Learnmore "Judah" Jongwe was a former member of the House of Assembly for Kuwadzana constituency who died in remand prison while standing trial for the alleged murder of his wife. Jongwe was also a student leader at the University of Zimbabwe where his political career took off.
Born in Zhombe on the 28th of April 1974, Learnmore Jongwe rose to become one of the most outspoken and vibrant members of the Movement for Democratic Change. From his early days at the University of Zimbabwe, Jongwe was actively involved in student activism alongside the likes of Takura Zhangazha, Pedzisayi Ruhanya and Daniel Molokele . He became the first spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change at the party’s inaugural congress before he allegedly stabbed his wife eight times in the chest in a domestic altercation after which she died in July 2002. Learnmore Jongwe allegedly committed suicide on the 24th of October 2002 under suspicious circumstances.
Jongwe did his advanced level at Lower Gwelo Mission between 1993 and 1994 after which he then proceeded to the University of Zimbabwe where he studied for his law degree in 1995.
Career as a Lawyer
Soon after graduating, Learnmore Jongwe was employed by Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans as a professional assistant at one of the then most prominent Law Firms in the country.
The political career of Learnmore Jongwe took off at the University of Zimbabwe. In 1995, he was elected into the committee of the Zimbabwe Law Students Association (ZILSA). The following year Jongwe was elected President of the Student Representative Council and after that was elected President of a Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU). Two years later, Jongwe broke into National politics where landed the position of Interim Youth Chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999 which was just beginning. He was then elected as the first Spokesperson of the Party at the inaugural congress. In the year 2000 Jongwe was elected as a member of parliament for Kuwadzana Constituency in Harare, a position he held until his eventual demise in 2002. Due to his outspokenness as the spokesperson of the MDC, Jongwe was tipped by many to be the natural successor of Morgan Tsvangirai.It is strongly believed that Jongwe was poisoned in Chikurubi Prison.
The personal life of Learnmore Jongwe has been a contested terrain with friends, colleagues and workmates speaking glowingly while the relatives of his late wife hold a sharply contrasting view altogether. Some of the people who worked closely with the late Jongwe include Nelson Chamisa and Daniel Molokele. Molokele highlighted that he knew a different Jongwe from the one who allegedly killed his wife. He pointed out that
the death of Jongwe not only robbed his family of a breadwinner, his party of a charismatic leader, but also the nation, was robbed of a potential national leader and statesman”.
This testimony by Molokele shows the charismatic leader in Jongwe. Notwithstanding his aforementioned good attributes, the Muusha’s (Jongwe’s in laws) do not seem to have fond memories of their late son in law. The brother of Jongwe’s late wife pointed out that
people like Jongwe maintained a good public image but were monsters in their own homes which is why he killed my sister.
- Committee member of Zimbabwe Law Students Association (1995 to 1996)
- President of Student Representative Council (1996 to 1997)
- President of Zimbabwe National Students Association ( 1997)
- Interim Youth Chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change (1999)
- First substantive Spokesperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (1999)
- Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana Constituency (2000 to 2002)
- Is Learnmore Jongwe a Hero or a Psychopath?, Bulawayo 24News, Published: October 22, 2013, Retrieved: July 8, 2014
- Percy F makombe, LEARNMORE: THE TWO DEBATES, NewZimbabwe, Published: December 11, 2009, Retrieved: July 8, 2014
- Misa, Learnmore Jongwe controversy re-ignited, The Zimbabwean, Published: October 26, 2009, Retrieved: July 8, 2014