Zimbabwe Joint burial for heroes Gogo Muzenda, Rutanhire

August 25, 2017
| Report Focus News

By George Maponga and Nyemudzai Kakore

The late Vice President Simon Muzenda’s widow Mbuya Maud Muzenda, who died on Tuesday, has been declared a national heroine and will be buried at the National Heroes Acre tomorrow along with national hero George Rutanhire, who died last Saturday.

Joint burials at the National Heroes Acre are rare, with the last having taken place on April 13 last year when Victoria Chitepo and Vivian Mwashita were laid to rest on the same day.

On August 11, 1981, there were joint reburials of Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, Josiah Magama Tongogara and Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo at the national shrine, who all died during the liberation struggle in Zambia and Mozambique.

Chitepo died on March 18, 1975 in Zambia, while Ziyaphapha Moyo died on January 22, 1977 also in Zambia. Tongogara died on December 26, 1979 in Mozambique.

Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi announced Mbuya Muzenda’s national heroine status and the joint burial arrangements at the heroine’s funeral wake in Chisipite, Harare, yesterday morning.

He was accompanied by Home Affairs Acting Minister Dr Joseph Made.

Dr Sekeramayi said the past weeks had been difficult for Zanu-PF following the demise of another heroine, Senator Shuvai Ben Mahofa last week.

“Ambuya Muzenda passed on on Tuesday the 23rd and the following day, Masvingo Province wrote to the party requesting that she be given national heroine status,” said Dr Sekeramayi.

“After receiving the letter as the Politburo and after completing the consultations as instructed by President Mugabe, there was consensus that she be declared a national heroine.

“Politburo members concurred that she was a consistent cadre who was committed to the liberation of the country. She is someone who was consistent during the liberation struggle and remained so even after independence.

“As you all know, we also have another national hero Cde George Rutanhire who is to be buried on Saturday. As Zanu-PF, we are of the view that Ambuya Muzenda be laid to rest jointly with Cde Rutanhire.”

Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said they were elated with the honour bestowed on Mbuya Muzenda.

“Zanu-PF is elated that President Mugabe and the party’s Politburo have accorded the late Gogo Mai Maud Muzenda national heroine status,” he said.

“She earned and deserved it through her contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe in many respects. You reap what you sow through your deeds on earth.

“Those who sow the wind, harvest the whirlwind. Gogo Muzenda, like her late husband Mzee, and many struggle stalwarts nurtured the freedom seed and harvested independence and sovereignty. You played your part Gogo with remarkable tenacity and courage of a lioness guarding its cubs. Your good deeds will live forever.

“As the scriptures say, “Blessed are those with a pure heart for they shall see God”. Go well national heroine and pass our revolutionary gratitude to all the leadership and cadres who went ahead of you. Tell them Zimbabwe is intact and will never be for sale.”

Daughter to the late national heroine Senator Tsitsi Muzenda and her brother Captain Vengesayi Muzenda, thanked President Mugabe and Zanu-PF for bestowing the highest honour on their mother

“We want to thank his Excellency President Mugabe and Zanu-PF for the honour that has been given to our mother,” said Sen Muzenda.

“Ambuya Muzenda worked very hard for the country. The family welcomes all the arrangements that have been made.

“I know that our mother is happy wherever she is. We will miss her, but we are taking consolation in the honour and recognition she has been accorded.”

Zanu-PF Chief Whip Cde Lovemore Matuke and Politburo member Josaya Hungwe hailed the honour bestowed on Mbuya Muzenda.

“On behalf of Masvingo Province, we thank the President for this honour,” said Matuke.

“Ambuya Muzenda worked tirelessly in uplifting the lives of the poor. During her time with the late national heroine Cde Sally Mugabe they started the child survival project which after the passing on of Cde Mugabe she took the project upon herself.

“She went around the country donating and building recreational facilities for the poor. When her late husband died he left more than 20 children to be looked after and she took over all the work from her husband, resembling how a motherly figure she was.”

Mbuya Muzenda’s body was airlifted to Gutu yesterday and will lay in state at her home at Mpandawana Growth Point and will this morning proceed to Zvavahera village before returning to Harare later in the day.

Hundreds of people yesterday evening thronged Hwiru Primary School grounds at Mpandawana Growth Point to welcome the body of Mbuya Muzenda.

Two Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopters, one with the National Heroine’s casket, landed at the school around 5.30pm en-route to Ambuya Muzenda’s home at the growth point.

The body was accompanied by her children.

The body was welcomed by Matuke, Gutu West legislator Tongai Muzenda, Chief Gutu and service chiefs from Masvingo Province, among other dignitaries.

Zanu-PF supporters led by youths and members of the Women’s League belted revolutionary songs as the hearse moved from Hwiru school grounds to the Muzenda home at the growth point.

A church service will be held at Zvavahera village before the body is flown back to Harare for burial.

Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa has apealed to all Zimbabweans to give Cdes Muzenda and Matanhure a befitting send off on Saturday by gathering at the National Heroes Acre in their numbers.

“A total of 62 buses will pick up people from various parts of the country,” she said.

“Harare Province has been allocated 30 buses, Masvingo (11), Midlands (6), Mashonaland Central (10) and 1 bus each for Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Bulawayo Metropolitan Province.

“People will be picked up from the usual pick up points at 6 ‘0’ clock in the morning. Those with their own cars should assist ferry others, whilst those who can access fuel should help others with transport so that everybody gets an opportunity to attend the burials,” she said. The Herald