita, who was 58, joined the liberation struggle in 1975 and after training she was deployed in Rushinga where she operated until the end of the war. At Independence, Cde Mwashita joined the Office of the President and later mainstream politics and became the Member of Parliament for Sunningdale and later Senator.
She leaves behind, her husband, Mr Peter Muchicho, three children and six grandchildren. Cde Mwashita was born at Rusape Hospital on September 26, 1958.
She attended primary school at Rukudzo Primary School in Kambuzuma in Harare before enrolling at St Peter’s Kubatana High School, in Highfield for form one to four.
The national heroine then crossed into Mozambique in April 1975. At Independence in 1980, Cde Mwashita first worked at the Zanu Headquarters at No. 88 Manica Road (now Robert Mugabe Street), in Harare.
She was later attested into the Central Intelligence Organisation, where she served until 1992, before she retired to join politics. In 1995, Cde Mwashita won the Harare South Constituency on a Zanu-PF ticket before becoming the Zanu-PF Senator for Mvurachena Constituency in Harare.