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Politburo member Patel dies

12 Sep, 2011 - 00:09 0 Views
Politburo member Patel dies

The Herald

a fractured skull at his Ridgeview home on August 25.
His son Vijay Patel said the veteran nationalist’s body was expected from South Africa today.

“He died on Saturday morning in Johannesburg. He fell in the house on August 25 and from the diagnosis it was established he had broken a hipbone. He suffered a blackout because of low blood pressure,” he said.
His elder brother found him in the house and took him to the Avenues Clinic from where he was transferred to South Africa.

“He bled quite profusely from the gush on the forehead,” he said.
Vijay said his father’s body would be cremated on Wednesday at 14:30 pm at the Pioneer Cemetery in keeping with Hindu tradition.
He said some of the ashes would be buried at the Pioneer Cemetery while others would be buried at the family home.

Some of the ashes would be taken to India to be thrown into the Ganges River.
“If the Zanu-PF Politburo accords him any status there would still be some ashes to be buried,” he said.

He said his father was a “father to many people” and was an advisor to his colleagues in Zanu-PF and the Hindu community.
Cde Patel operated Kutaura Enterprises that majored in textiles and clothing manufacturing.
He was born on October 28 in Dharmaj, Gujarat State in India to a peasant family.

He did his primary and secondary education at Dharmaj and proceeded to do a BA general at the University of Bombay.
He however, cut short his studies when he decided to come to Africa.

Cde Patel first went to Zambia in 1951 where he worked as an assistant shopkeeper for a year.
He rebelled against injustices inflicted on shop assistants and formed a shop assistants union to fight the injustices.

For two years he was unemployed, but later became a teacher at Greenacre School in Kalomo.
Because of racial injustices that barred Indians from travelling to Southern Rhodesia without passports, Cde Patel established relations with the African National Congress and later UNIP to fight colonial domination.

He came to Zimbabwe in 1961 where he quickly linked with the National Democratic Party and Zimbabwe African People’s Union.
He helped radicalise the struggle for independence.
From 1979 to 1981 he was the secretary general of the Hindu society.

Cde Patel was in the 1960s the district treasurer of Zapu in Norton district.

At the height of student activism in the 1970s that saw a number of radical black students expelled from the University of Rhodesia, Cde Patel and other members of the progressive Indian community started a trust called Sarasvati Education Trust to raise funds for scholarships for black students.

The fund afforded them to pursue university education elsewhere.
The Trust gave up to 25 scholarships per year for about five years.
In 1969, he helped organise the Gandhi Centenary Celebrations in the then Rhodesia to commemorate the contribution made by Mahatma Gandhi to the struggles of independence of the people of Southern Africa.

In 1980, he became the interim chairman of the Zanu-PF Tongogara Ridgeview branch.
Cde Patel worked with the likes of Cde Nathan Shamuyarira and the late national heroes Cdes Maurice Nyagumbo and Herbert Ushewokunze.
When the branch was finally established he was elected its vice-chairman.

In 1981 he was elected into the Zanu-PF district executive committee of the Harare Central branch.
He rose to become its treasurer. He was then elected to be the provincial financial secretary.

In 1985, President Mugabe appointed him a senator.
Five years later, he was again appointed Non Constituency Member of Parliament.
In 2005 he was again appointed to the senate.

Until his death, he sat on the national board of Trustees of the Child Survival and Development Foundation and was a board member of the 21st February Movement.
At one time he was an executive member of the Commonwealth Parliamentarians Association.
He was the treasurer of the Zimbabwe-India Friendship Association through which the Jawaharlal Nehru-Robert Mugabe Scholarship fund was established.

At the Zanu-PF congress in 1994, he was elevated into the Central Committee.
In 1995 he was re-elected a Member of Parliament and served on the public accounts and technical portfolios.
In 1999, he was again re-elected into the Central Committee and subsequently elevated to the Zanu-PF Politburo as deputy secretary for finance in 2004.

At the time of his death he was a committee member in the Zanu-PF Politburo.
Central committee member Cde Noah Mangondo described Cde Patel as a true nationalist who supported the cause of majority rule in Zimbabwe.
A member of the Hindu community, Mr Dhaya Lalabhai described Cde Patel as a dynamic man who worked well with all people.

“We are missing Mr K.G very deeply. His death is a big loss to the community and the nation,’ he said.
Mourners are gathered at Number 31 Anison Drive, Ridgeview.
Cde Patel is survived by three children and seven grandchildren.
His wife died in 1973.

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