Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter—
President Mugabe yesterday mourned national hero and former Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Senator Aguy Georgias, who died in Harare last week, describing him as a visionary entrepreneur and shrewd businessman who was determined to see justice being delivered to all.
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An economic empowerment crusader and anti-sanctions lobbyist, the Zanu-PF Central Committee member, who was also former Economic Development Deputy Minister, single-handedly fought against the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe in the European Court to ensure economic justice.
In his condolence message, President Mugabe described Sen Georgias as a visionary entrepreneur and shrewd businessman who was reliable and served Zanu-PF with honour and distinction.
“On behalf of Zanu-PF, Government, which he so served with honour and distinction, and on my behalf, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Georgias family, urging them to stand strong and united as they mourn the passing on of their beloved father. The nation shares in their grief and has seen it appropriate to give Cde Georgias the highest honour and respect of a national hero. He deserved it.
“I learn with a deep sense of sadness and sorrow of the death in the early hours of Friday of Sen Georgias after a long battle with heart and kidney complications. A senator and a long serving member of my Government, Sen Georgias will be remembered for his dauntless and uncompromising stance against injustice, most notably against our country.
“Defying all odds, using personal resources and even running ahead of the national legal response to these iniquitous sanctions, Cde Georgias challenged Britain and the European Union through their own respective legal systems, all in a bid to secure justice and redress for himself and for his country. Expectedly, both systems would not rule in his favour, in the process exposing themselves as unjust legal systems that are given to legitimising hegemonic plans of the West in international relations. Here at home, how many will remember his successful fight against unfair principle which allowed financial institutions to charge interest well in excess of the principal sum borrowed,” he said.
President Mugabe said Sen Georgias was a businessman whose com-pany, Trinity Engineering, tackled giants in the business of heavy-duty trailer and coach building even breaking into markets well beyond Zimbabwe’s borders.
He recalled an incident where Sen Georgias sought assistance from the President to recover money owed to him by a government in East Africa, which had contracted him to supply trailers.
“Such was the reach of his well- rated product. Such was his practical way of showing the huge scope available to local indigenous businesses. We relied on him to equip the logistical side of our security establishment. He thus leaves behind a very rich and diverse legacy for us to relish and admire, indeed for us to aspire to and to treasure in our national quest for beneficiation and value under Zim-Asset.”
Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Dr Christopher Mushohwe yesterday said Sen Georgias was one of the few people who loved their country right from independence and continued to work for the nation after 1980.
He said Sen Georgias was one person who apart from being a Government official, fought side by side with President Mugabe against the British.
“He took the British to court against the illegal sanctions that we are still lumbered with. He used his resources to fight against the British and that kind of bravery was something that Zimbabweans should emulate,” he said.
Cde Mushohwe said Sen Georgias had the people at heart to the extent of forfeiting his huge business for the interests of the people.
“I respected him. We were very close. I looked up to him as a mentor, father and model. We will miss a man who believed in economic empowerment and indigenisation practically and not just as a talk show. We are happy that God gave us a man who was straight forward, a man who would live up to the ideologies of real freedom of the people. He fought a good fight and we will follow the path he paved for us especially in the current revolution of economic empowerment. We wish other politicians could learn from Sen Georgias,” he said.
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede described Sen Georgias as a close friend who fought for the country without pretence.
‘I knew him as a friend. We were very close and we did most of the things together. He is undoubtedly a true national hero. We have lost a man who was strong. The honour bestowed on him as a national hero is worthy,” he said.
Zanu-PF provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe described Sen Georgias as a patriot who was generous and offered financial support to spearhead party programmes.
He said Harare province had lost a gallant son whose gap would not be easy to fill.
“Sen Georgias worked well with other party members and represented the coloured community. He was patriotic and assisted the party spearheading several programmes. He supported the party morally and financially. He approached the courts to fight against sanctions.
“We are glad that he has been accorded the national hero status, which befits him because of his hard work for the party and the nation. We will go to the national shrine in our multitudes to bid farewell to the true visionary and gallant son of the revolution, a true embodiment of economic empowerment,” he said.
Sen Georgias’ wife, Mrs Jane Linda, said her husband did a lot for the family and the country.
“I am grateful to President Mugabe for honouring my husbands with the national hero status. There is nothing that he would have been asked to do for the nation that he would refuse. He left without completing his work and his vision and I hope to continue with his wish to fight for justice for everyone,’ she said.
Sen Georgias died in the early hours of Friday at AMI Hospital in Harare where he had been admitted.
He was 80.
He succumbed to kidney and heart failure.
He will be buried tomorrow at the National Heroes Acre.
Mourners are gathered at Rocky Lodge, Browning Drive, Strathaven in Harare.