Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
THE Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial leadership has proposed that the party reconsiders the hero status conferred on Cde Henry Pote who died in November 2015 and was declared a liberation war hero. Cde Pote was once the party’s Chief Whip and Deputy Minister of Energy in the post-independence era. He was buried at his Hippo Valley farm in soggy grave as party members rushed to a victory celebration at Ward 4 in Chiredzi Urban where Sulumani Chimbetu was playing.
Addressing a Zanu-PF Chiredzi inter-district meeting yesterday, Brigadier-General (Rtd) Kalisto Gwanetsa said he was asked by the late Cde Pote’s wife, Celine, to submit a request to the provincial leadership. He said the then provincial leadership did not request the Politburo to consider him for national nero status.
“This is a sad moment for the province, but I am, however, delighted that you have upgraded Amai Pote to be a Central Committee member of the party. When I see this woman, I always see her following the footsteps of her husband, who died a very loyal cadre to the party and country at large,” he said.
Cde Gwanetsa said most freedom fighters who were recruited in Chiredzi passed through the hands of the late Cde Pote on their way to Mozambique for training.
“Firstly, he was a founder member of Zanu-PF, secondly, he helped many comrades in 1975, 1976 and 1978. A resolution was passed for him to remain in Chiredzi so that he would continue helping the comrades.”
Brig-Gen (Rtd.) Gwanetsa said the late Cde Pote and his wife were President Mugabe’s witnesses on his marriage to Dr Grace Mugabe.
“President Mugabe appreciated Cde Pote’s loyalty appointing him to the post of Deputy Minister of Energy. The President even honoured Cde Pote by inviting him and his wife to be witness when he married Amai Mugabe,” he said. Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial secretary for administration Cde Denford Masiya said President Mugabe was even shocked when he heard about Cde Pote’s death.
“When the President visited Triangle last year he expressed shock when he was told that his long-time friend was dead and buried without his knowledge. The then provincial executive did not even write to the Politburo asking for him to be considered a national nero and we will correct that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chiredzi District has elected Zanu-PF Central Committee members, namely Cde Mavis Demba, Cde Jerry Makuni, Cde Pote, Cde Robert Mukwena and Cde Samson Makonese.