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Mnangagwa visits Banana family

by Staff reporter
28 Dec 2020 at 07:24hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said the Government will facilitate the repatriation of the body of former President Canaan Sodindo Banana's son, Michael, who died in Britain last month.

Michael (56) died on November 17 and there had been some challenges in bringing his body home for burial.

The President yesterday visited the Banana family at their home in Luveve suburb, Bulawayo to pay his condolences. He also wanted to check on former First Lady Mrs Janet Banana who is unwell. Janet Banana Last month he expressed shock following Michael's death, describing him as a brave and committed former Air Force of Zimbabwe officer.

His visit created a spectacle in Luveve as scores of residents came out of the houses and watched the Presidential motorcade as it passed through. Some even confessed their wishes to be addressed by the President but were left disappointed as he only attended to official business.

Speaking to journalists after meeting the family, President Mnangagwa said it remains the Government's obligation to take care of the Banana family considering the role they played in the attainment of the country's Independence in 1980.

"As you are aware Mrs Banana was our First Lady at Independence and she does not lose that dignity and station in life. It is upon us today who are in office to respect and remember the role played by Mrs Banana and the role the late President played. There is a bereavement in the family and it is expected that we as Government must show compassion to the First Family at our Independence," said President Mnangagwa.

"Besides that, Mike was one of us in the military. So, I know that young man. I wasn't aware that the body hadn't come but when the news was conveyed to me, I gave instructions to the Office of the President to communicate with our Embassy in London to facilitate the lifting of the body from London to Zimbabwe for burial back home.

"I understand there are some challenges but from tomorrow I will direct the office to look into the challenges and where possible we should assist so that the body comes."

The President said he also learnt that Mrs Banana was not feeling well and since he was in Bulawayo, he saw it befitting to visit her. The Banana family said it was humbled by President Mnangagwa's visit as it is not every day that the Head of State and Government visits individuals.

Family spokesperson Mr Mazikhethela Banana said President Mnangagwa had shown the spirit of ubuntu by mourning with the family.

"Following the bereavement in the family, the President has made sure that Michael's body is repatriated. His coming to mourn with us is not something that we take lightly as a family. It's not often that we see people doing these things especially if we take cognisance of the fact that Michael was not a President, neither a First Lady, but just a son. This is what we call ubuntu," said Mr Banana.

He said President Mnangagwa's administration has been assisting Mrs Banana, in the way a former First Lady has to be treated.

"Since the President came to power he has been in constant communication with our family. He facilitated that umama uMrs Banana returns home.

The President is also making sure that she is being taken well care of as much as possible even with regards to her medication. Government has assisted tremendously and we are very grateful," said Mr Banana.

Source - chronicle

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