OWEN MATAVA in Amaveni, Kwekwe
Amaveni residents in Kwekwe Wednesday defied police and army order to stay indoors amid an increase in the number of Covid 19 affected people in the country as thousands turned out to bid farewell to the late Kwekwe Member of Parliament Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo, midlands news can reveal.
Matambanadzo (53) passed on Tuesday at his home in Kwekwe following a suspected case of poisoning.
In anticipation of a huge crowd, Matambanadzo’ office and family had earlier Tuesday announced his funeral program in which they stated that his body will be taken for viewing at Amaveni Stadium at 10am Wednesday.
The family said his body was then expected to be ferried to his Dunlop Farm some 40km east of Kwekwe town along Mvuma road.
However police and army Wednesday morning put Kwekwe to a total lockdown dumping the spirits of many who had expected to pay their last respects in style to Blackman at Amaveni Stadium.
Matambanadzo’ family had altered the program in compliance with the police order. In a short statement the family said, “There is going to be a church service at Roman Catholic Amaveni only then body proceeds to farm. Update from Mataz family”.
However his supporters and sympathisers turned out in their numbers and police could only watch from a distant as songs of praise for Blackman were being sang around Amaveni shopping centre.
Born in 1967, Matambanadzo is expected to be buried Thursday in his rural home in Hurungwe.
midlands news can reveal that Matambanadzo was taken ill last year after a suspected food poisoning case and received treatment in China.
In February, he attended Parliament looking frail and thanked colleagues for their prayers. “My body changed into yellow in one day when I fell sick. I want to thank you for your support and prayers. I did not imagine the kind of support that I received.” he said.
Popularly known as Blackman for his skin tone, the former photographer and artisanal miner was expelled by Zanu PF in 2017 accused of associations with a faction of the party known as G40.
Matambanadzo stood as a candidate for the National Patriotic Front in Kwekwe Central Constituency and became the new party’s only MP.
Despite a humble education, he once said he went up to Grade 2. ‘Blackman’ was a popular MP and a great debater in Parliament.
Matambanadzo survived by his wife Rumbidzai and a three months old baby girl.