By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
6 June 2014
The MDC-T provincial chairman for Mashonaland West, Japhet Karemba, has died, a senior party official said on Friday.
Charlton Hwende, the national council member in charge of the province said Karemba, who was diabetic, died in hospital on Thursday night from complications from the disease. Arrangements for his funeral will be announced in due course.
Karemba was also the longest serving provincial chairman of the MDC-T, having been elected to the position in 2002.
Karemba was a liberation war veteran who left ZANU PF to join the MDC at its formation in 1999. Hwende told SW Radio Africa that the war vet abandoned ZANU PF after realizing their ‘demonic’ ways of doing business. He paid tribute to an ‘iconic figure’ of politics in Zimbabwe.
He said: ‘He will be remembered as a champion of peace and a great politician.’
‘Japhet Karemba spoke his mind and spoke up for his values. Whether you agreed with him or disagreed with him, everyone knew where he stood and what he stood for,’ Hwende said, adding that he was a fearless campaigner and a legendary figure for the MDC-T party.
‘Even as he disagreed with former colleagues in ZANU PF, they always had enormous respect for his demeanour, his passion for peace and his commitment to the people of Mashonaland West and Zimbabwe.’
Hwende said Karemba will be best remembered as a fearless advocate for social justice and people’s rights, something that will continue to have a profound influence on many cadres of the party for some time to come.