Gift Phiri the Assistant Editor at the privately owned Daily News has died.
Friends and family confirmed the passing away of the veteran journalist on Sunday morning while admitted at Health Point, a private hospital in Harare’s Avondale suburb.
Phiri had been unwell for some time and had never quite recovered from a horrible traffic accident.
Before his stint with the Daily News he previously worked for the UK based ‘The Zimbabwean’ newspaper run by Wilf Mbanga. He also freelanced for media houses like Al Jazeera among others.
In 2007 Phiri was arrested and spent over four days in police custody where he was assaulted and tortured over charges of publishing false stories, charges that were eventually dropped.
Below are tributes coming in from a wide section of Zimbabweans
Nelson Chamisa: “SADDENED by the passing on of a brilliant journalist Gift Phiri. What a blow to journalism & it’s future! A talented, balanced and investigative journalist. An indomitable fighter for democracy justice and human rights.Ever happy, exciting and smiling.
“A great gift to us all.True, we are here on earth just for but such a short time.True, we are born to live, love, grow and then die.True, life is a flower. But your act was too fast and so short.
“Thank you for the great professional and personal moments we ever shared my dear bro.Rest in power GIFT THE GREAT!! Our prayers are with his wife Amai P and family.”
Blessed Mhlanga: “A media giant has fallen, a friend and brother, victim of State torture under the hands of one Robert Mugabe, the voice of the poor, dead after a long battle with cancer. Fambai zvakanaka mkoma Gift Phiri.”
John Mokwetsi: “The gentleman of journalism. Sleep well my brother, legend and the master of turning the phrase. @giftphiri lived his life the way he wanted and he wrote his stories the way the people respected. Words are loved in heaven. Keep writing my man. RIP”
Settlement Chikwinya: “Sad to learn about the passing on of Gift Phiri, a senior journalist with @DailyNewsZim. Gift was a brother and a colleague. We were together in High School. Shall forever cherish all we had. Rise In Power chief.”
Grace Mutandwa: “They always say tomorrow is not promised – it rings so true right now. It wasn’t promised for you @giftphiri. What a sad day. May the Holy spirit comfort your family and may you rest in peace. Famba zvakanaka hanzvadzi.”
Dumisani Muleya: “In life it’s very rare to meet and work with colleagues as nice and with an eternally happy frame of mind as this guy. He was always in a jovial mood; and had the knack of making people Iike him a lot. Besides, he was a good and passionate journalist.
“Media colleagues tried all they could; they ran around, contributed in cash and kind, and fought to save his life when he fell sick, but God has his own ways of managing our lives on earth. In a sense, we are always living in God’s purpose. RIP sbali, as we always greeted whenever we met.”