Words fail me. Mukoma is no more. Dr. Alex Magaisa [Save] is dead. He suffered a cardiac arrest. Around 10 am this 5th of June 2022 in the United Kingdom. As usual I tried to phone. The phone rings. But this time Mukoma can not answer. Save cannot breathe. He cannot talk. Save can not write. Save cannot see.
I am just left with waMagaisa’s last words to me which captures his legacy and must inspire a generation.
‘Thanks Munin’ina [My young brother]. You know your word means a lot to me. We have remained in one corner because integrity matters. I have been courted millions of times. And I could be very rich Munin’ina! But my principles cannot allow that. I cannot abandon the few that believe in me. 2017 they came with everything. They still come because they would like to parade me! But I cannot do that munin’ina.. I’m not Nyathi!’.
He lived true to his words to the very bitter end. WaMagaisa has gone with his legacy intact. Maybe he can hear in those far-away spiritual lands where the dead goes. I do not know. I have never been there. But Mukoma is now there. I am blown. I am guttered. He was a democrat at heart. A fighter to the bitter end. A patriot par-excellence. An intellectual with finesse. A cultured man. A man of the people. A family man. Who can replace Mukoma? None. I remember very well his days when he was advisor to the former Prime minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai. He executed his duties in a fiduciary manner. I remember many assignments we carried together. Stories I owe the world in a book that must come. I am proud Save has left a legacy.
Just after the inclusive government of 2013 Mukoma said he wanted to see me. I went to see him at Newlands in Harare. He told me many times that his heart had started to fail him. He was hospitalized. The nurses tried everything. The Drs tried everything. He thanked them. We thought he was fine. But the heart became weak. Around 10 am today the heart stopped pumping. That was it.
If it wearies me like this, I can imagine the deep pain at home. Even his beautiful favourite mountain Gandamasungo should be crying. He yearned to see it. Gandamasungo yearned to see Mukoma too. It is always good for the hens, the goats, the cattle, the mountains and the flora to see a village child coming back home from the surreal global cities. But Mukoma told me if he went home, rogue elements in the system would kill him. He told me they wanted to kill him for publishing the farm mechanisation rot. Good Samaritans in the system had warned Mukoma that he was a target for assassination. Mukoma therefore died in far-away lands yearning to see Gandamasungo and his people. Now he can go home. They cannot kill him again. He is dead. That is all our way. We shall be dead too.
My heart bleeds for his kids, the wife and family.
Go well Save. Go well legend. If you can hear in those far-away lands, we still love you.
..Dr.Phillan Zamchiya is an Zimbabwe academic and a democracy activist