Remembering Cde Joseph W. Msika

the late vp joseph msika.jpgThe nation celebrates the life of the late Fearless Founding Nationalist, Cde Joseph Wilfred Msika who passed away on 4th August 2009.


The heroic acts of challenging the colonial masters earned Cde Msika a significant time as a resident of the grim walls of colonial prisons and detention centres.

 

Rather than deter him, the incarceration propelled him to lead guerilla warfare.

 

He displayed a revolutionary spirit in 1956 when he become the leader a of trade union movement which fought for the emancipation of the black worker.

 

As a testimony to his leadership abilities, Cde Msika was subsequently elected chairman of the old ANC, Bulawayo branch, which in 1957 merged with the African National Youth League in the then Salisbury to form a new ANC.

 

In 1959 he was arrested and detained at Khami Maximum Prison.

 

In 1961, the vibrant Joseph Msika organized mass strikes which invited the wrath of the Smith regime.

 

He was arrested and sent to Marendalas Prison and upon release, he was elected councilor for the National Democratic Party (NDP) and subsequently at the formation of ZAPU in 1962 he became the Secretary for Youth.  

 

He was also elected Secretary for External Affairs of the People’s Caretaker Council.

 

He was arrested in 1964 and sent to Gonakudzingwa Prison for a year.

 

After his release, he went to Lusaka and was chosen to represent Zapu on the Central Committee of the ANC and he attended the Victoria Falls talks were he was elected Secretary General of the ANC under the presidency of Cde Joshua Nkomo.

 

He was also part of the Patriotic Front delegation to the Geneva as well as the Lancaster House Talks in 1979.

 

At Independence, Cde Msika held several ministerial and parliamentary positions including Minister of Natural Resources and Water Development up to 1982, Senior Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development in the President’s Office in 1988, Minister of Public Construction and National Housing as well as Member of Parliament for Pelandaba in 1985.

 

He served as Zapu Vice President from 1984 to 1987.
 
Cde Msika was among Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu leaders who signed the December 22 Unity Accord in 1987.

 

He also served as Minister without Portfolio and was Zanu-PF National Chairman from 1994 to 1999.

 

Following the death of Vice President Nkomo on July 1, 1999, Cde Msika was elevated to Vice President in December, a position he held until his death.

 

Born on 6 December 1923 in Chiweshe, Cde Msika died on 4 August last year and is buried at the national shrine.

 

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