Malinga declared national hero
Harare (New Ziana) -Special adviser to the President on disability issues, Joshua Malinga, who died at his Richmond home in Bulawayo last Friday, has been declared a national hero.
Malinga, who also served as executive mayor for Bulawayo for two terms in the 90’s, succumbed to prostate cancer.
He was 79.
In his condolence message, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said in recognition of Malinga’s distinguished role in the struggle for independence, in the development of the country, and in championing the cause of special interest groups in public policy and national development, the ruling Zanu PF party has unanimously decided to accord him national hero status.
“A Nationalist stalwart and vocal proponent of disability rights, the late Cde Malinga was a leading voice both in the ruling Party, Zanu PF, and in Government on disability issues, including ensuring, in his capacity as my special advisor, that Government policy was alive and sensitive to interests of disabled persons across gender, age, class or colour.
“My decision to appoint him to advise me on this all-important yet often easily overlooked area was informed by his unequivocal and fervent interest in protecting and defending the rights of disabled persons,” he said.
A victim of polio at a tender age of 2, the late Cde Malinga’s illustrious life and career bore testimony to the fact that circumstances of disability need not diminish one’s ability and life chances, President Mnangagwa said.
He added that for Malinga, disability became a spur to an exceptional life and career, including courageously participating and sharing in the risks of nationalist politics, and in the struggle for independence.
“May I, on behalf of our Nation, the ruling Zanu PF Party, Government, my Family and on my behalf, express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Malinga Family on this their saddest loss. May they derive solace from the knowledge that the Nation in whose defence and interest Cde Malinga was put under illegal sanctions, today joins them in mourning his sad, untimely demise, and in according him deserved honours and a befitting farewell,” he said.
An accounting graduate, Malinga rose through the ranks of the country’s nationalist politics until he was elevated to the Zanu PF Central Committee and, later to the Politburo of the ruling party, which he served until his death.