Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
PROMINENT Bulawayo businessman and Zanu-PF member Cde Benjamin Burman Muvuti has died.
He was 80.
Cde Muvuti succumbed to renal failure at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) on Christmas Eve after battling diabetes.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Bulawayo Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo said she learnt with great sadness and shock, about Cde Muvuti’s death.
She said she knew that Cde Muvuti had diabetes but thought it was under control.
Cde Moyo said Zanu-PF Bulawayo province will meet today to decide on a recognition befitting Cde Muvuti, whom she described as a dedicated party member.
“We’re saddened by his death. He was one of the pioneer pre-independence young business persons. He grew to be a prominent businessman in Bulawayo. He was a good person and a church goer, a member of the party and strong supporter,” said Cde Moyo.
She said Cde Muvuti was committed to community development and did not seek political positions.
“He advised a lot of people in the business field and politics. He was a socialite, businessman, community leader, and a gentleman. He didn’t fear anyone. He would confront all problems without fear or favour,” she said.
Cde Moyo said Cde Muvuti was respected in political circles adding Politburo members like Cdes Obert Mpofu and Tshinga Dube had visited his Kumalo suburb home to pay their condolences.
His son, Brian yesterday said his father’s death was a blow to the family as he was a unifying figure.
“He was a hard working man, a focused visionary and family backbone,” said Brian.
Brian said Cde Muvuti’s diligence saw him break pre-independence racial barriers.
“He was a prominent insurance sales man. He was the best insurance sales man not only in Rhodesia but Central Africa,” said Brian.
He said this led to his father being invited to round table insurance conferences in Montreal, Canada between 1971 and 1981.
Brian said Cde Muvuti also managed to venture into business by opening a foam rubber manufacturing company which became the second largest in the country.
Brian said his father was a diplomat who participated in the post independence peace negotiations following disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands.
“He participated in the peace talks although his activities were behind the scenes. He would negotiate with the late Father Zimbabwe and Cde Nathan Shamuyarira who was negotiating on behalf of the Prime Minister’s office,” said Brian.
He said his father will be buried on Wednesday at Lady Stanley Cemetery.
“We’ve decided that he’ll be buried on Wednesday but if the party decides otherwise we’ll be happy to oblige,” said Brian.
Cde Muvuti is survived by his wife, six children and five grandchildren.
Mourners are gathered at Number 5 Russel Drive, Kumalo, Bulawayo.