Tanda Tavaruva (Mhunga)
Tanda Tavaruva.jpg
BornTanda Tavaruva
1936
Nerupiri, Gutu, Zimbabwe
Died2020
Rhodene, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Cause of deathdiabetes and hypertension
NationalityZimbabwean
OccupationBusinessman
OrganizationMhunga Bus Service and Masvingo United Football Club
Known forBeing the owner of Mhunga Buses and former Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League team Masvingo United Football Club
Spouse(s)Pelagia
ChildrenGodfrey, Godwin, Nyararai, Cornelius

Tanda Tavaruva was a successfully Zimbabwean businessman who owned the Mhunga Buses and former Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League football team Masvingo United Football Club and lower-tier football side, Gutu Leopards Football Club. He was declared a liberation war hero for his role in the liberation of Zimbabwe and his contribution to the socio-economic welfare of the people of Masvingo in particular and the nation at large after independence.

Background

Tanda Tavaruva was born in Nerupiri in Gutu, and was married to Pelagia and the couple had six children (five sons and a daughter). He was a businessman and passionate football fan who founded Masvingo United Football Club, which scaled greater heights at its peak in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League and came within a whisker of winning the championship, many times. He was a pioneer indigenous transporter who changed the face of the transport sector in Masvingo and the nation at large. The late Tavaruva was in line to assume the Gutu chieftainship as a descendant of the Madyira clan.[1]

During his business hey days in the 1990s and early 2000s, Mr Tavaruva who became known as Mhunga was the toast of Masvingo Province with his buses literally ruling the province’s roads and country at large. A series of accidents resulted in the Government suspending his transport business in 2009 and from there he has never really recovered. Years after the suspension, he suffered a stroke and he has been confined to a wheelchair since then.[2]

Business Empire

Mhunga Bus

He moved his business to Zimbabwe from Zambia out of sheer patriotism, and watched the business environment desecrate all he worked for. He was a prominent bus mogul and Masvingo businessman, and owner of the famed Masvingo United Football Club which played in the Premier Soccer League.[3] He changed the face of the transport sector in Masvingo as one of the pioneers. He is famous for being the operator of Mhunga Buses. Mhunga rose to prominence during the 1990s when his buses serviced the busy Masvingo – Harare route. His brand became very popular as his buses were new and well serviced. The buses competed with Harare based Musasiwa Bus service, Kukura Kurerwa and Government owned ZUPCO. He was also an agriculturalist.[4] At his peak, Tavaruva was one of the biggest employers in Masvingo, as he had a fleet of buses that plied most of the countries’ highways and most of the popular routes were Harare-Chiredzi, Harare-Masvingo and Chiredzi-Bulawayo.

Social Responsibility

Many football players managed to see the world by standing on Mudhara Mhunga’s shoulders. Of note is Costa Nhamoinesu who even played in the UEFA champions league. The players did not only benefit through exposure but financially, educationally and socially. The list of beneficiaries is endless. Of note are Lloyd Hlahla, Maxwell Chambara, Roland Madziva(the late), Asmin Rupanga, Raymond Undi, Godfrey Dondo, Joe Kwangware, Douglas Zimbango, Johnson Zimbabe, Ovidy Karuru etc.[5]

Death

Tavaruva died at his Rhodene home on 11 May 2020 after battling diabetes and hypertension for a long time. He was buried at Mangwandi Cemetery on 14 May 2020.[6]

References

  1. George Maponga, [1], Herald, Published: 12 May, 2020, Accessed: 14 May, 2020
  2. Walter Mswazie, [2], The Sunday News, Published: 3 November, 2019, Accessed: 14 May, 2020
  3. Tatenda Chitagu, [3], Newsday, Published: 12 May, 2020, Accessed: 14 May, 2020
  4. Tim E. Ndoro, [4], iHarare, Published: 12 May, 2020, Accessed: 14 May, 2020
  5. Mugova Benjamin Makanyire, [5], ZimEye, Published: 13 May, 2020, Accessed: 14 May, 2020
  6. George Maponga, [6], The Herald, Published: 13 May, 2020, Accessed: 14 May, 2020