By News Editor
Norton Legislator Temba Mliswa has paid an emotional tribute following the passing on of Kwekwe Central MP Masango Matambanadzo.
Matambanadzo died in July this year following suspected food poisoning suspicions.
Raising a motion in the National Assembly recently Mliswa described Blackman as Matambanadzo was affectionately known as, “a rare individual in many aspects.”
“He always wanted to give you the impression that he did not know what he was doing until he spoke, that showed humility and that he certainly wanted to give way to a lot of people,” Mliswa said.
Mliswa further added that Matambanadzo’s contributions in the National Assembly were not only based on facts but he was also fearless in his discharge of duty and immensely contributed to national interests.
In Kwekwe Blackman was a much loved legislator a fact which Mliswa attested.
“Matambanadzo was a people’s person who was a member of the ruling party and left the ruling party but still managed to win his constituency, Kwekwe Central which is really a constituency that is well-known for a lot of dirty politics.
“This is the home of artisanal mining which is backed by a number of politicians for their survival, but being the person that he was Madam Speaker, he managed to prevail over what most people would not do.
“As we know that Kwekwe is in the Midlands Province and the Midlands Province is a stronghold for the politics of this country. Kwekwe being a stronghold for the politics of ZANU PF. A rare attribute of Hon. Matambanadzo was to be able to win that election under the National People’s Party (NPP). The NPP was a party which was formed out of members of the ruling party who had been expelled, expelled out of mere personal issues more than party issues. This was a tendency which had been created in just point out somebody whom you did not like and because of the powers that be, one would then be expelled from the party,” Mliswa said.
He further added that Matambanadzo was someone who had deep love for Zanu PF. “In all my time of knowing him having been in Kwekwe myself buying a lot of cattle and property at the time he was the District Chairman for ZANU PF. He was loyal to the President, Cde. E.D Mnangagwa.
“He was loyal to his party but there are people within the party who feared his closeness to the President and gave him a label which is not befitting of Hon. Matambanadzo.
“He worked hard relentlessly for the artisanal mining sector in this country. I was the Chairperson for the Mines and Energy Committee as well as the Mining Development Committee. I must say that it was a pleasure to Chair a Committee which had Hon. Matambanadzo because at any given time he would say the right things and the things that most people would not say. Unfortunately, most people do not say the right things; they say things that please people. Hon. Matambanadzo was very clear in educating us on the artisanal mining sector, how important it was. He was one of those practical artisanal miners who also ran his own mine successful.Hon. Matambanadzo is known as a person who presented a position paper to the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Mangudya in how this country must carry out artisanal mining where it would benefit the country, it would benefit the people. His proposal was taken on board, most people do not know but the success of the artisanal miners was a result of the proposal that was accepted.Hon. Matambanadzo was a person who had an extremely intelligent mind,” Mliswa said.
He further explained that Blackman was a kind individual.”Hon. Matambanadzo was a kind man. He was once kind to me. For that reason he came from Hurungwe West, Masanga area where I was once a Member of Parliament and equally DCC Chairman, Provincial Chairman and Central Committee Member, he approached me to assist me in acquiring a mine.
“He said to me I do not want you to even give me money. I will use my money for you to get a claim. Hon. Mliswa the moment you start gold mining you will live nhaka nehupfumi hwevana venyu. That was the man that I am talking about. He was selfless and somebody who was willing to share his wealth,” Mliswa said.
Matambanadzo, according to Mliswa was someone who was prepared to pay for trips from his own pockets.
“Honourable colleagues here will attest to the fact that when we went on trips, he was more than happy to pay for everyone himself. When you were in Kwekwe, you knew you were at home because Hon. Matambanadzo would be there. This could be said equally of the likes of Hon. Matangira, when you are in Bindura you know that you are at home. Hon. Matambanadzo made us feel at home. He made sure that we travelled well. He made sure he was present and it would be very difficult Madam Speaker to embark on a trip in Kwekwe Central without Hon. Matambanadzo, the difficulty being who would receive you graciously? Who will be able to make sure that you have eaten? Who will be able to make sure that you have gone back and arrived safely? This is the rare attribute that Hon. Matambanadzo had. Hon. Matambanadzo being a member of the NPP and myself being an independent Member of Parliament shared a lot in common. We had our own ways of communicating. We had our own ways of caucusing in terms of how we would debate issues, how we would tackle issues of national interests,” Mliswa said in his moving speech.
He added that Matambanadzo was a colourful dresser.
“Hon. Matambanadzo, you will all agree had a certain style of dressing. He was a cowboy. He had a flamboyant life. He liked his tight jeans. He liked boots and he liked his hat. You cannot dress in that manner if you do not have what it takes. If I can just share with Members of Parliament that cowboy boot is about US$500, the jeans equally as much and the hat is about a thousand. So at any given time, he was worth US$2 thousand with what he was putting on. He had the means through his transparent acquisition of wealth through the gold projects that he ran,” he said.
Mliswa said Matambanadzo was someone who spoke his mind. “I recall many times when we would try and finish the meeting on time but he would not be happy until he said what was in his heart. He spoke his mind and we learnt with time to give him the space to be able to speak to us on issues that he had which were of a developmental nature. Hon. Matambanadzo, unfortunately is one of those people who as I have said before loved his party ZANU PF, the current President but the politics of the Midlands and Kwekwe would not tolerate such a person.
