Athletics legend Artwell Mandaza who passed on yesterday morning has been revealed to have died a bitter man. Mandaza who died at the age of 73, was the first African as well as the first black man to run the 100m dash in under 10 seconds. Mandaza accomplished the feat after clocking 9.9 seconds in 1970.
Although Mandaza won numerous competitions across the world, he had little to show for it amid allegations that sports administrators stole the prize monies that he won.
He also sensationally accused former Vice President and former Sports Minister Joice Mujuru of stealing his gold medals under the pretext that she wanted to show them to then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe. Mandaza who was afraid of reprisals made the allegations in 2012 but asked journalist Farayi Machamire not to publish them.
Following Mandaza’s death yesterday, Machamire wroteI promised Mandaza I would not write the story of his greatest pain as he feared reprisal.
He told me how he lost his medals to a Government official in 1980.
“Th Sports minister asked for my medals to show president Mugabe. They were real gold. I never got them back.” RIP Sonofthewind!
Machamire confirmed that the Minister of Sports back in 1980 was Joice Mujuru, writing,Spot on. It was Joice Mujuru
Mourners are gathered in Nzvimbo Village in Chiweshe, some 100km from the capital, and his family is yet to announce funeral arrangements.
Joice Mujuru is yet to speak on the allegations.