ZANU PF Politburo member and former cabinet minister, Kumbirai Manyika Kangai has died. He was 75.
REPORT BY PATRICE MAKOVA
Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said Kangai collapsed at his Borrowdale home and was rushed to Corporate 24 Medical Clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival yesterday morning.
“I can confirm that he died this [yesterday] morning. It is a sad loss to the party,” he said.
Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa said Kangai’s death was devastating news to the party.
He said the late Kangai was one of the first Zanu PF leaders to plan the execution of the liberation struggle from the war front in Mozambique.
“He was a brave leader who represented the party well during the liberation struggle. The country is going to miss him,” he said.
Mutasa said Kangai died a happy man after Zanu PF won a two thirds majority in the July 31 harmonised elections.
He said Kangai had just been elected Senator for Buhera in the just-ended elections.
Mutasa said there was no doubt that the late Kangai would be declared a national hero considering his contribution to the country before and after independence.
He said burial arrangements would be announced in due course.
Kangai, one of the few surviving original member of Zanu’s Dare reChimurenga, held a few portfolios in government since independence in 1980.
He served as a Member of Parliament for Buhera from 1980 to 2008.
Kangai was the first Minister of Labour soon after independence in 1980. But during his tenure, he was embroiled in the Sampson Paweni scandal involving the transportation of maize.
He was appointed Minister for Land and Agriculture, but was dropped from Cabinet in 2000 after he was embroiled in another multi-million dollar tendering procedures scandal at the state-run Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
He was however acquitted by the courts.
Kangai continued holding senior positions in the party including as Zanu PF secretary for external affairs.
Sources said Kangai’s death shocked the top Zanu PF leadership. The death came soon after that of Enos Nkala, a Zanu PF founder member and Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai a top party strategist and general manager of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).