Fidelis Munyoro Senior Reporter
zanu-pf has paid tribute to the late Mozambican president Samora Moises Machel, describing him as a true giant of history who will be remembered for generations to come for his role in the liberation of Southern African states from colonial bondage.
Cde Machel died in a plane crash in the Lebombo Mountains in Mbuzini on October 19, 1986.
He died along 33 others, including ministers and officials.
The plane crash mystery is still unsolved 32 years after his demise.
zanu-pf spokesman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said yesterday marked the darkest day in the history of the liberation struggle in Southern Africa and Africa at large.
He said Cde Machel met his demise when he was coming from Zambia where he and his frontline colleagues had attended a summit to accelerate the liberation of Southern Africa.
At the time Namibia and South Africa were the only two countries still under colonial rule.
Cde Khaya Moyo, who attributed the demise of Cde Machel to South Africa’s apartheid regime, said: “Cde Machel was a strategist of immense proportion and a commander of impeccable liberation war credentials.”
Cde Khaya Moyo, who is also a zanu-pf Politburo member, said in Cde Machel Africa lost a principled leader who knew no compromise when it came to matters of freedom and justice.
“He was a man of vision and destiny. We will cherish his legacy everlastingly. His deeds live forever and what he achieved for Africa’s liberation is irreversible.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said Zimbabwe will always be grateful to his contribution to her liberation and independence.
“The fraternal relations between zanu-pf and the Frelimo (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique) shall always grow from strength to strength,” he said.
Cde Machel was the leader of the Frelimo which toppled the colonial Portuguese government through guerrilla warfare in 1974.
He became the first black president of Mozambique in 1975.
His government accommodated liberation fighters from South Africa and Zimbabwe, who were still battling to overthrow the apartheid and Rhodesian governments respectively.
The cause of Cde Machel’s plane crash remains a mystery, but it is believed that South Africa’s apartheid government might have had a hand in the accident.