President Mugabe last night visited the Mumbengegwi family to console it following the passing on of former Finance Minister and veteran educationist Dr Samuel Creighton Mumbengegwi on Tuesday. Dr Mumbengegwi died at a private hospital in Harare of kidney ailment, diabetes and hypertension. The President who was accompanied by First Lady Grace Mugabe, paid tribute to Dr Mumbegegwi for his tremendous contribution in the education sector, government and the ruling party in various positions he held.
He said Dr Mumbengegwi did a sterling job as an educationist and in the leadership in Government and the party. This, he said, Cde Mumbengegwi deserved recognition. “Considering the work he did as an educationist and when we worked together with him in the leadership, we say he deserves recognition, which is commensurate with his hard work,” said President Mugabe while addressing the mourners.
“We want to remember him with his deeds and astuteness in the execution of his duties. He has left us with the burden to carry on with work he was supposed to continue with, but he had shown us the good way.”
President Mugabe said Dr Mumbengegwi was highly educated, as feat which the youths should emulate to achieve. He urged the family members to emulate Cde Mumbengegwi and treasure the legacy he left for them.
“No matter how educated you are and better jobs you can have, the most important thing about a family is unity and the way you co-exists with other people in the society,” he said. “It is our African culture to come together, as friends and relatives and commiserate with each other in times of grief such as this.”
President Mugabe also urged the family to remain united and emulate the good character their father exhibited during his lifetime so that they would not lose direction in life and deeds. The Mumbengegwi family, President Mugabe said, which is big and famous in Masvingo, was known for unity and Dr Mumbengegwi was renowned for his works.
“Nhasi uno tinoti taive tose zuro naSam achiri mupenyu. Takanga tiritose, tichiseka tiritose. Nhasi uno tasiyana, waenda. Tirikusvimha misodzi. Asi tinosungirwa kudayi. Hatikanganwi basa rawakaita. Tinoramba tichirangarira. Zita rako rirambe ririmo mumwoyo medu. Ririmo mumwoyo meshamwari, riri mumwoyo mevese vawakashanda navo, vose vawakadzidzisa, vose vawakatungamirira. Izvi ndizvo zvinoita kuti tinzi tiri vanhu vomuZimbabwe vakabatana. Hatikanganwe avo vatakashanda navo, vakatipawo chipo cheruzivo rwavo. Naizvozvo ndinoda kukutendai nokundipa chanzi ino iyi kuti ndikupeyi shoko rangu rekuti tinemi vekwaMumbengegwi. Tinemi pamuri, tinemi pamusangano, tinemi zvakare isu tiri muhurumende. Ndinovimba kuti vanoongorora vachaongorora vogozotiudza marecommendations avangaite kuparty tive neruzivo rwekuti tingamuvige sei. Ndinoda kutenda….”
The Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial leadership has recommended that Dr Mumbengegwi be declared a national hero. Dr Mumbengegwi was born on October 23, 1942 in Chivi, Masvingo. He was appointed Minister of Industry and International Trade in 2002 before serving as Minister of State for Indigenisation and Empowerment in 2005.
Dr Mumbengegwi was appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Development in 2007 and was dropped from Cabinet in January 2009 after losing the Chivi-Mwenezi Senate seat. He is survived by his wife Mrs Salina Mumbengegwi, five children – Shuvai, Tsungai, Davis, Patricia and Simbarashe, and eight grand children.
Mourners are gathered at house number 22 Stour Road, Vainona in Harare. Meanwhile, Commander Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga said the late former Finance Minister and veteran educationist Dr Mumbengegwi played a pivotal role during the liberation struggle as a war collaborator.
In an interview, Gen Chiwenga said he met Dr Mumbengegwi when he was deployed to Masvingo province during the liberations struggle. “I knew Cde Mumbengegwi late in 1978 when I was deployed to what we term the Gaza Province, which was encompassing Matabeleland South, Midlands and part of Masvingo province.
“When we were deployed there I was the deputy army political commissar with the late General Solomon Mujuru, and Twarai Tipone. I was later deployed in Gutu, into the Gurajena, part of Masvingo,” he said.
Gen Chiwenga said, “That’s when I started to know them, it was a team and they had just been expelled from Fletcher High School and they were now lecturing at Morgenster in Masvingo. Him (Dr Mumbengegwi) and Cde Willard Chiwewe had been expelled from Fletcher.” He said they then formed a formidable group which strongly supported the liberation struggle.
“Among those I still remember is the late Mutero and Mrs Betty Mutero, Dr Mazorodze, Cde Chiwewe, Mhungu, Chigudu and wife and Dr Muzvidziwa. They were quite a number of them and they attended the pungwes and all gatherings which were organised by the comrades.
“And they worked very closely with comrades like retired Air Marshal Henry Muchena, Major General Gisbon Mashingaidze, Franco, Shelton Chidoro, Nylon, among other comrades who were in that particular area,” Gen Chiwenga said. He said the most interesting part was that when they were going towards cease fire the group, including Dr Mumbengegwi, had to sacrifice everything they had.
“At that time I was deployed again back to Masvingo Province at Victoria Province. Dr Mumbengegwi had a Peugeot 404 station wagon, while Willard Chiwewe had a Ford Taunus. Those were given to us and they got destroyed and they never claimed them back to the party.
“They were our biggest mujibhas. During that time there was a threat that there would be an attack of assembly points by the Rodhesians and so we left other combatants in the bush in case things did not go as planned.
“Samuel Mumbengegwi and Willard Chiwewe were responsible to look after them. This is why they could not join Government even in 1980 up until 1981 when everybody was now in assembly points.
“That’s when they joined the government, him going to the Ministry of Education and Willard Chiwewe going to the Prime Minister’s Office, now the President’s office. But I worked with him personally, he has been persistent, consistent and loyal right up to the day of his death.”
Gen Chiwenga urged the youths to emulate the work that was done by Dr Mumbengegwi during the liberation struggle and after Independence. “The youth of today must emulate what was done. Samuel was very educated by any standard by that time, just like Chiwewe, his surviving colleague. They worked very hard for the party and the country.” herald