Kwekwe in mourning over ‘Blackman’s’ death
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
The untimely death of Kwekwe Central Constituency legislator Mr Masango Matambanadzo, popularly known as Blackman, has not only left residents shell shocked but poorer.
Blackman, who was popular for philanthropic work and a practical hands-on approach to empower residents in Kwekwe, died on Tuesday morning at his Amaveni home.
A family spokesperson, Ms Angela Nyathi confirmed Blackman’s death.
“He passed on early this morning,” she said before emotions got the better of her and broke down.
Blackman had been unwell for some time and was in December last year flown to China on a medical emergency due to suspected food poisoning.
He was in his second term as legislator for the constituency he first won in 2013 after thumping MDC Alliance’s Blessing Chebundo.
Blackman who was popular for addressing the needs of vendors, flea marketers and the underprivileged, will be remembered for walking across town listening to people’s concerns.
Mr Paul Chomukona, an Amaveni resident, said Backman was a humble legislator who would spend nights at residents’ funeral wakes.
“Blackman was a people’s person. He knew that his power was within the people, He would listen to every concern, even those raised by the least regarded person. So far, he is the only MP I know who could spend the whole night with mourners at a funeral wake,” said Mr Chomukona.
He said the late MP was a pillar of strength and was always available whenever needed.
Mrs Evelyne Gazimbi a flea market operator described Blackman as a man of action.
“I remember at one time when we were having problems with council over operational licences, we rushed to him and he called the resident Minister there and then. He did not want issues that would remain hanging. As flea market operators we have lost a shield, one we would always rush to in times of need,” she said.
Kwekwe Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Mr Alex Homela also described the late Matambanadzo as one who served Kwekwe with all due diligence.
“He knew no political affiliation when it came to serving the people of Kwekwe. He would mix with everyone and help residents without looking at political background,” said Mr Homela.
He said Matambanadzo was a philanthropist even before he became legislator.
“He started philanthropy work way back when he was still a cameraman. He would save a few dollars and mobilise food for the underprivileged. This work grew even bigger when he was elected into office. We say go well and you have played your part,” he said.
Matambanadzo, a free-spirited legislator, made his name during his time in the ruling party when he won the Kwekwe Central constituency in 2013.
After crossing the floor from Zanu-PF to join the National Patriotic Front, Matambanadzo remained popular in his constituency and it was no shock that he retained the seat in the 2018 harmonised elections becoming the only NPF legislator in the house of assembly.
He once made headlines when he addressed a rally while on the shoulders of one of his aides for close to 30 minutes, proving how popular he was within the populace.
During his tenure, Blackman helped revitalise the constituency through a number of projects.
He also facilitated the purchase of an ambulance that was donated to Kwekwe General Hospital.
His Principal Director, Mr Agritty Dube said while they were not sure what killed Blackman, they strongly suspect food poisoning.
He said Blackman will be buried in Hurungwe tomorrow.
“I have been in liaison with the family members and there is going to be a body viewing at Amaveni Stadium on Wednesday. The body will then be ferried to his farm where there will be an overnight vigil before being taken to Hurungwe for burial,” said Mr Dube.