Saturday, 9 February 2019


Mr Fred Gasho is bitter that the family of the late national hero Oliver Mtukudzi did not alert him, as per traditional custom, of the demise of his son-in-law. Mr Gasho is the biological father of Daisy, Oliver’s widow.

Mr Gasho and his wife, Daisy’s step-mother, did not attend the funeral wake in Norton nor Mtukudzi’s burial in Madziva.

According to Shona traditions and customs, when an in-law passes away, a message, commonly called “mhere”, is dispatched to the other family. The message is usually accompanied by a token. 

What irks Mr Gasho more is that he was also not informed of the illness that his son-in-law finally succumbed to.

“I was never told of the illness of my son-in-law, and later his passing on. It is very difficult to hear that your son-in-law has passed away, without hearing of his illness.

“Then we were shocked as everyone when we heard the news of his death on radio. We were waiting for official communication, as per our customs, but no word has come through. Therefore, we could not travel to a funeral which we were not informed of.”

He said when Sam Mtukudzi died in 2010, a message was dispatched, as well as a car, to ferry them from their rural home near Kapare School in the Magunje area of Karoi. 

“This time they didn’t send any word nor car to ferry us but we hear they sent a bus to the Mashonga family, to take them to the funeral,” he continued.

Mr Gasho and Elizabeth Mashonga had Daisy but the two didn’t get married. Mrs Mashonga migrated to Zambia where she bore five other children, of which three are surviving. When her husband passed away in Zambia, she relocated to Zimbabwe where she is said to have lived the life of a loner.

According to recollections from villagers, in October 2016, Daisy’s mother was allegedly found dead after at least two days, by a small village girl who used to charge her phone. When the little girl had not seen the old lady for some days, she went into her hut to check, and found her dead.

Her memorial service in December that year was the last time that Daisy visited her mother’s home, which has since been sold.

“When Daisy’s mother passed away, I was not told again, despite that I had paid all formalities to make Daisy be recognised as a Gasho offspring. Basically, I had paid my dues and should have been recognised as such.”

When her mother left for Zambia, Daisy was left in the care of her maternal uncles, the Mashongas, to where a bus was recently dispatched to ferry mourners to Mtukudzi’s funeral, a development that has raised the ire of Mr Gasho. 

Openly shedding tears, Mr Gasho said this was the son-in-law who had done three songs for him, whom he was denied a chance for a send-off.

“I am Nzou Samanyanga, so was Oliver, and that is why he did the song Cheka Ukama, as he wanted to marry my daughter. Then years later, when I pestered him for the remaining lobola for Daisy, he did Nyanga Yenzou, in which he was mockingly asking me where he could find an elephant tusk to finish off the lobola. Then he did Ndotangira Poi, another song he said was a tribute to me. So how can I have been denied a chance to send off my son-in-law, who loved and admired me so much?”

Mrs Agnes Gasho, the stepmother, said they enjoyed cordial relations with their in-laws, indicating that when Oliver’s mother was still alive, she used to visit them. Sunday Mail


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