PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday sent a condolence message to the Makwanya family following the death of veteran journalist Judith Makwanya on Monday.
Makwanya (56) was the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) Diplomatic Correspondent.
She died on Monday night at West End Clinic in Harare.
In a statement on behalf of President Mnangagwa yesterday, Presidential spokesperson, who is also the Deputy Chief Secretary, (Presidential Communications), Mr George Charamba said: “On behalf of His Excellency the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, I wish to express my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Makwanya family on the passing on of Judith,” he said.
“A seasoned committed journalist, the late Cde Makwanya leaves behind a hard-to-fill gap in the broadcast sub-sector of our media industry. Many will remember her strident and passionate reports inspired by a deep love for her profession, country and her people.”
President Mnangagwa described Makwanya as a determined journalist whose defence of the motherland attracted fury from Western countries.
This saw her placed under sanctions.
“It was this love and principled stance in defence of the national interest which earned her the wrath of the West by way of punitive sanctions imposed on her,” said Mr Charamba.
“We mourn her sad and ultimately departure. We are all challenged to harness our communication skills in defence of our Nation and its interest.”
Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana on behalf of Government described Makwanya as a hardworking journalist who left a void in the journalism fraternity.
“She was a strong, hardworking, accomplished and able journalist. The public broadcaster, the journalism fraternity and indeed the nation is poorer without Judith.
“On behalf of Government, I wish to express heartfelt condolences to the Makwanya family, her workmates, the journalism fraternity, her friends and Zimbabweans in general. May you find solace and comfort in the good work that Judi did for her country.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) also joined the nation in mourning Makwanya.
In a statement, ZUJ secretary-general Mr Foster Dongozi said: “We received news of the passing on of Judith Makwanya with shock and sadness. Makwanya was one of the female journalists who had been assigned very important news responsibilities at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, (ZBC), as Diplomatic Correspondent.
“The Russian-trained journalist was therefore a role model for the up and coming journalists in an environment where very few women are recognised. As an industry, we feel robbed by the fact that she passed on while she was in her prime, professionally, ZUJ would like to join her family, the ZBC family and the nation in mourning a journalism stalwart. May her soul rest in peace.”
Makwanya was diagnosed with high blood pressure last Thursday.
Her condition worsened on Monday evening after she suffered a stroke. Makwanya joined ZBC on June 1, 1990 as a reporter.
She was in the Presidential team from 1997 and was promoted on October 11, 2001 to Diplomatic Correspondent, a position she held until her untimely death.
Mourners are gathered at No. 98, Block 20, Zambezi Flats, Mabelreign, Harare.