Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
HUNDREDS of mourners, among them the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture Dr Obert Mpofu, yesterday converged at the Bulawayo City Hall to bid farewell to the late Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Thokozile Mathuthu.
Cde Mathuthu (61) died on Monday and was declared a national heroine.
Her body arrived at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport from Hwange shortly before 10AM aboard an Air Force of Zimbabwe plane in the company of her widower, Cde Jonathan Mathuthu and some relatives.
They were met by Dr Mpofu, the Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Angeline Masuku, Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Cde Sithembiso Nyoni, Beitbridge Senator Cde Tambudzani Mohadi and Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Absolom Sikhosana among other high ranking Government and ruling party officials.
Cde Mpofu, addressing mourners, said Cde Mathuthu earned the national heroine status by virtue of her sterling works during and after the liberation struggle. He described her as an exemplary leader who led a humble and honest life during her political career.
“We are here to comfort the family of Cde Mathuthu as well as celebrate the life of a true heroine. She was an honest cadre who dedicated her life to serving people and our party Zanu-PF. Her untimely death has indeed left a void in Zanu-PF and we will certainly miss her great works,” he said.
Cde Mpofu urged mourners to put God first in everything they do.
“As human beings it is our obligation to worship our Creator while we are still on this side of the grave. Let us thrive to put God first in whatever we do and examine our ways before we leave this world,” he said.
Cde Masuku said the country was left poorer following the death of Cde Mathuthu. She urged Zimbabweans, particularly youths and women, to emulate Cde Mathuthu’s good works.
“As Zimbabwe, especially Matabeleland North, we have been robbed of a true cadre who played a crucial role in the development of the province during her tenure as both Governor and Minister of State for Provincial Affairs. She was an honest person who stood for the truth throughout her political journey, which she started at a very young age in Bulawayo,” she said.
Cde Masuku challenged other women in the party to honour Cde Mathuthu through safeguarding the values and principles of the party.
“As a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, we have also been robbed of a true Christian whose life was dedicated to serving the Lord. We also would like to thank our President (Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa) for according Cde Mathuthu the national heroine status,” she said.
Zanu-PF provincial chairperson for Bulawayo Dr Callistus Ndlovu described Cde Mathuthu as a dynamic politician who played a crucial role in both Government and the ruling party.
“We should cherish her legacy. She was an open minded and honest woman whom I worked with when she was secretary for transport in the Politburo.
“During the period of purging of loyal party cadres by G40 cabals, she stood her ground and urged party members to unite,” he said.
Zanu-PF Women’s League National Political Commissar Cde Apolonia Munzwerengi said despite her failing health, Cde Mathuthu remained dedicated to serving the party until her last breath.
“On behalf of the Zanu-PF Women’s League, I am saddened by the death of our colleague who played an advisory and motivational role in the party. She was a courageous and dedicated party cadre who was committed to party business and it will be difficult to find someone who fits in her shoes,” she said.
“Let us follow in her footsteps and my wish is that God should give us another person who was as dedicated as Cde Mathuthu.”
Cde Mathuthu’s brother Mr Vincent Pamire said his sister was a very passionate person who dedicated her entire life to serving God and the nation. He also hailed Government and President Mnangagwa for according Cde Mathuthu national heroine status.
Cde Mathuthu’ body lay in state at her house in Empumalanga suburb in Hwange on Thursday night.
The body was after the service flown to Harare ahead of burial on Sunday at the National Heroes Acre.
Meanwhile, the Acting President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday led the observance of a minute of silence at Arda Antelope Estate in Maphisa in honour of the late Cde Mathuthu. — @mashnets