By Problem Masau
The body of Chiwoniso Maraire was yesterday denied entry into her Bluffhill home in Harare because of a family feud.
The late mbira queen is set to be buried today at her rural home in Chakohwa Village in Mutambara. The casket was left in a car for more than five hours. No body viewing was done at the residence.
Maraire’s brother Ziyanai said the family would issue a statement.
“The body is not in the house as you can see and we have our reason for doing that. We will issue a statement after the burial,” he said.
Speaking to mourners yesterday, Zanu-PF Politburo member Abigail Damasane described Chiwoniso as a person who lived her life fully.
“Though Chiwoniso died at a tender age, she lived the life of a 75-year-old. She was able to perform in front of more than 35 heads of state in 1999 when she was just 24. She recently performed in front of more than 60 chiefs,” she said.
Damasane said artistes in should advocate a huge budget in the fiscus.
Novelist and film maker Tsitsi Dangarembga made shocking claims that riled the public over weekend when she claimed, in a post on her Facebook Wall, that Chiwoniso had succumbed to a shortage of ARVs.
Dangarembga, using the name Efie Dangarembga, wrote:
“Am going to have to take a few days off to recover from the #Chiwoniso Maraire disaster. Cannot stop crying. Our country and the world treats African, especially Zim women artistes like garbage. All that girl needed was a course of #ARVs and she couldn’t even get that. . . ”
Dangarembga received a tongue lashing immediately after the post. Those that commented argued that it was not her place to make such claims. She then pulled down the post which she replaced it with an apology.
The damage had, however, already been done as the post found its way to other users’ walls after being shared. Chiwoniso succumbed to a chest infection. She is survived by two daughters, Chengeto and Chiedza.