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Heroes Acre double burial - LIVE

by Staff reporter
26 Aug 2017 at 16:11hrs | Views
All is set for the burial of two of Zimbabwe's liberators today at the National Heroes Acre, George Rutanhire and Gogo Maud Muzenda, wife to the late Vice President Simon Muzenda who was affectionately known as the Soul of the Nation.

Gogo Muzenda, died on Tuesday at the Avenues Clinic, while Rutanhire, a Zanu-PF Politburo member and director of the Chitepo Ideological College, passed on last Saturday at Karanda Mission Hospital in Mt Darwin.
  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:54hrs

    1639: The National Anthem is now being played signalling the end of proceedings here at the National Heroes Acre as well as our updates. Thank you for joining us.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:53hrs

    1615: The coffins have been lowered and President Mugabe, First Lady Amai Mugabe, VP Mphoko, family representatives, President of the Senate, Speaker of the National Assembly, service chiefs are now laying wreaths at the graves of the hero and heroine

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:52hrs

    1544: Bearer Parties, Firing Parties and the relatives of the deceased are now headed to the graveside.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:52hrs

    1525: President Mugabe has finished addressing and readies to take the two liberators to their final resting place.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:52hrs

    1523: As a party, President Mugabe says Zanu-PF is people oriented. He says the army is there to protect the people. So is the police. They are for the people. He has implored Zimbabweans not to fear the army saying it is there to serve the people. His Excellency has also blasted traffic police officers ordering them to stop corruption and harassing people on the roads. "Please stop it, President Mugabe says. Establish businesses. We will support you. If you want farms, we will give you. But stop harassing people," he says to wild cheers from the crowd.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:50hrs

    1518: "We say to George, son of the soil, you played your part. You played it with utmost humility and very strong ideological direction," President Mugabe has assured the late Rutanhire that he will ensure that his works are carried forward in the same manner he envisioned. He adds that Zanu-PF is not a party that push individual agenda but is concerned with the people. "Vanhu, vanhu, vanhu," President Mugabe says.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:50hrs

    1516: He has implored schools not to be ashamed of teaching Zimbabwean history. "We don't want to hear teachers saying we do not want to teach it yet they want to teach about Napoleon. Where do they know him from? This is a double tragedy. As I told you, when I looked at these two, I felt deep pain and my tears were welling up,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:49hrs

    1510: He says at one point, Minister of Mines Chidakwa told him that he was not well. "I encouraged him to go for a check up. He came back to me exclaiming at what we saw. He said after tests, he saw fat in his own blood and was advised that it is the same fat that blocks veins and blood struggles to be pumped around the body," President Mugabe says Rutanhire struggled with the bullet which he lived with. But still, he never laid back. He would struggle and come to the meetings. He struggled to make Herbert Chitepo Ideological college move forward. He thrived to teach young people. Some of us were never taught anything.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:49hrs

    1504: "We were worried and are still worried by lack of ideological knowledge. You hear people, someone has fallen sick and they say aroiwa. That's lack of ideological knowledge. A leader akarwara anonzi aroiwa, ah, when did this start! Technology is advanced and we encourage people to go for constant check ups. Certain diseases attack. The bodies are not ours,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:48hrs

    1501: "I want to thank you all who came here. To Mai Muzenda, go well. Those who believe in God, we will pray. Those who believe in traditional healers, hamenowo." Turning to Rutanhire, President Mugabe says, "young man, are you gone? Why? Why now? He says Rutanhire was a very respectful cadre. Very committed and very dedicated. Because of his conduct, he says "we did not hesitate to appoint him to various posts in the Government."

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:47hrs

    1455: President Mugabe says Mai Muzenda remained committed to the party even when her body was failing her. Addressing the Muzenda siblings, he says "That is the kind of mother you had. She was full of love,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:47hrs

    1449: His Excellency has urged young people to draw inspiration from the life Gogo Muzenda led. "At a tender age, she was left by her husband who was going to the struggle. She remained behind with children and raised them well. It was not easy but she carried herself well."

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:46hrs

    1439: "The other day Director General Bonyongwe came to me saying he just came from visiting Amai Muzenda and he told me she is too ill adding that he saw people smearing some creams to her. I told him that it is a catholic tradition and its called a sacrament. Bonyongwe wanted to stop them saying he thought it's a concoction from traditional healers. No, I told him," he says as mourners, who include DG Bonyongwe, break into laughter.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:46hrs

    1442: President Mugabe implores the Muzenda siblings to stay united and be guided by principles they were taught by the parents. "Mai vaenda nhasi but stay united. If you need help, don't be shy to approach us. Don't be shy to approach elders in the party,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:45hrs

    1435: "Vaenda Amai vemhuri nhasi. Before we came here, I said to Tsitsi I am sorry. You are now the mother of the family. We also travelled with Vengesai, the son who is a pilot, and I asked him how is your mom, he told me she is not well,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:44hrs

