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Praise for Banana despite blemish



MAY I express my sincere condolences on the passing away of Professor Canaan Banana.


I first knew him in the 1970s when

together with my late father, the Rev Finiel Hove of the Lutheran Church, he organised the masses, especially in 1972 to reject the Pearce Commission proposals.


I was in Form 3 then and I remember I had written all over my uniform: “No, No, No!” and almost got into trouble with the Support Unit of the BSAP.


Rev Banana and many other clergymen including Bishop Abel Muzorewa helped organise the “No vote”.


The clergymen were considered “clean men” who would be OK in the frontline or “in the line of fire”, so to say.


When the bishop got rather carried away with the “anti-Communism” spirit, Rev Banana left the UANC and joined Zanu PF and PF Zapu (then the Patriotic Front).


For an Ndebele it was rather strange to identify with “break away” Shonas but he stood his ground, joining other Ndebeles like Cde Enos Nkala, etc.

I remember when a rowdy group of young whites identified him in a second class coach in a Bulawayo-Harare train and tried to throw him out of the window while the train was in motion one night.


I viewed him as a committed socialist and I wonder if anyone has an objection.


I, of course, was badly disturbed with revelations of his rather perverse sexual appetite.


But I am consoled by the Word of God which says: “For ALL have sinned…!” and “For ALL we like sheep have gone astray.”


So in short I do not have the right to take anything away from him because of that dent (whether minor or major).


I sincerely thank him for the behind-the-scenes efforts that he put in to extinguish the Zanu PF/PF Zapu fire that was threatening to destroy our beautiful country. I am not going into the merits of the Unity Accord, but at least we got peace and any de-merits, ie the emergence of the one-party state, are not for me to discuss here.


I sincerely say: “Hamba kahle qhawe…go well hero…fambai zva-kanaka gamba reZimbabwe!”


Mufaro Stig Hove,

Chinhoyi

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