Benson Muchineuta, the director of security in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has died.
Muchineuta, popularly known in MDC circles as Okollo, reportedly died in the early hours of Monday after a short illness.
Muchineuta was among a few lieutenants who became Mr. Tsvangirai’s bodyguards at the formation of the MDC in 1999.
He rose through the ranks to be in the close protection wing when the unity government was formed in 2009. At the time of his death, Muchineuta was the MDC-T’s security director.
MDCT officials said “Okollo” died at his house in Harare’s Glen Norah suburb but mourners are gathered at the family residence in Highfield.
The opposition’s national spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said his party is in shock following the death of their party cadre.
Mr. Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, described Muchineuta as a committed cadre, adding that the former prime minister, who visited the deceased’s family home in Highfield earlier Monday to pay his condolences, was saddened by Muchieneuta’s death.
Meanwhile, Mwonzora urged the party’s leadership to put aside their differences and concentrate on what he called the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe.
Mwonzora said all MDC members who passed on will rest in peace if the MDC delivers change to majority Zimbabweans.
Mwonzora said it is also saddening that his party’s members who are passing on are doing so at a very tender age.
Muchineuta, 44, joined the MDC-T leader’s security department at the formation of the opposition party in 1999.
Okollo is survived by his wife and a number of children. He will be buried in his rural home of Buhera, on Wednesday.