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Former Cabinet Minister Kumbirai Kangai Dies

Former cabinet minister Kumbirai Kangai seen in this file photo with his wife at a state function in Harare.
Zanu PF Politburo member and former cabinet minister, Kumbirai Kangai, has died.

Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, confirmed the death saying that the 75 year-old former cabinet minister suffered a heart attack Saturday morning soon after admission at Corporate 24 Clinic in Harare.

Mr. Gumbo described the death as a sad loss to all Zimbabweans as he said the late Kangai participated in the 1970s liberation struggle to free the country from British rule.

“It’s a dark week for us here is Zimbabwe. We lost a veteran nationalist Enos Nkala who passed away on Wednesday and we lost one of our young fighters Air Commodore Karakadzai who passed away on Tuesday and then today we lost one of the gallant fighters of the struggle Kumbirai Kangai.

“So, it’s a big blow to us but the struggle continues. Kangai contributed enormously to the liberation of Zimbabwe. I was with him in America and Zambia. We were members of the Dare reChimurenga (supreme war council).”

Mr. Gumbo further said, “We masterminded the liberation of this country through a guerilla warfare. He made enormous contributions during the war and after the liberation struggle when he became minister of agriculture and minister of labour.”

He noted that the late veteran politician “made his mark and left a legacy of a true son of Zimbabwe.”

Mr. Kangai was tried and acquitted of graft charges following allegations that he converted to his own use large quantities of state maize supplies at the peak of a drought in the 1980s.

His two colleagues, Zanu PF founding member and former Defence and Home Affairs Minister, Nkala, and freedom fighter Retired Air Commodore Karakadzai, were last night declared national heroes by the ruling party’s Politburo.

Karakadzai died in a car crash on his way to the country's second largest city, Bulawayo, while Nkala died at a private clinic in Harare.

According to Gumbo, Karakadzai will be laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre on Sunday and Nkala next week Thursday.

He said national hero status was bestowed on the two in recognition of the role they played during the liberation struggle.