Prince Sunduzani, Chronicle Reporter
ONE of the late Vice-President Dr Joshua Nkomo’s bodyguards, Cde Jonathan Mtate Mahawu Tshaka, was buried at the Bulawayo Provincial Heroes’ Acre yesterday.
The burial of the liberation war hero who died aged 86 was attended by family members and friends only as government officials had excused themselves.
Cde Tshaka’s former colleague, an ex-detainee, Cde Machingura Mpofu, said Cde Tshaka was a peace loving man.
“I knew him for many years and he was a friend to me. His death is a great loss to the family and the nation .Tshaka suffered a lot at the hands of the settlers during the liberation war. He was beaten under his feet and sustained injuries and he never recovered from the beatings,” said Cde Mpofu.
The late liberation war hero’s son who is also the family spokesperson Mr Patrick Mdlongwa said the torture which his father suffered could have contributed to his death.
Initially, Cde Tshaka’s was supposed to be buried last Friday and people gathered at the Bulawayo Provincial Heroes’ Acre, but his body was taken back to the mortuary as the grave had not been dug.
Mr Mdlongwa said the burial was not conducted last week because those who were digging the grave failed to finish until it was too late.
He said officials turned up last Friday, but could not make it again to the Provincial Heroes’ Acre yesterday.
“Last week we had people from the police, the army and other officials but today they apologised as they could not make it again,” he said.
The late Cde Tshaka served as Dr Nkomo’s body guard between 1964 and 1982.
Before independence, Cde Tshaka got in trouble with authorities and was arrested on several occasions.
In 1964 he was arrested and served in the same detention camp with the late Vice President at Gonakudzingwa.
He was released in 1966 before reuniting with Dr Nkomo in 1974 after the late Vice President was released from prison. He continued as his body guard until he was arrested in 1977 for a year. After serving a year in detention, Cde Tshaka was released in 1978 before returning to Dr Nkomo’s house in
Pelandaba suburb where he continued to serve as his bodyguard up to 1982.— @PrinceNkosy102