Msika's Death Engineered?

The late Zimbabwean Vice-president Joseph Msika, who died on Wednesday morning last week was buried at Heroes Acre in Harare today. It now emerges the moment when his life-support was removed (the situation had been hopeless for a couple of weeks), may have not have been purely a medical decision

Harare, Zimbabwe, 10 August 2009

While waiting for Robert "The Solution" Mugabe to speak at the funeral of VP Msika today, a member of the ZANU PF Politburo turned to me and said, "So they kept him on ice for this day?"

I did not quite understand until Mugabe started to speak. Then it dawned on me and afterwards, I asked the gentleman what he meant.

Apparently, the Vice-president was hospitalised at West End Hospital for 46 days. I am told that by the 23rd day, it was clear that the veteran nationalist was now simply breathing artificially through the life support system.

For the next 26 or so days, the "charade" as my conversationalist put it, was kept up. The life support kept him "functioning" even though life had ceased to be in him quite a while back.

It was only on Wednesday morning, as Mugabe revealed when he briefed the Politburo, that the life support system was taken off the VP. This was five days before Heroes Day.

The five days allowed for the body to be taken to Chiweshe, the VPs rural home which he loved very much and would have preferred to be his final resting place were he not such a towering national figure.

After that, his body was flown to Bulawayo where throngs flocked to White City Stadium to bid him farewell. Bulawayo is where his political career not only started but was also anchored.

Then it was back to Harare where he lay in state at Stoddart Hall in Mbare, which, together with Highfields, was the epicentre of resistance to colonial rule during the VPs and Mugabes heydays.

The timing was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that it could literally have been engineered to go this way.

Conveniently, the Vice-President passed away only days before the Heroes Day holiday. The gathering at Heroes Acre, therefore, became much more than just the usual gathering where Mugabe speaks over the graves of his departed comrades-in-arms.

It was a masterstroke, I guess: burying a true and undisputed hero on Heroes Day at Heroes Acre.

It is a script worthy of any fiction-writer. Except this is reality.

Mugabe today explicitly thanked the Public Service Medical Aid Society and their parent company, who own West End hospital where the VP spent the last 46 days of life.

The president also explicitly noted the 46 days the VP spent there in his speech.


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