    1434: "I had never seen him shaken like he was at one point in Chimoio. His daughter, Theresa had perished during the bombing of the camp. He was so devastated. "

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:44hrs

    1431: "Well, Muzenda managed to do all what he was doing with us because, at home, he knew that Mai Maud Muzenda was taking care of children very well,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:43hrs

    1422: "There was unity. Not what we are seeing today. This is not the Masvingo we knew. We hear they even identify witches and wizards. We now hear that even the President is one. Ah, why now when we came all the way? We don't have wizards in Zanu-PF, we only have people who lose party ideology,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:43hrs

    1417: President Mugabe says later they moved to Gweru and Muzenda complained that boys from Gweru pestered him to go back to his own home area. "I asked who are those and he told me, Emmerson and others. That is how he went back and he started working from Masvingo together with the likes of Josaya Hungwe,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:42hrs

    1411: Going down the memory lane, President Mugabe details the nature of friendship they had. He says the friendship saw Muzenda following him to Empandeni Mission where he also wanted to teach.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:42hrs

    "But later, Muzenda disappeared and we wondered where he had gone, only to later learn he had gone to South Africa to do further studies in carpentry. He later came back and went to work in Bulawayo. Not many people had access to education. Very few people had been to school. Those who had better education were the likes of Nkomo (Joshua) and Muzenda who had gone to South Africa to learn. These became torch bearers of the struggle,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:41hrs

    1408: President Mugabe says he silently asked if God could not separate the days adding that George was more like son to Gogo Muzenda. The friends that I had during the struggle are the likes of Muzenda, Takawira and Sithole adding that they shared life. Muzenda knew about my family as much as I knew about knew about his.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:40hrs

    1402: "We heard the narrations by the two families. The Muzenda and Rutanhire families. When we had services, I felt a deep sorrow. In my heart I asked, God, what wrong have we done do deserve this? Have we erred in our way of life? He says he is pained by the loss of comrades who dedicated their lives to liberating Zimbabwe. I do not think we did any wrong God, the country that had been forcibly taken away from its rightful owners, we fought and brought it back. Many went out to fight. Many came back but again, many remained in the bush,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:39hrs

    1358: "The bereaved, Muzenda family, Rutanhire family, the honourable VP, Mphoko and Mai, VP, Emmerson Mnangagwa, we were with him but he told us, he has not fully recovered and will not be able to come to the Heroes Acre. He went home to rest. The President of the Senate Mai Edna Madzongwe, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Mudenda, Chief Justice Malaba, Minister of Harare Province, Mirriam Chikukwa, ministers here present, comrades and friends,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:39hrs

    1357: Dr Chombo has invited President Mugabe to address the mourners.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:38hrs

    1355: The spokesperson says the bickering and divisions rocking the revolutionary party are a sign of lack of ideological clarity and consciousness in Zanu-PF adding that when his father was appointed the Director of Herbert Chitepo Ideological college, the family welcomed it as well deserved. He has thanked all who came to the national shrine to mourn with the family.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:38hrs

    1347: He has described his father as a spiritual person who treasured culture and heritage. "George Rutanhire led the identification and reburial of fallen heroes who were callously buried by the colonialists. Dr Musanhu has appealed to President Mugabe to ensure that the programme continues,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:37hrs

    1347: He has described his father as a spiritual person who treasured culture and heritage. "George Rutanhire led the identification and reburial of fallen heroes who were callously buried by the colonialists. Dr Musanhu has appealed to President Mugabe to ensure that the programme continues,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:37hrs

    1343: Rutanhire's son says as family, they agree with the observation made by Zanu-PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo who said the hero never boasted about his contribution to the liberation struggle

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:36hrs

    1341: He says he considers himself lucky to have been born because his father is a survivor of the liberation struggle adding that he lived with a bullet till the time of his death.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:36hrs

    1339: Dr Musanhu thanks President Mugabe and the country's leadership for the honour and recognition bestowed to Rutanhire. He narrates Rutanhire's history detailing the Commissariat work he did long before he joined the liberation struggle himself.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:35hrs

    Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife, Auxilia, greet the service chiefs soon after arriving at Stodart Hall in Mbare

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:35hrs

    1337: Dr Chombo has invited Dr Zivanai Musanhu to give family remarks on behalf of the Rutanhire family.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:33hrs

    1335: Quoting First Lady Amai Mugabe's words of wisdom she shared with the family when she went to pay her condolences, Martin says they were comforted and inspired. Amai Mugabe told mourners that so many women in Zimbabwe work hard but are hardly recognised, citing Gogo Muzenda as one such woman.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:33hrs

    Vabvuwi Methodist church choir breaks into song.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:32hrs

