GWERU mayor Hamutendi Kombayi says he will never join Zanu PF as doing so will make his father turn in his grave.
By Stephen Chadenga
The MDC-T councillor, son of Gweru’s first black mayor, Patrick Kombayi, said his late father suffered for years after Zanu PF activists pumped several bullets into his body.
He said joining Zanu PF would be an insult to his father who eventually died from the gunshot wounds.
The late Kombayi died on 20 June 2009 and at that time he was as the MDC-T senator for Chirumanzu-Gweru.
In an interview yesterday, on statements by War Veterans minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa at a function in Gweru last month that Kombayi should join Zanu PF to bring more results to the Midlands capital, the outspoken politician said he would never do that.
Officially opening the Meikles Mega market in Gweru last month Mutsvangwa said Kombayi came from a great family and his father had assisted many cadres during the liberation war.
Mutsvangwa said Kombayi was doing a great job in bringing investors to the city as mayor but urged him to quit MDC-T and join Zanu PF to achieve more results.
“I acknowledge and respect the honour given to PK (Patrick Kombayi) by Cde Mutsvangwa for helping fellow comrades during the liberation struggle,” Kombayi said.
“But as for joining Zanu PF, I say thank you but no. I will not have PK roll in his grave by such an insulting move.”
A Zanu PF cadre during the liberation struggle, the late Kombayi assisted freedom fighters financially with logistics from his base in Zambia.
However, in 1990 he paid heavily for contesting against the late Vice President, Simon Muzenda when he was shot by the late deputy director of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Elias Kanengoni and Zanu PF MP for Chiwundura, Kizito Chivamba.
He was wounded by seven pistol shots into his groin and abdomen and underwent genital surgery in Britain afterwards.
The wounds were to kill him 19 years later.
Chivamba and Kanengoni were convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to seven years in prison but were immediately freed courtesy of a pardon from President Robert Mugabe.
When he died in 2013 Kanengoni was declared a national hero and buried at the heroes’ acre.
The Kombayi family members responded in a brief statement by saying that Kanengoni had been honoured for “protecting Mugabe’s interests.”
“What can we do as a family? Nothing. It is the system which is wrong,” the Kombayi family said then.
The Gweru mayor said his father died a disappointed man.
“He was made a villain for assisting those now honoured as national heroes.
“Even his burial was not befitting of a person who played a role in the liberation struggle,” he said.