Zimbabwe Mourns Disability Rights Champion and National Hero, Joshua Malinga

by Victor Adetimilehin

Introduction: Zimbabwe is grieving the loss of one of its most prominent disability rights advocates and national figures, Joshua Malinga, who passed away at the age of 79 after a protracted battle with prostate cancer. Malinga’s enduring legacy spans his unwavering commitment to the cause of disability rights, his significant role in the nation’s struggle for independence, and his distinguished contributions to Zimbabwe’s development.

A Remarkable Journey: Joshua Malinga, born in Filabusi in 1944, encountered adversity at a young age when he contracted polio at two, resulting in a permanent disability. Undaunted, he pursued his education and career, ultimately becoming an accomplished accountant and skilled cobbler. His entry into politics in the 1960s marked the beginning of a remarkable ascent within the ranks of the ruling Zanu PF party. Malinga served as a central committee and politburo member, and his leadership extended to the executive mayorship of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, in the 1990s. Throughout his life, he championed the rights and interests of individuals with disabilities, both on the national and international stages. His advocacy culminated in his role as the global president of disabled people, advising President Mnangagwa on disability-related matters.

A Tribute from the President: President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressed profound condolences to the Malinga family and the entire nation, acknowledging Malinga’s invaluable contributions. The President lauded Malinga’s exemplary leadership and sage counsel, emphasizing that his life exemplified the principle that disability does not equate to inability. He hailed Malinga as a courageous and devoted nationalist who never wavered in his duties.

A Hero’s Farewell: Joshua Malinga will find his final resting place at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, where he will be accorded a dignified farewell and honored by the nation he served with unwavering dedication. Mourners have gathered at his residence in Richmond, Bulawayo, to pay their respects and commemorate his extraordinary legacy.

Source: The Herald

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