    1325: Mr Muzenda has also described Gogo Muzenda as a caring mother who loved baking adding that she would bake very delicious scones. As a nurse, Gogo Muzenda helped a lot of comrades who needed medical attention. She would take medication from Mvuma hospital even though she was well aware that if caught, she could be jailed.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:32hrs

    1323: "As a mother, she was hard working and from work, she would sit down on her Singer machine to sew clothes for us. We rarely wore anything bought from a shop,"

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:31hrs

    1321: The family representative says as a nurse, Gogo Muzenda had love for her patients and she often implored her family to pray for them.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:31hrs

    1320: Muzenda family representative, Mr Chikwereti Martin Muzenda now giving family remarks. He gives family background telling mourners that Gogo Muzenda had eight children of which two of them are now late.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:31hrs

    1313: "By faith, we are a people whose prayers are answered by God," says Rev Choto before blessing the event with a prayer.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:30hrs

    Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko greets the service chiefs at Stodart Hall in Mbare

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:29hrs

    1309: Rev Choto says faith gives substance to our hearts. Drawing from the statement, he says Gogo Muzenda and Rutanhire embarked on journeys they were not sure where it will end. They had faith that they will achieve whatever they had set out for. The two liberators, Reve Choto says were driven by faith and managed to set Zimbabwe free together with others.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:29hrs

    1304: The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Ignatius Chombo who is also the Director of Ceremony takes to the podium. He says mourners are gathered here to bid farewell to two great liberators. He invites the minister of Religion, Reverend Brian Choto to lead the mourners in prayer.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:28hrs

    1303: In a poem, Reverend Paul Damasane pays tribute to Gogo Muzenda and Rutanhire for dedicating their lives to liberating Zimbabwe. He says the two gallant children of the soil taught Zimbabweans to cherish independence. He says the two are counted and remembered by many adding that if death ever consulted him who it should whisk away, he was going to point at thieves and other criminals.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:27hrs

    1300: Father Riberio leads a Catholic ritual as he blesses the caskets of the two.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:27hrs

    1248: The second Gun Carriage has also arrived and The Bearer Parties remove the caskets from the Gun Carriages to the position in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A very sad and rare sight here. The two coffins arrived with the President and Lady Amai Grace Mugabe.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:27hrs

    1242: The first gun carrier has arrived here and the Firing Party takes position.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:25hrs

    1240: The service chiefs have taken their position as they prepare to welcome President Mugabe, the two bodies and families of the deceased.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:24hrs

    1215: Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has arrived here at the sacred shrine and is making his way to the VVIP tent.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:23hrs

    1153: Several Government officials are among the mourners gathered here and these include Ministers, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda and service chiefs led by the Commander of the Defence Forces Dr Constantino Chiwenga.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:23hrs

    1130: The body viewing ceremony has commenced inside Stodart Hall.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:23hrs

    1122: Several banners which speak to the life led by the two comrades are on display here. Some of the banners about Gogo Muzenda read: A woman of substance, rest in peace caring mother, Mai Muzee: an epitome of African motherhood among others.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:22hrs

    Banners speaking to the life of Rutanhire read: A champion of anti-corruption, Rutanhire: A revolutionary and charismatic leader, Rutanhire: A giant revolutionary, Rutanhire: The ideologist among others.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:22hrs

    1114: President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe have arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:21hrs

    1055: Meanwhile, space in the terraces, tents and the open space here at the National Heroes Acre is fast running out as Zimbabweans from across the sections of life continue trickling in for the final send off of the two fighters for the country's independence.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:21hrs

    1055: Meanwhile, space in the terraces, tents and the open space here at the National Heroes Acre is fast running out as Zimbabweans from across the sections of life continue trickling in for the final send off of the two fighters for the country's independence.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:20hrs

    1054: VP Mnangagwa has arrived, accompanied by his wife, Auxilia.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:20hrs

    1048: Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has arrived together with his wife, Laurinda

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:20hrs

    1042: Service Chiefs have arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:19hrs

    1033: Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekramayi has arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:19hrs

    1007: Speaker of the National Assembly Adv Jacob Mudenda has arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:18hrs

    1005: Agriculture Minister Dr Joseph Made has arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:16hrs

    1000: Energy Minister Samuel Undenge has arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:15hrs

    0956: Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:14hrs

    0955: Harare Mayor Cllr Ben Manyenyeni has arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:14hrs

    0949: Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has arrived.

  • 26 Aug 2017 at 16:13hrs

    0940: The bodies of Cdes Maud Muzenda and George Rutanhire have arrived at Stodart Hall in Mbare ahead of the body viewing rites which will be led by President Mugabe. A huge crowd has already gathered outside the hall to bid farewell to two more children of the soil. It certainly has been a devastating month for the nation.

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