From George Maponga in Masvingo
President Mnangagwa has conferred liberation hero status on prominent Masvingo bus operator Cde Tanda Tavaruva in recognition of his contribution to the country before and after independence.
This was contained in a letter dated May 12, that was written by Zanu PF secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu to the Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, and copied to the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution and the party’s provincial chair Cde Ezra Chadzamira.
“His Excellency the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF Cde E.D Mnangagwa has conferred a Liberation hero status to the late Cde Tanda Tavaruva on May 11, 2020 and he will be buried at Mangwandi Cemetery in Masvingo Province. The family can be contacted through our Masvingo provincial office,” wrote Cde Mpofu.
“We shall be most grateful if you would make the usual arrangements for his burial and payment of benefits to his family. He is from Masvingo Province.”
Cde Chadzamira yesterday conveyed the news to the Tavaruva family. Cde Tavaruva (84) died on Monday afternoon at his Rhodene home, after battling diabetes and hypertension for a long time. He will be buried at Mangwandi Cemetery tomorrow. The conferment of liberation hero status on Cde Tavaruva followed a request by the Zanu PF Masvingo leadership to the party national leadership.
Cde Chadzamira paid tribute to the Government and President Mnangagwa for honouring the late Cde Tavaruva.
“He was an icon and we want to thank President Mnangagwa for honouring our hero and agreeing to give him a send off that befits his achievements. The late Mhunga was a larger than life character who contributed immensely to the development of Masvingo,” he said.
Cde Tavaruva was born in 1936 in Chagwiza communal lands in Gutu and attended Holy Cross School in Chirumhanzu and Inyathi School.
He left the then Rhodesia in 1951 as a bachelor heading to Zambia. While in Zambia he secured work at Lusaka Construction Company in Lusaka, where he rose to become section manager.
In 1977, he founded a bus company in Zambia and donated part of his salary to finance the fight for independence in Zimbabwe. His house in Lusaka was a regular rendezvous for freedom fighters as they collected financial and material support to intensify the war effort.
After independence, Cde Tavaruva returned to Zimbabwe where he founded Mhunga Bus Company in 1983, which then grew to become one of the biggest public transport companies in Zimbabwe. Tavaruva, as a descendant of the Madyira clan, was in line to assume the Gutu chieftainship.
He is survived by his wife Pellagia and six children.