Karimanzira a true son of the soil
Cde David Isheunesu Godi Karimanzira, then Resident Minister and Governor of Harare Metropolitan Province and Zanu-PF Secretary for Finance, passed on at West End Clinic on Thursday March 24, 2011.
He was 64.
Cde Karimanzira was born on May 25, 1947 at Farm Number 7, Chitowa, Murehwa District in Mashonaland East Province.
He was the sixth born in a family of eight, comprising three boys and five girls.
For his primary education, Cde Karimanzira attended Chitowa School, Murehwa and Inyathi Reserve School in Bubi District, Matabeleland South Province.
He later attended Nhowe Mission, then Dadaya Secondary School in Zvishavane District and finally Goromonzi High School for his secondary education.
In 1971, David enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree at the then University of Rhodesia where he majored in Geography, Linguistics and Sociology and completed the programme in 1973.
He read for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) as well as a Masters Degree in Educational Administration at Oxford University, United Kingdom, from 1974 to 1976.
In 1978, he acquired a Masters Degree in Education (Educational Psychology) from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The following year, Cde Karimanzira enrolled for a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology at the same university.
He also earned a Diploma in Transport Administration from Dalhousie University, Canada.
It was during his stay in London that he met and married his wife Rungano Ushewokunze.
Cde Karimanzira grew up in a polarised political environment which necessitated his awareness of Zimbabwean nationalist politics at an early age.
During his days at Dadaya in 1961, David was suspended for three months with other black students for demonstrating against oppression and discrimination against black students which was rampant at the school.
In 1964, Cde Karimanzira participated in political activities as a youth in Highfield, itself the bedrock of black nationalist politics in Zimbabwe.
In 1973, Cde Karimanzira was one of 100 university student leaders who were arrested by the brutal minority Rhodesian settler regime at the University of Rhodesia and detained at the obnoxious Harare Prison for organising a demonstration.
He, together with the late national hero Cde Witness Mangwende, refused to plead guilty to preferred charges, opting for a full trial which eventually happened and at the end he was sentenced to six months with hard labour for supporting the liberation struggle.
The sentence was however, wholly suspended on condition that Cde Karimanzira would restrict himself to a radius of 20km around Salisbury (Harare).
It was these and other forms of persecution at the hands of the colonial regime that prompted Cde Karimanzira to leave the country and join the diplomatic front of the liberation struggle in the Diaspora.
But before leaving the country, Cde Karimanzira had worked as a teacher at Highfield Community School where he openly challenged discriminatory practices of the settler colonial regime.
While in the UK, Cde Karimanzira worked with other nationalists to establish 30 Zanu branches all over the UK.
During his political carrier in the UK, Cde Karimanzira served in various party positions which included Committee Member, ZANU Oxford Branch, 1974-1976; treasurer, ZANU-PF Birmingham Branch, 1976- 1977; chairman, ZANU-PF Birmingham Branch, 1977-1978; political
Commissar, ZANU-PF UK district and secretary for administration, ZANU-PF UK District. In post-independence, Cde Karimanzira was elected Committee Member of the Harare Central District of Zanu-PF before being appointed Party Coordinator for both Matabeleland South and North Provinces.
On his return to Harare, Cde Karimanzira was elected Deputy Secretary for Finance in Mashonaland East Province which included then Harare Metropolis and in 1982, he became the Secretary.
With these and other positions in the party, Cde Karimanzira established and maintained a solid post-independence political career that made him one of the outstanding heroes before his untimely death.
Besides a vibrant post-independence political career, Cde Karimanzira also had an equally impressive civil career.
In 1980, he joined the Civil Service as an Under Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, a position he held until 1982 when he was appointed deputy secretary in the same ministry.
In 1983, he joined the Harare City Marketing Department as deputy general manager and a year later, he became the general manager.
In 1985, he was elected Member of Parliament for Murehwa Constituency and was appointed Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture up to 1987.
In 1987, he was appointed Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Settlement, a post he served until 1990.
From 1990 to 1993, Cde Karimanzira was the Minister of Higher Education and Technology.
In 1993, he was reassigned to the Information, Post and Telecommunications portfolio where he served up to 1996.
In 1996, Cde Karimanzira was appointed Resident Minister and Governor for Mashonaland East Province before being reassigned in the same capacity to Harare Metropolitan Province in 2005, a position he held until his untimely death on 24 March 2011.
Cde Karimanzira was survived by his wife Rungano, two sons,Taona and Takudzwa and daughter Tamirira.
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