Zanu PF founding member Kennedy Grant Dick Chivanda Manyika has passed away at the age of 99.
Manyika was brother to the late Zipra/Zanla liberation struggle commander Robson Manyika and also father to opposition leader Noah Manyika.
He previously served the government as ambassador to Yugoslavia.
He was a close friend to the late former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
His wife Bella Rehab Manyika, a veteran teacher and also close friend of Mugabe, died eight years ago at Clay Bank Hospital in Gweru following a short illness.
Manyika trained as a teacher at Hope Fountain in Matabeleland under Tennyson Hlabangana, a famous teacher who taught with Mugabe there, before embarking on a three-decade award-winning teaching career (1947-1981), which included securing the prestigious Secretary’s Bell twice.
Banished from teaching in urban schools for organising protests against poor working and living
conditions for African workers in the mining town of Selukwe (Shurugwi) in 1964, Manyika rebuilt neglected and dilapidated rural schools.
He was assigned by the Rhodesian government to change Chivizhe in Mashonaland East, and Vungu Council School and Munyati in the Midlands into high performing institutions, only to be expelled to neutralise his influence as a political activist.
Like his contemporaries and peers who included Joshua Nkomo, Mugabe, Ndabaningi Sithole, Leopold Takawira or those who taught under him such as Nathan Shamuyarira and Josiah Hungwe, or his students like Edson Zvobgo, Manyika was simply too conscious to remain as a teacher only.