Nyore Madzianike Mutare Bureau
LIBERATION war hero Cde Joseph Michael Nyakatawa, who died last week after a short illness, was yesterday buried at the Manicaland Provincial Heroes Acre.
He was 61.
Cde Nyakatawa was conferred with the liberation war hero status following his death at Murambi Clinic.
Addressing mourners, who gathered to pay their last respects to the liberation war hero, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Mandi Chimene described the late Cde Nyakatawa as a fountain of wisdom and a hardworking man.
His dedication to work saw him rising through the ranks until he was promoted to the position of senior intelligence officer.
“I would like to say that we have lost a fighter, a hard worker, a force which we used to rely on. He was a worker, who did not work for a salary. I know today we have useless workers, who work for salaries.
“We cannot build a nation with workers who work for salaries. He used to sacrifice for his nation. We must all sacrifice for the nation. He was not that popular with people who did not want to work. He was a very humble man who was disciplined.
“He was such a person who respected everyone. Very few of you knew his rank because of his conduct and workmanship,” she said.
Minister Chimene took the opportunity to warn people already fighting for Cde Nyakatawa’s estate.
“I know there is a dispute at his house. I heard that there is a person who refused the coffin entry into the house. What kind of behaviour is that? Mai Nyakatawa endai munopinda mumba imomo mugare (Mrs Nyakatawa go and stay in that house). If anyone wants to stay in that house they should come to me and get a letter of approval. I will give you a letter. If you encounter any problems please do not hesitate to come to my office. We have authority to remove anyone from the farm. In Manicaland I have the power to withdraw offer letters from anyone,” she said.
The late Cde Nyakatawa’s brother, Brian, said they had lost a family friend and pillar of strength.
“He was a friend and pillar of strength because whenever we found the going tough, we would call him for help anytime. He was not selective on who to help.
He left the country for Mozambique in 1976 to join the liberation struggle under the Zanla forces. At independence he took up farming, something he has been doing up to the time of his death. We lost a family man,” he said.
Cde Nyakatawa, who was known as Cde Joe Mark Konda, was born on March 9, 1956 in Nyanga District.
In 1978 he went to Romania where he received military training for three months specialising in artillery.
He then joined the President’s Office in 1983 as a security officer in Rusape and rose through the ranks to the position of senior intelligence officer.
He is survived by his wife Precious Chipiro-Nyakatawa and three children Rumbidzai, Nyasha and Ngoni.
The late Cde Nyakatawa becomes the 274th hero to be buried at Manicaland Provincial Heroes Acre.