Struggle Heroine Lesabe Dies

Lesabe who was 80 years died at the Bulawayo United Hospitals last night.At the time of her death, Lesabe was the chairperson of Zapu council of elders.
Zapu national spokesman Methuseli Moyo told Radio Vop that Lesabe will be buried at her farm in Fort Rixon next week.Born on 5 January 1932 in Hope Fountain, Lesabe started her schooling at Whitewater Primary School in Matobo and went to Hope Fountain where she trained as a teacher. After qualifying she taught at Lotshe Primary School in Makokoba.

She left teaching in 1959 to become a journalist with the Bantu Mirror. She joined politics in the 1950s having been inspired by her father Zenzo Khumalo, a pioneer of African activism to take on the oppressive supremacists head on.Lesabe was one of the women who led the National Democratic Party, Zapu and the People’s Caretaker Council at her home township of Makokoba.

At the height of the clampdown on the leadership of the nationalist movement by the Ian Smith regime, Lesabe continued to play a leadership role underground before she was forced into exile in 1978.At Independence, she became a Member of Parliament in Bulawayo and a member of the Zapu national executive.
She was also the national secretary of the Zanu (PF) Women’s League and a former Minister of National Affairs and Employment Creation.

In 1990 she became Deputy Minister of Tourism before being elevated to Minister of Education, Sport and Culture. She was later appointed to the ministry of National Affairs and Employment Creation a post she held until she left Government in 2000.She was Member of Parliament for Umzingwane up to the 2000 elections.

She quit Zanu (PF) in September 2009 and joined Dumiso Dabengwa in the revival of Zapu as a separate political party.The late Lesabe was a mother of seven children.