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Tribute to Dewa Mavhinga

As condolences continue to pour for the late prominent Zimbabwean human rights advocate Dewa Mavhinga who succumbed to covid-19 complications in South Africa on Saturday, his colleague and partner in championing human rights issues Phillan Zamchiya says Mavhinga was a gentle loving giant.

By the time of his death Mavhinga was the Southern Africa director for Human Rights Watch.

By Dr. Phillan Zamchiya

Dear Reader, in his last lifeless days before being buried. When he was dead and cold in the mortuary in Johannesburg. It should have been difficult for a dead Morgan Tsvangirai.

The funeral at his son’s home in Johannesburg did not represent the legend we are celebrating today.

Reader, I know some people never want to seek personal glory. They prefer to do good and sign it off with their God.

But reader, I remember very well how Deprose Muchena dug so deep in his personal pocket to keep the mourners going in Johannesburg. I remember too Dewa Mavhinga sacrificing his moneys. Reader, Brian Tamuka Kagoro sacrificed too with the little he had. I remember myself buying the necktie the legend was to be buried with. All this was before the state took over the burial arrangements.

But all I want to do is to publicly thank Deprose, Dewa and Brian. I know you didn’t want the world to know your good deeds because you didn’t do it for the world. Unfortunately, I saw it. I have a covenant with the world as a public intellectual. Reader, I am talking here of those I saw, not ruling out others I might not have seen.

Reader, that was a great life lesson to me. Even more pronounced as I observed today. It could be a lesson to you too.

Good night, Good reader.