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In memory of Learnmore Jongwe

By Asher Mutsengi

ON October 23 2002, the nation awoke to the news that Learnmore Jongwe has passed on while in the hands of the state. I was struck deep with solemnity


No informed person could well deny that Jongwe was probably the most spectacular spokesperson in the history of Zimbabwe’s politics.

Like Moses before him, he had the task of leading a people to freedom, the task of healing the festering wounds of a nation’s man-made flaws.

Like Moses he never lived to see the promised land. But he pointed the way for us — a land no longer torn asunder with intolerance, tyranny, ethnic strife and poverty.

A land in which strength is defined not by the capacity to wage violence but by the determination to forge peace — a land in which all Zimbabweans come together in true patriotic pride. We have not yet arrived at this longed for place, but he passed on the torch.

I remember not one moment of tragedy, but a short life of great purpose and achievement.

May it impress upon all of us that the greatest homage we can pay to Jongwe and all those who have paid with their lives in the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe, is to work together for a society based on the principles of justice and true democracy to which he dedicated his life.

* Mutsengi writes from Canada.

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