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Self-styled war veterans’ leader and pioneer of the chaotic land reform exercise in 2000, Francis Zimuto, popularly known as Black Jesus, has died.
Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson, Amasa Nhenjana, said Zimuto died at his mother’s home in Gutu yesterday, adding that the province had requested the politburo to declare him a national hero.
“It is true that Zimuto is no more. He died while at his mother’s home in Gutu, where he had visited. He had been ill for some time, but the cause of the death is unknown yet,” he said.
Nenjana said burial arrangements would only be announced after the politburo decided on Zimuto’s status.
A fierce critic of First Lady Grace Mugabe, Zimuto, in February this year, sent tongues wagging when he described her as “a young girl”, who should concentrate on her household chores and stop meddling in Zanu PF succession politics.
“We expect that someone, who is the President’s wife, should behave motherly. When I look at Grace, she is a young girl, calling her First Lady is not our culture because she is even younger than me. Young girl, you got it wrong,” Zimuto told a Zanu PF provincial co-ordinating committee meeting.
“We should not be afraid of her, but respect her. I am like a first born to Mugabe.You hear people singing Zezuru unconquerable, and she is clapping, where do you get it from? A First Lady dancing to tribalistic tunes, have you ever heard of things like that? Is it a crime that I was born in Masvingo? I did not apply to be born in Masvingo. What of others who were born mid-air in airplanes?”
Two years ago, Zimuto caused another stir when he declared that it was taboo for Zimbabwe to be led by a female President, in a crusade to torpedo Mujuru’s succession ambitions.
Zimuto, in early 2000, walked 300km from Masvingo to Harare, carrying a cross, where he petitioned the British Embassy to compensate white former commercial farmers.
Of late, he had fallen out of favour with President Robert Mugabe after he sided with axed former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa. source-newsday