By Elvis Dumba
Chinhoyi – Norton independent lawmaker Temba Mliswa has sent his condolence message to the Economic Empowerment Group (EEG) following the death of the group’s Secretary-General Clifford Hlupeko who collapsed and died in Harare.
Hlupeko was Chairperson for Chinhoyi Residents Association.
“I would like to convey my deepest condolences to the Hlupeko family, the community of Chinhoyi, and Zimbabwe at large following the sad death of a distinguished cadre of our generation Clifford Hlupeko who was a principled, hardworking, and uncompromising person whom I worked with very well,” he said.
Mliswa said Hlupeko was one person who was honest and took a stand on being principled and intelligent and always drove his points home without being abusive or violent to anyone.
“He worked hard together with Mike Chimombe, the EEG President in rising through the ranks after I gave them my harvester on loan which they used to hire out. That helped them to rise up financially. Hlupeko was a strategist who was not hungry for top leadership positions. Time and again, he would come to me for advice and he was one person who would be able to calm me every time something angered me. He would come and talk to me to get calm,” Mliswa told this publication.
” I worked with him for a long time when we used to put up Affirmative Action Group structures throughout Mashonaland West. That resulted in the province having the best structures and Hlupeko was one of the good friends encircling Mike Chimombe and the good thing is that he listened to them,” he said.
“We have lost a dedicated cadre who has gone too soon. He had lots of respect, and he is one of the outstanding people you won’t find easily around,” he said.
Mliswa said his relationship with Hlupeko goes back to the Zambian family connections.
Mliswa said the late Hlupeko was one of the people who understood that relationships can not be affected by one’s political affiliation or views.
“That’s why I always talk to comrades in ZANU PF. It doesn’t mean that relationships that have been built over years can be destroyed just that someone has been booted out of the party. Relationships are stronger, and we need to build our country together, I am out of the country and heavily devastated by Hlupeko’s death,” Mliswa said.
Hlupeko was the Economic Empowerment Group National Secretary General, who last year hogged the limelight after a press conference where he called for the Winky D’s “Ibotso” album which he described as anti-government and unpatriotic.
Liberty Chitiya, Mashonaland West Province Chapter Chairperson for Zimbabwe National Organization for All Residents Trusts also expressed his condolences
“We are very saddened indeed. Death is a thief. ZNOART, CRA, Chinhoyi Municipality, and the Chinhoyi residents at large have lost a selfless cadre in the trenches of voluntary residential work. We shared notes on deepening residents’ associations’ activities and laughed at the idea of affiliation. ZNOART and CRA successfully held last year’s petition at Town House as we held a peaceful demonstration.
“On behalf of the ZNOART National Chairman and the National Executive, ZNOART Mashonaland West Executive, ZNOART family, and all Chinhoyi residents, I say may the Hlupeko family and CRA fraternity accept the hard will of God and know that we are in sorrow together. Go thee well Cde Clifford Hlupeko,” he said.
Hlupeko was 46 and collapsed in Harare after a suspected heart attack