BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

NEWSDAY senior court reporter Charles Laiton, who died on Monday, was laid to rest yesterday at Zororo Memorial Park in Chitungwiza.

Laiton died at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals after battling a kidney ailment.
He was 48.

Laiton was described as a humble person who always wanted to see other people happy and at peace.

Speaking at a service held at the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian in Mbare yesterday, the late Laiton’s friends and family described him as a family man who was always available to attend to all family issues.

“On behalf of all grandchildren I would like to thank God for the life of Charles. He was our pillar of strength, he used to help us, but at this time we can’t help him except to only say rest in peace sekuru (uncle) — we are hurt by your sudden departure.

“He was more like a brother, more like a father, he was not selective, and we will continue to support his family,” said one of the late Laiton’s close relatives identified as Amos Mbewe.
Laiton’s daughter Michell described her father as loving.

“He was my father, he was my brother, when my mother died, Laiton took good care of us, and he did not want anyone to look after us because he loved us so much. My father was so amazing, he could discipline us, but one way or the other, he would make us smile just like that, he had no time to hurt or to argue with anyone, “Michell said.

“I would like to thank my mother for taking care of my father when he was sick; she would call me and tell me that the situation is now getting worse.”
Alpha Media Holdings editor-in-chief Wisdom Mdzungairi described Laiton as a very hard working and principled journalist.

“We have buried him, but what is important is to have purpose in life, our profession requires that we live as role models. It is important for us to be responsible, ethical and balanced in our reportage, promote nation and peace-building, so that whatever we report on promotes peace and cohesion in society.”

Mdzungairi urged young journalists to be ethical and responsible.

“He was among great journalists, very principled, much focused, a man of purpose. He was a man who was very humble, but very deep in thinking. A mentor to many journalists. If it wasn’t for the role he played when NewsDay launched in 2010 as our senior court reporter, we would have gone into a number of challenges. I am saddened by his passing on at a critical time when the journalism profession has lost some leading lights in different areas. He was always available for any task and was a natural leader.”

A neighbour identified as Dembetembe described Laiton as a unifier.

“We were together up to the time of his passing. He was more like a family member to me. I am hurt that I can no longer see him; we tried our best to help. He was a unifier. I learnt a lot from this man, I pray that his family remains united, I don’t have much to say, I am deeply saddened,” Dembetembe said.

Zim Morning Post’s Elias Mambo described Laiton as exemplary. “I worked with Laiton. He was principled and focused. We have lost a colleague, and brother at the same time,” Mambo said.

Scores of journalists from across the divide thronged Zororo Cemetery to bid Laiton farewell.

Follow Harriet on Twitter @harrietchikand1

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