Veteran journalist and former editor of The Sunday Mail Pascal Mukondiwa, who died on Saturday, was yesterday laid to rest at his rural home in Mutoko.
In a graveside speech, the Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Thokhozile Mathuthu on behalf of the Acting Minister Prisca Mupfumira said Mukondiwa resolutely defended Zimbabwe and its ideals.
“He was a hero. As a journalist and editor in our newspapers, Mukondiwa never lost consciousness of his humanity,” she said.
“We are greatly saddened by his passing on. He valued Zimbabwe and defended Zimbabwe and its ideals.”
She said because of him Zimbabwe had managed to achieve several milestones, including the land reform programme.
People from all walks of life gathered at the Mukondiwa homestead in Chiuriri Village, Mutoko, to pay their last respects to a man of many attributes.
To the political world, Mukondiwa was a patriot who fought the good fight and to the journalism fraternity, he was a fountain of experience and ability from where several journalists found wings to fly.
Zimpapers Editorial Executive Mr William Chikoto said Mukondiwa readily assisted people gain their footing in journalism.
“I worked with him from 1987 and he was ready to show you how things are done. Many people passed through his hands,” said Mr Chikoto.
He said his patriotism in his line of work was unfaltering up to the last day.
Uzumba MP and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media and Broadcasting member Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa bemoaned tendencies by some journalists to sensationalise and misrepresent stories.
“We now lack the calibre of journalists like Mukondiwa who reported issues as they occurred and not create his own version,” he said.
Relatives described him as a quiet person who was welcoming to all.
His friend at the Patriot newspaper, Chris Mutseyekwa, said Mukondiwa was passionate about his country to the extent that any discourse with him would not be complete without something about the country.
A devout Catholic, Mukondiwa died at Chitungwiza Central Hospital on Saturday aged 70.
Born in Kadoma on February 14, 1945, Mukondiwa studied journalism at the London School of Journalism in the late 1970s before joining the then Rhodesia Printing and Publishing, now Zimpapers, through a cadetship programme in 1978.
He worked for The Manica Post, The Chronicle, The Sunday News and The Sunday Mail, where he rose to become editor before leaving in 2000. In 2012 he joined The Patriot newspaper and retired in August 2015. He is survived by 10 children and several grandchildren.