By Robin Muchetu
Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Rabelani Choeni (71) died at his rural home in Malusungani in Beitbridge District on Friday due to Covid-19 related complications.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association Matabeleland South chairman Section Ncube said the province will be poorer without Choeni.
Choeni was also the war veterans provincial secretary for health.
“Matabeleland South has been robbed, it’s a painful experience that Covid-19 is wreaking havoc. I was with him in 1975 at Morogoro in Tanzania and we trained together. After training we had different missions and we split when he went to the front.
“His passing on was tragic, he had been working tirelessly for the party and we were under his stewardship. Matabeleland South will not be the same without him. We are hoping that our senior leadership will look into his case and the work he did for the nation and accord him a befitting hero status. We will also make recommendations in that regard,” said Ncube.
Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Abednico Ncube was quoted by the ZBC saying the death was a loss to the province also acknowledging the critical role that Choeni played in national politics.
“We learnt with great shock, the untimely passing on of Cde Choeni last night. As a province he was a patriotic cadre who played a key role in the liberation struggle. We salute him for uniting our province and for working tirelessly to ensure that Zanu-PF remains a formidable force,” he said.
Choene joined the liberation struggle under Zipra in 1974 when he crossed to Zambia through Botswana. He then travelled to Morogoro, Tanzania where he received military training and was appointed medical man.
In 1976 he operated at GCB Gokwe region which was later known as the Northern front. During the same year, he was promoted to zone medical man and later the zone commander.
In 1978, he was elevated to the position of Deputy Regional Medical Man, a rank he held until the ceasefire period. He is survived by wife Lydia, one child and five grandchildren. Sunday News