Julia Tukai Zvobgo was a Zimbabwean politician and the wife of Zanu-PF senior member, the late Eddison Zvobgo. Julia died at the age of 66 in February 2004. Her husband died the same year, later in October. Her politics career stretched from the 1960s untill the period she died, Julia became the third woman, after Sally Mugabe and Joanna Nkomo - to be buried at the National Heroes' Acre.[1]

Julia Zvobgo
Picture of Julia Zvobgo
Born Julia Tukai Whande
November 8, 1937
Shurugwi
Died February 16, 2004 (aged 66)
Cause of death Heart Attack
Nationality Zimbabwe
Education SA Political Science, Master Degree in Administration
Alma mater Leeds Polytechnic - UK, Lewis University - Illinois, University of Notre Dame
Occupation
  • Politician
  • Businesswoman
Years active 1963 - 1990 (politics).
Spouse(s) Eddison Zvobgo (m. 1961)
Children Kerina Makaita Zvobgo, Eddison Mudiwa Zvobgo, Tsungirirai Julia Zvobgo

Contents

Background

Born Julia Tukai Whande in Shurugwi on 8 November 1937, she was raised in a peasant family with 2 brothers and 5 sisters. Julia did her primary schooling at Mwezhe, Pakame, Morgenster Mission and later at Mucheke Government School. She enrolled at Tegwani for Secondary. After secondary school, she was admitted into a teaching programme at Gutu Mission and completed her lower Teacher's Certificate in 1958. After teaching for a while, she pursued a Diploma in Domestic Science at Usher Mission, where she met her future husband, Eddison Zvobgo. They married and soon after, Eddison left for the US on an educational scholarship.[1] The two would later have 3 children in total, Kerina Makaita Zvobgo, Eddison Mudiwa Zvobgo, Tsungirirai Julia Zvobgo.

Education

Julia studied in the UK at Hillcroft in Surrey, and later at Leeds Polytechnic on a United Nations scholarship where she attained a Diploma in Institutional Management. In 1975 she went to the USA to join her husband who was teaching and studying there. She then enrolled at Lewis University in Illinois and qualified with an SA in Political Science. Later she enrolled at the University of Notre Dame Indiana where she attained a Masters in Administration in August 1978.[1]

Political career

Julia became a member of Zanu at its formation in 1963. She was elected secretary of the women's branch in Highfield, Salisbury. However, she soon left the country to pursue further education in the UK and later the US.[1]

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She left the US in 1978 after her studies and joined her husband who had earlier own returned to Africa and was operating from Mozambique. On her return, she was elected Administrative Secretary for Women's Affairs while in Mozambique. in this position, she attended to the problems of Women in military and refugee camps.[1]

At the end of the Lancaster House Conference, she was among the first group of Zanu-PF nationalists to return to Zimbabwe in December 1979 as part of the Election Directorate and helped open the party’s office at 88 Manica Road, now Robert Mugabe road, in Harare. She was however imprisoned for two weeks during the 1980 election campaign for allegedly assisting ZANLA forces in the Zvishavane area and was only released after the polls.[1]

After 1980

Julia Zvobgo on a 2011 Stamp
At the elections in 1980, Julia was elected member for the Zvishavane constituency in Midlands. She was re-elected in 1985.

She was in the Zanu-PF Central Committee between 1980 and 1990 thus one of the party's most powerful women. In 1984 she was elected Secretary for Publicity and Information in the party's Women's League. In 1990, Julia retired from active politics in 1990 to focus on the family business.[1]

Death

Julia suffered a heart attack at her home in Harare on 16 February 2004 and this led to her passing on . She was conferred National Hero status by Zanu-PF and was buried at the National Heroes Acre.




References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 >Cde Julia Zvobgo: Devoted cadre, woman of virtue, The Herald, Published:19 July 2014, Retrieved:15 February 2015,