FORMER MDC-T treasurer-general Roy Bennett and his wife Heather died together with three others in a helicopter crash in New Mexico, US yesterday.
MDC-T vice-president Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday confirmed the couple’s demise.
“He died following a helicopter crash. I received the news two minutes ago. I’ve been trying to get hold of him but I can’t. And I’m being informed that he had gone to Canada on business,” said Mr Chamisa.
He described Bennett as a committed democrat who suffered for his political convictions.
“This is a very sad thing. Roy is an icon of the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe. He suffered the worst pain, he bore the deepest of grief like many who were suffering in Zimbabwe. He lost everything around him, he lost everybody on the account of his convictions and his ideas,” he said.
“We have lost a fighter, a gallant son, a patriot, a man who loved this country who loved his fellow people. His death should be a reminder that we should continue with the struggle.”
Mr Chamisa said although Bennett had quit politics, he remained an important friend for the opposition party.
Former Education Minister Mr David Coltart mourned Bennett’s death.
“I have just confirmed from three separate reliable sources that Roy and Heather have been tragically killed in a helicopter accident in North America. I am devastated – they were two of Zimbabwe’s greatest patriots. My condolences are extended to their family and friends,” said Mr Coltart.
In 2013, Bennett was among the first MDC-T members who called for Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to step down after he was trounced by retired President Robert Mugabe in 2013 elections.
He quit MDC-T in August 2013 as he decried corruption among some of the party’s members who had sought political office.
He once made headlines after he attacked Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Cde Patrick Chinamasa.