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Minister Makone's Daughter Speaks Out on Sister's Death

Taneta, the oldest daughter of Co-Home Affairs Minister Teresa Makone and her husband, Ian, an advisor to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, released a heartfelt tribute to her sister, Nyarai, who committed suicide on Saturday after battling “depression for a little more than eight years".

Nyarai was found dead at her family home in Domboshava while her parents were attending the Orange Democratic Movement’s Convention with the Prime Minister in Kenya.

“Suicide is never the answer to any problem and I wish she had not taken this extreme way out," Taneta wrote about her only sibling on her Facebook page.

"But she has been welded to an unbearable well of suffering for 8 years with no respite, an agony whose depth became abundantly clear when we found her body … Lifeless but incredibly at peace, visually at least, my baby sister appears to have found the rest she so desperately sought for 8 years.

Taneta said everyday of those eight years was a struggle in handling a regime of countless medicines “to manage the extremes of her condition, visiting psychologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, relying also on extensive prayer, fasting, retreats, music, art and design and virtually anything to restore herself to a sense of equilibrium”.

She said: “There are so many living angels amongst us who did all they could to help my sister. Some took her into their homes abroad for respite and change of scenery, others involved her in community outreach programmes that she was passionate about and anything to help lift the dark cloud of despair and doubt that hovered over her.”

Nyarai is reported to have left a note apologizing to her family and a devastated Co-Home Affairs Minister Makone is quoted by the independent media as saying: “This is so difficult for us. Nyarai was an articulate, intelligent and caring young woman. Lately she has been very happy and doing really well.

“Nyarai was not just my daughter, she was my best friend. I have dealt with people who have been bereaved but until something awful like this happens to you, you can never understand how it feels,” she said.

Several key meetings scheduled for Monday including the weekly principals meeting and a special committee of three ministers tasked with breaking the deadlock on the constitution-making process, were postponed to Tuesday to enable government officials to attend the burial of the 32 year-old at Glen Forest Cemetery in Harare.

Mr. Tsvangirai’s spokesman, William Bango, said the principals may meet Tuesday after the weekly cabinet session.
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Addressing mourners at the burial, the premier slammed President Robert Mugabe's remarks at the just-ended Zanu PF conference in Gweru in which he reportedly warned that he would “fight like a wounded animal” in elections scheduled for next year.

“There is no wounded lion. Who would you want to fight? Who will you convince? To kill who? The people know what they want and they will determine it at the right time,” said Mr. Tsvangirai.

“There is no need for anymore confrontation. The problem we have now is those who want to spread the flame of violence. If we are able to deal with this flame, this country has a bright future. I continue to encourage you not to fight each other. Do not be aggressive to other people. Do not kill each other,” he said.

The premier said Nyarai was just like his own daughter. “I am mourning an assertive daughter. Nyarai was a unique girl and I can tell you that she was very brilliant. But unfortunately, all that brilliance has gone.

“Nyarai represents a generation of Zimbabwean youths, whose expectations we should strive to fulfill. The gap between their expectations and what we are delivering as a country is so wide. Every youth here expects to have a job, to have a family.”