THE late veteran journalist and Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary general, Foster Dongozi, was laid to rest at his rural home in Sanyati yesterday, with mourners describing him as an inimitable figure in the media fraternity.
Dongozi succumbed to Covid-19 on Wednesday, becoming the second veteran journalist to die from the pandemic within a month following the untimely death of ZBC diplomatic correspondent, Janet Munyaka, on December 5.
Covid-19 regulations were observed during Dongozi’s burial.
Addressing mourners, Sanyati Legislator, who is also Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Polite Kambamura, said Dongozi’s death came as a great shock.
“The death of Cde Dongozi is a great loss to the media fraternity but, it is also a huge loss to Sanyati as we have lost a fine man who had grown to be a role model to many from his communal land where he belongs. Cde Dongozi was not just a journalist but a unifier who stood for media freedom,” he said.
Mashonaland West ZUJ chairperson, Tambaoga Gora, said Dongozi always cautioned journalists to value their safety.
“He was a unifier but above all his slogan was always, ‘no story is worth dying for’. The media fraternity is going to miss him profoundly.”
Dongozi’s uncle, Mr Thamsanqa Mpofu, applauded the media for standing by Dongozi but said the family was disappointed that news of his death had spread even before the deceased’s mother was alerted.
Meanwhile, Government has started contact tracing and testing for people who were in contact with Dongozi, including editors who attended the recently held media workshop on the National Development Strategy in Gweru.
Writing on his Twitter handle yesterday, the Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, urged all journalists who had been in contact with Dongozi two weeks before his death to undergo testing.
“Harare based Media and Government Officials who attended the Gweru Workshop from 13-18 December 2020, please attend Covid-19 testing at the Fire Brigade at 11 am tomorrow (today). Those from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo and Midlands you will be contacted and get tested at home.”