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Remembering a man of honour

Remembering a man of honour

'Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid... He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honour, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.'
Raymond Chandler (1945)

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition joins the Sibanda family, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the rest of the nation in mourning the death of MDC Vice President and co-Minister of National Healing, Gibson Jama Sibanda who died on the 24th of August 2010 after battling with cancer.

For the most part of his life, Sibanda played a critical role in advocating for freedom and democracy for all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation, gender and social status. He played a significant role in the liberation struggle under the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), headed the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) for a decade and was elected the Vice President at the inaugural congress of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999.

Throughout his adult life, Sibanda put the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans before his own choosing to dedicate his life to the championing of ordinary citizens' rights. His unwavering commitment towards the democratization agenda resulted in his detention between 1976 and 1979, arrest in 2001 and two attempts on his life in 2001 and 2002. Despite the government's refusal to award the late co- Minister Hero status, he remains a befitting hero who fought oppression during both the liberation struggle and the struggle against dictatorship and misrule after independence.

The gap left by Sibanda is difficult to fill particularly during a time when Zimbabweans are yearning for a more just and democratic society. As we remember this man of honor, we celebrate the brevity and humbleness which characterized his life and the unselfish sacrifices he made in the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe. His family, friends, colleagues and comrades in the struggle should find solace in the fact that his life was well lived and an example of how one man's resilience can change the lives of thousands.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Go well. Fambai zvakanaka. Hamba Kahle.

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