“It also teaches us that there are people who would like to be close to the President and the powers that be yet they mislead the leaders. Hon. Matambanadzo was not one who would bootlick. There are people who are in power because they patronise and lie. Hon. Matambanadzo was not that sort of person. He was somebody who was honest in his approach, who did a lot. “In Hurungwe West where he hailed from, he would always talk to me when he left Hurungwe West on what was on the ground. He would say Hon. Mliswa, you need to go to Masanga School. The bridge is not looking good, can you go and assist. Not only would he just ask me to go and assist, but he would also give his assistance to that area. He was somebody who Hurungwe West today though he came from Kwekwe, will never forget their son of the soil who was very much in sync with what was going on. We saw Hon. Matambanadzo ailing and we all saw that here. He was a fighter. Not many people would be able to be given so much time in the state that he was in. At some point we all looked at him when he walked in and we said, waal is this Hon. Matambanadzo? As people who have a heart you could not say much; you just watched but still he never at all put that as a focus to anything he wanted to do. It was never an impediment. He still came in Parliament. He still wanted to speak in Parliament to represent national interest. He still would go and approach the Speaker so that he is given an opportunity to speak. Today, I see other Members of Parliament who are well to do health-wise but have never said a thing. This is the man who had national interest at heart,” Mliswa poured his heart out.
Mliswa also drew attention to Matambanadzo’s last sojourn to China.
“Hon. Matambanadzo told me that, ‘Hon. Mliswa, I am going to China. I do not know, I might be back and I might not be back but extend and convey that message to the Speaker’. I conveyed the message to the Speaker and the Speaker being a man of compassion said, ‘why did he not come and tell me so that I also see him and also wish him all the best?’. He would not go without the necessary protocols of ensuring that the Leader of the House, the Speaker know where he is.
“The Speaker asked me, ‘do you have his contact details so that I can also get hold of him and wish him the best”.
He would be with his wife whenever we went away and still in high spirit despite the challenges health wise he was facing. What worries and concerns me is – shall we always go to China for treatment when we are sick? If anything had happened to him in China, the State had the resources to fly him back but the resources of flying him back and expenses of an out of the country funeral is more expensive than the money that had been set aside for him to be taken care of by a good institution. When is our health sector going to be meaningful to a point that we do not have to go to China? For those who cannot afford to go to China who are not like Hon. Matambanadzo who had his own means and who was a well known gold producer, what do they do?” he rhetorically asked.
He added, “Madam Speaker, Hon. colleagues of Parliament here, lessons must be learnt and when lessons are learnt, we must be in the forefront of pushing things which will not affect one of us tomorrow. I am hoping that in unison and in the good memory of Hon. Matambanadzo, we push for a good health sector in our country.”
“Hon. Matambanadzo as a good man. A man who was always smart, he dressed his own style, he did things his way and you would appreciate that. It is not many people who live their lives the way they want to live it, they always live for others. He lived his life to the fullest, we must also be able to talk about the good that somebody does.
” We seem to be in the habit of talking about the bad that people do, even the former late President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, R.G. Mugabe. On his first anniversary, nothing was said about him yet if you look at his history and the good he did, we did not say that. It talks a lot about us as a people but tomorrow you are next. Would you want people to also talk about the good things you did. We seem to want to focus on the bad.
I want us to attribute this debate to the good things that Hon. Matambanadzo did that we remember him for.
“Hon. Matambanadzo was a family man, a man who gave his family what he wanted, and a man who amongst other man, will stand tall. Madam Speaker, there is a difference between a man, a father and a husband, I want to say this. There are other people who are men but not fathers. They are other people who are fathers but not men, they are other people who are men, father but not husband. Hon. Matambanadzo was a man, a father and a husband, the three things that mark ubuntu for a man, he was that.
“We must get lessons from him that he was proud to be with his wife. Most of us here; for me, I am still single, I can be with anybody. Most people here never travel with their wives,” he said.
Mliswa added, “He was not shy to be with his wife and introduce her.” “He certainly was proud of his wife, he was proud of this family and he is a man who fended for his family in all aspects,” he said.
He emphasized, “Never will there be another Hon. Masango Matambanadzo. He was a unique character.
“Kwekwe is a difficult constituency to win and I remember in one of his campaigns, he was put on the shoulders by the supporters. He was speaking and they had him on their shoulders for hours while he addressed. The question that I have for the colleague Members of Parliament is how many people can do that for you in your constituency? It was because he stood for the people. He represented the people effectively, he was always there for the people of Kwekwe, the people of Kwekwe Central will never be the same again without the Late Hon. Matambanadzo.
” These are the sort of Hon. Members and people of this nation who deserve a street to be named after them even in the high density. How do we remember him for what he did? You could not talk about artisanal mining without talking about the Late Hon. Matambanadzo. You could not talk about politics in its entirety without mentioning him. The Late Hon. Mambanadzo will be missed solemnly in Hurungwe West where he comes from and one of the things which I really lament is that I moved this motion because I felt in my heart that if I do not do it, no one would. May I implore all of us that when somebody dies, may we be humane and forget about which party he belongs to. May we all come here and contribute to what the Hon. Member did. May I challenge the parties to say even if I am not a member of your party, when I am no more, when God decides to take me, may you just allow me to be debated on as a member who served in this House for national interest.”We know that the Kwekwe Central Constituency will not be the same without him, there will be war. He was the peacemaker for Kwekwe Central Constituency and many people knew that he was a responsible Member who acted like the bull of the community. Bull of the community, may you rest in peace, may you go well.”