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Dabengwa family thanks Government as liberation icon's body arrives

by Staff reporter
26 May 2019 at 12:44hrs | Views
THE body of the late liberation war icon and former Cabinet Minister Dr Dumiso Dabengwa will arrive this afternoon at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Internationl Airport, accompanied by his widow, Zodwa.

Dr Dabengwa died on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya while being flown back to Zimbabwe from India where he had gone for medical treatment. He was 79.

Dr Dabengwa died following a liver related illness that started last year in November. Family spokesman, Mr Freeman Dabengwa, who is Dr Dabengwa's last born son, told Sunday News yesterday at the Bulawayo family residence that the body of his father and liberation stalwart will arrive at 12pm at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport via South Africa.

"The body will arrive in Bulawayo at around 12pm at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport," said Mr Dabengwa.

He said the family has provisionally planned that Dr Dabengwa will be laid to rest at their home in Ntabazinduna on Saturday.

"We have planned that he will be buried in Ntabazinduna at a grave site for all Dabengwa family members, so we have set the date for burial as 1 June 2019. That is what is there at the moment," he said.

The family spokesman said buses will be availed by Nyaradzo Funeral Services to ferry mourners to the airport.

"Nyaradzo said they will bring buses that will ferry people from the Large City Hall to the airport to go and wait for the body of Dr Dabengwa as he arrives home. So we want to let the people know that they are able to go and get transport and the buses will leave at 10.30am tomorrow (today)," he said.

Mr Dabengwa said the family was grateful to the Government for the assistance it has rendered the family including providing food for the mourners. The Government also chipped in with resources to enable the late liberation stalwart to seek medication abroad.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu said the party would make further pronouncements in due course.

"As a party we will make official pronouncements as soon as we get them and then the nation will know," he said.

The Minister of State for Provincial affairs in Bulawayo Judith Ncube expressed the need for the late liberation war icon to be awarded a status that befits him.

"We must note that a leader is gone, a commander is no more, and may he get the respect that he deserves owing to the role that he played in the struggle. May he get the highest honour that he deserves; we rally behind the family as a city and country. I also encourage Bulawayo to come out in their numbers to welcome Dr Dabengwa back home and honour him for the work that he did for all Zimbabweans despite their different backgrounds," she said.

Dr Dabengwa' death has plunged the nation into mourning as people from all walks of life united and spoke in one voice in tribute to his contributions during the pre and post-independent Zimbabwe. Several Government Ministers visited Dr Dabengwa's residence in Fourwinds on Friday, Bulawayo where mourners are gathered to convey their condolences with prayers led by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the deceased worshipped. Yesterday, hundreds of people gathered at his home to pay their condolences.

Dr Dabengwa is one of the pioneer liberation war guerrillas who included the late national hero Misheck Velaphi Ncube, Moffat Hadebe, Robson Manyika, Clark Mpofu, Sikhwili Khohli Moyo, Retired Colonel Thomas Ngwenya and Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube on the Zapu side. Dr Dabengwa was born in Matabeleland North's Ntabazinduna in Umguza District in 1939.

Dr Dabengwa retired from Government in 2000 after losing his parliamentary seat to the MDC late vice-president, Gibson Sibanda. He served as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs soon after the 1987 Unity Accord and later Minister of Home Affairs. He left Zanu-PF in 2008 to form Zapu and was its president until the time of his death.

In preparation for his retirement from active politics which he had set for next year, Dr Dabengwa in 2018 launched the Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation whose aim is to promote democracy while chronicling the liberation history. Dr Dabengwa was a farmer who had passion for cattle ranching and also served as chairman of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT). He is survived by his wife Zodwa, five children and five grand children. Mourners are gathered at number 39 Diamond Road, Fourwinds, Bulawayo.

Source - sundaynews