by Sesel Zvidzai
Popularly known as OT in political circles, Obert Tachi Ncube was born to Mr. Munyewu of the Ncube Mazilankatha clan, and his mother a maDube, was a rare breed politician, unionist, strategist, manager … all that encapsulated in immense humility.
Born in Zhombe, under Chief Samambwa in 1959 and a Father of seven children OT had no difficulty saluting people as Bhudhi/ Mukoma even if they were younger than him. Obert Tachi was so trusting and jelled with people in communities with such ease. He was so organic.
This is a quality which we exploited to the maximum when we teamed up in 2003 as Executive Mayor and Deputy. We were the inaugural opposition Mayors at the city of progress in 2003.
Quiet and seemingly inattentive during debates and discussions, it was his approach. To listen more and speak less. Speaking only when it was necessary. Never competing for the front seat nor for the microphone. When he spoke he always spoke ‘gridlock breakers’. That was the Obert, the firm, principled and tenacious character, that got to be more than a comrade to me but a brother. This relation was cemented by the fact that I like him am a Shoko/ Ncube and my mother a MaDube.
His organics helped us forge working relationships with Industry, Commerce, war veterans, vendors, and all the important stakeholders for us at the City of Progress. In fact, he managed to get us a deal where Council had a facility from Bata Shoe Company of a welder, a boiler maker, a driver, an Engineer, and a tools man to attend to Water Problems. This formula was replicated with other companies in Gweru. Based on his vision and practical approach to building solutions, we survived the machinations of Chombo and Zanu PF. The basic tool was delivery of services and shared ownership of the City of progress’ programs and mission.
He leaves an indelible mark of public service at the Gweru Provincial Hospital.
OT sat on a board with the likes of Mr. Nemasase, Mr. Muringani , Mai Katito, Dr. Elwanger, and today stands the colossal Gweru Provincial Hospital’s Outpatients ward. Dr Mashingaidze attests to the invaluable contribution of the Hospital board on which he sat and contributed.
“Yes you got down to a kidney ailment, but you refused to be enslaved by it. You fought and yes you had to go to Harare twice a week to get your dialysis. I always wondered how you weathered the rigors of 1200 km every week, sometimes by public transport to get your weekly dialysis. But you had that big fight in your belly, the description of a warrior, a quality of never say die.
What a brave brother. A loving colleague. Death, the thief robbed us of those moments, you would craft a sentence, some prose to show us the opportunity buried under the veil of a threat. ‘ Zvafamba’ was you refrain even when we had lost a game. ‘It is what it should have been ‘ you would remind us each time we felt all was lost.
Indeed ‘Zvafamba’ (It is well’) my brother. The Lord has plucked his flower because ” it is what it should have been’
Rest In Peace brother
Rest well Gwande
Rest In Peace Mazilankatha
Owendleve ezikhany’ ilanga