Ellen Gwaradzimba
Ellen Gwaradzimba.jpg
BornEllen Munyoro
Gutu
DiedJanuary 15, 2021(2021-01-15) (aged 60)
Harare
Cause of deathCovid-19
OccupationPolitician
Political partyZanu-PF
Spouse(s)Widowed

Ellen Gwaradzimba was a Zimbabwean politician and Zanu-PF member. At the time of her death, she was Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister.

Background

Gwaradzimba was born and raised in a family of freedom fighters where five of her brothers, aunt and her father fought in the liberation struggle.[1]

Age

She was born Ellen Munyoro on 25 December 1960 in Gutu, Masvingo.[2]

Husband

She was a widow.[2] Gwaradzimba met her husband, Godfrey Mtausi Gwaradzimba in 1978 during the Second Chimurenga, resulting in the birth of the couple’s first child, Remembrance. The couple briefly stayed together before they were separated for four years, reuniting in 1981 after the war.[1]

School / Education

She had a doctorate. She studied at the University of Zimbabwe and University of Fort Hare in South Africa. She did her primary and secondary education at Ngwindi Primary School in Hippo Valley and Mashoko Christian Secondary School in Bikita, Masvingo respectively.[2] Gwaradzimba resumed her studies and completed them in ten years.[1]

Second Chimurenga Contribution

Gwaradzimba joined the liberation struggle aged 16. She carried her school report book with the hope that opportunities would avail themselves and enable her to go overseas to fulfil her father’s aspiration to be a medical doctor.

When she got to Mozambique, Gwaradzimba immediately left for training in Tanzania at Nachingwea Military Academy where she majored in guerrilla, conventional and regular warfare before her deployment to Gaza Province.

She also served as secretary to William Ndangana and Kumbirai Kangai, deputy secretary for the department of transport and social welfare (Maputo Office).[1]

Political Career

She was first elected Senator during the 30 July 2018 Harmonised Elections.[2] She was appointed the Provincial Affairs Minister for Manicaland Province in 2019.

From 2001 to 2009 she was the Provincial Chairperson of the Women’s League and from 2010 to 2018 she was the Secretary for Administration and a Central Committee Member in Manicaland Province.[2]


General Career

She served as a principal Lecturer at Mutare Polytechnic, Dean of Students at Africa University and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.[2]

Apart from her work in the academic arena, Gwaradzimba also served on different boards that include Manicaland Development Association, Zimpapers, Forestry Commission, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board and GMB.[1]

Events

Seizure of Farfell Coffee Estate

In February 2019 it was reported that Gwaradzimba's son Remembrance Mbudzana had been allocated part of Farfell Coffee Estate, a farm belonging Richard Le Vieux. It was widely speculated that this had happened through Gwaradzimba's influence. Gwaradzimba herself did not comment on the development.

In May Le Vieux was dragged to court for allegedly refusing to vacate part of his farm for Remembrance Mbudzana. He appeared before a Chipinge magistrate where he pleaded not guilty to contravening section 3(2) ()a) as read with section (3)(3) of the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act (occupying gazetted land without lawful authority).

Le Vieux refused to hand over part of the farm and was taken to court. However, it was reported in June that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had intervened to secure Le Vieux the farm.

Umzila farm

Lameck Bvurere and Terrence Machocho were involved in a dispute over Umzila Farm. Lameck Bvurere was given an eviction notice on 14 February 2020 to leave Subdivision 2 of Stilfontein of Umzila farm, which he had been farming since 2009. He had made various improvements on the said piece of land including 10 roomed farmhouse, livestock pens, 100 metric ton of maize stack and drilling a borehole. The farm included export quality macadamia nuts and sixty (60) herd of cattle. It is near Chipinge.

Terrence Machocho who was part of Gwaradzimba's staff, had an offer letter he obtained in November 2019.

Bvurere challenged the eviction notice at the High Court, saying he was being illegally evicted from the Chipinge farm. He said, "I received a notice of eviction, and at this point I became aware that there were proceedings instituted against me at the court. I was not served with any process relating to this matter until l received the notice of eviction."

Bvurere wrote a letter to the Lands ministry protesting the eviction. [3]

Death

On January 15, 2021, there were reports that Gwaradzimba had died at a private hospital in Harare.[4] Tinoda Machakaire confirmed on Facebook that Gwaradzimba had died from Covid-19. He wrote:

My sincerest condolences to the Gwaradzimba and the entire Manicaland province family on the untimely passing on of Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba. She succumbed to COVID-19. We have been robbed once again of a hardworking and dedicated cadre. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

[5]

Gwaradzimba was conferred national hero status by Emmerson Mnangagwa.[6]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ruth Butaumocho, Meet Gwaradzimba: The people’s person, The Herald, Published: October 23, 2018, Retrieved: January 17, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 HON GWARADZIMBA ELLEN, Parliament of Zimbabwe, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: January 6, 2021
  3. Top Govt official grabs farm and its crops, cattle, house, everything, Zimbabwe Voice, Published: 25 February 2020, Retrieved: 13 April 2020
  4. NewsDay, Twitter, Published: January 15, 2021, Retrieved: January 15, 2021
  5. Ellen Gwaradzimba succumbs to Covid-19, Zim Morning Post, Published: January 15, Retrieved: January 15, 2021
  6. Malianga, Gwaradzimba declared national heroes, The Sunday Mail, Published: January 17, 2021, Retrieved: January 17, 2021