April 1, 1937
|Died||June 7, 2011(aged 74)|
|National Heroes Acre|
Edgar Zivanai 'Two-boy' Tekere was a Zimbabwean nationalist politician who played a crucial role in the liberation struggle. Tekere's reached the peak of his political career during the reign of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) party when he was a cabinet minister.
Edgar Tekere was born and spent much of his childhood in the Penhalonga area of Mutare. He attended St Augustine's Penhalonga school for his secondary education. I t is here where he earned himself thee name 'Twoboy' from his schoolmates due to his somewhat unruly character.
His political career gathered momentum in the early 1960s when he joined ZAPU under the leadership of Joshua Nkomo. However, in 1962, Nkomo engaged in an initiative to get rid of his internal opponents resulted in him expelling the likes of Tekere together with Robert Mugabe, Enos Nkala and Ndabaningi Sithole. In 1963, Tekere helped found the Zimbabwe African National Union, or Zanu, in Rhodesia. The following year, the party was banned, and Tekere and Robert Mugabe, then the party’s secretary general, were jailed as Prime Minister Ian Smith’s government sought to crush demands for black majority rule. He spent ten years at Hwa Hwa prison. After their release in 1975, they crossed into Mozambique, which had become a base for a guerrilla warriors. Soon after independence, Tekere was appointed a cabinet minister. At the Independence celebrations in 1980, he personally invited the popular reggae icon Bob Marley to perform at Rufaro Stadium.
Post Independence Politics
In the early 1980s, Tekere was involved in a murder case in which he, together with his seven body guards were accused of killing a white farmer. In the early 1990s Tekere fell out of Mugabe's favour when he began to oppose the newly adopted one party state ideology. He was expelled from the Zanu PF party and formed his Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) party. In 1995, he successfully contested the elections against Zanu PF and effectively averted the birth of a one party state in Zimbabwe. His defeat in the elections of 1995 ushered in his political demise which saw his departure from public life. Tekere wrote a book titled "A Lifetime of Struggle" which was published in 2007. The book is an autobiography in which he portrays himself as a prototype nationalist who fought for nothing but the good of the people. He dedicated the bigger chunk of his book in articulating his political differences with Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
From around 2007, Tekere began to sympathise with opposition movements such as the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai which opposed his former party Zanu PF. In 2009, he was a guest at the MDC's 10th Anniversary in Harare. He also attended the Launch of Simba Makoni's Mavambo Party. After his death, he was declared a national heroe was buried at the National Heroes Acres.
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- T. Grundy, Obituary: Edgar Tekere 1937-2011, The Zimbabwean, Published:17 Jun 2011, Retrieved:1 Jul 2014"
- C.W Dugger, Edgar Tekere, Leader in Fight for Zimbabwe Independence, Dies at 74, New York Times, Published:9 Jun 2011,Retrieved:1 Jul 2014"
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- , Breaking News: Nationalist Edgar Tekere declared national hero, "NewsDay", published:9 Jun 2011,retrieved:2 Jul 2014"