Cde Jane Ngwenya dies days before receiving Zimbabwe’s 2nd highest honour award

By ZBC Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the passing on of Cde Jane Lungile Ngwenya is a loss of a dedicated cadre-leader and stalwart of the nationalist movement and the liberation struggle.

Gogo Jane Ngwenya died Thursday night at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo after a long illness.

Cde Ngwenya has died a few days before the nation would have honoured and celebrated her outstanding contribution to the national cause by being conferred the Grand Commander Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award, which is the second highest honour Zimbabwe reserves for her most distinguished sons and daughters, revealed President Emmerson Mnangagwa in a condolence message following her passing on.
“Indeed she would have been the first living female recipient of such an outstanding award,” said the President.
Born on June 15 1935, in the then Buhera Reserve under colonial Rhodesia, the late Cde Ngwenya stood out as a firebrand female cadre who lent militancy to the nationalist movement in its early phase. Alongside nationalist luminaries, she founded and launched the National Democratic Party, NDP, thereafter founding ZAPU after the NDP was banned.
“She never looked back right through to the end, it required men and women of exceptional courage and belief, both to confront the brutal Rhodesian settler system at that time and to keep the spirit of militant nationalism alive. Jane was one such personality, even sacrificing her marriage for the cause. Her fearless personality made her an ideal candidate to lead the Youth Wing of the nationalist movement. As a member of the Youth league, I served under her and vividly recall her bold and exceptional leadership in that role,” reads part of the President’s statement.
Cde Jane would broadcast persuasive messages from Zambia which led may youths to gather courage to join the liberation struggle.
“Never to avoid risks of the struggle, she carries to the grave injuries she sustained in a bomb blast which claimed our late national hero, Cde Jason Ziyapapa Moyo on January 22, 1977 in Zambia,” said the President.
After Independence, she became the Deputy Minister of Labour, Manpower and Social Welfare which was a key portfolio overseeing the rehabilitation of returnees and refugees from the liberation struggle.
“Her role and contribution both before and after independence thus leaves a rich and inspiring legacy for our nation,” noted President Mnangagwa.