Muchemwa: A page we should copy from


DR Felix Ngwarati Muchemwa has departed to the yonder world to join the constellation of Zimbabwe’s finest.
We do not mourn him.
We celebrate him; celebrate a well lived life, a life of service.
Throughout his life, he was consistent about one thing; his love for the motherland.
He was a liberator and a patriot who devoted his life to the service of his fellowman.
His passing on is not a dark period, but a moment of glory.
We all must celebrate the life of this patriot.
He was a medical doctor and his presence during the liberation struggle brought many a fighter relief.
Dr Muchemwa was in the thick of things and thus there are so many stories about him that will remain unwritten and untold.
He was a different fighter from the rest because he had nowhere to go.
Being a medical doctor amid the bullets, bombs and napalm, he could not retreat to safety.
In situations where some of us retreated and found safe escape routes, he stuck around to tend the injured.
He had so much going for him, but he gave up lectureship at a British university; he was a brilliant scholar in his own right.
By joining the liberation struggle, he displayed the spirit of sacrifice found in the men and
women of his generation.
His was a life, a page we should all copy from.
It is said he missed death by a whisker when the mobile ambulance he was using as an operating theatre was bombed.
He had gone out to pick up something only to return to a burning Unimog truck.
Dr Muchemwa lived with the trauma of multiple deaths.
I remember one time reminiscing with him about the liberation struggle.
In a seemingly simple statement I understood his pain, which he carried, which never went away.
“I was the last man a dying comrade saw,” said Dr Muchemwa.
He had to live with these scars and trauma of war.
These were scars carved deeply in the psyche; permanent wounds that never healed.
For many, the Chimoio massacre is a horrific story that we only read about. Dr Muchemwa was part of that story, he lived it, he wrote it with his sweat and toil.
As many sought cover, as many left to be far away from the Rhodesian carnage, cadres like Dr Muchemwa were busy trying to save as many comrades as they could.
The dying looked up to him and his colleagues to deliver the miracle of life.
He saved many as he equally lost many, yet he soldiered on, with the barest of resources.
The most important thing is what Dr Muchemwa symbolised and what he stood for.
He symbolised the true meaning of commitment.
The service he rendered under difficult conditions, when he could be practising medicine in sterile British hospitals, helped bring down the diabolical Ian Smith regime.
We will forever remain grateful to Dr Muchemwa.
We are thankful for his service, especially the book he penned – The Struggle for Land in Zimbabwe 1890-2010.
Through this groundbreaking book Dr Muchemwa will forever be of service to the nation.


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