By Ray Bande Manicaland Bureau
Zanu — PF Manicaland Province has recommended that prominent Mutare businessman Mr Hlanganiso Matangaidze, who died over the weekend, be accorded provincial hero status.
Mr Matangaidze died at the age of 55 after a long illness.
Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba said the party provincial leadership has forwarded its request to the Politburo.
“The party provincial chairperson Cde Mike Madiro informed me that the provincial leadership has decided to request for Mr Matangaidze’s provincial hero status. The process is still to be finalised,” she said.
Dr Gwaradzimba described Mr Matangaidze’s death as a huge loss to the province of Manicaland in particular and the nation in general.
“To me he was more of a family member since early 80s. He was so close to my late husband Cde Trevor Gwaradzimba up until the untimely death of my late husband.
“I really do not know how to describe the loss we have suffered as Manicaland. He was a pillar of strength for Zanu-PF in Manicaland. He chaired the fundraising committee of the party for a long time and contributed from his personal resources,” she said.
Mr Matangaidze, who is a former Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce national president, has also been described as an exemplary businessman.
ZNCC vice-president responsible for Manicaland, Mr Kenneth Saruchera said Mr Matangaidze helped many budding businessmen establish their projects in various sectors of the economy.
“Mr Matangaidze will always be remembered for being a brilliant business leader of our time. He assisted many budding businessmen who have since become successful. This is a great loss to the people of Manicaland,” said Mr Saruchera.
Mr Matangaidze was the first Manicaland businessman to win the ZNCC national businessman of the year award in 2006.
Known as Matan in football circles, Mr Matangaidze was also former chairman of Buffaloes Football Club.
Mr Francis Dongo, who worked with Mr Matangaidze at Buffaloes FC, said Mr Matangaidze’s death is a loss to the football fraternity in the province.
“I worked with Mr Matangaidze at Buffaloes and we always depended on him in many ways. He came up with brilliant ideas during our meetings.
Materially, he was also very helpful to the club and football in general.
He loved football with a passion, more so when it came to his beloved Arsenal FC. He will be greatly missed,” said Mr Dongo.
His burial arrangements are still being organised.
Mr Matangaidze survived by his wife, Vongai Matangaidze.