Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
A delegation led by Vice President Kembo Mohadi left Harare for Singapore yesterday for the repatriation of the body of the founding and former President of Zimbabwe Cde Robert Mugabe who died in that country on Friday aged 95.
The delegation comprised members of the Mugabe and Marufu (the late former President’s in-laws), Zanu-PF Secretary for Women’s League Cde Marble Chinomona, Politburo members; Cde Edna Madzongwe and Cde Sydney Sekeramayi.
Other members of the delegation are; Cde Mike Bimha, Gabriel Mugabe, Albert Mugabe and Chief Karigamombe.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa confirmed the delegation’s departure.
“Government has today dispatched a delegation headed by Vice President Cde Kembo Mohadi to Singapore and they are expected to accompany the body of Cde Mugabe back home,” she said.
“The body is expected in Zimbabwe at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport any time on Wednesday, 11th of September 2019. On Thursday which is the 12th and Friday the 13th September the body will be taken to Rufaro Stadium to allow members of the public from all the provinces to pay their last respects to the illustrious liberation war hero. On Saturday the 14th of September 2019, the body would be at the National Sports Stadium for the State Funeral Service where Zimbabweans and other foreign dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps will have an opportunity to pay their last respects to our departed hero.”
The Minister said the late Cde Mugabe would be buried on Sunday.
“Burial is set for the 15th of September 2019, which is on a Sunday. We will certainly be giving you more updates as more information on the programme of the burial of our former President and Founding Father trickles in,” Minister Mutsvangwa.
Former President Mugabe died in Singapore after battling ill-health for some time.
He has been hailed the world over for his role in the liberation of the country and other African nations and remaining resolute in his stance against Western imperialism.
The late President was also instrumental in leading the fast track land reform that resulted in his demonisation by the West and the imposition of illegal sanctions on the country.
Meanwhile, scores of people yesterday gathered at the Mugoba homestead at the family farm in Wiltshire, Chivhu, for the funeral service of the late national hero, Major General Trust Mugoba.
Many people in the area described Maj Gen Mugoba as a unifier, humble, friendly and an advisor.
The procession started in the morning with the arrival of the body, which was flown from his Featherstone Farm.
The body was accompanied by close family members, including his wife.
A church service was conducted at the homestead.
Present at the funeral service were Minister of State for Mashonaland East Cde Apolonia Munzverengi, heads of several Government departments, senior army officials, family members, Zanu PF supporters and members of the community.
A church service followed and later, the late national hero’s casket was taken to the family’s cemetery, where his late relatives including parents are buried.
The casket was placed at the reserved space where he was supposed to have been buried had he not been declared national hero.
A plaque will be erected on that site to represent the late Maj Gen’s grave.
During the service, speaker after speaker spoke glowingly of the national hero including his role in the family, community and the nation.
Family spokesman Dr Jabulani Moyo said Maj Gen Mugoba was a pillar to the family who provided not only for his immediate family but many people in Mberengwa, Bulawayo and Chivhu.
“He gave guidance to the whole family, both immediate and extended. He was a responsible man who, despite his demanding job, also had time for others.
“His being declared national hero is an honour to us as the family and an honour to him considering his good deeds. We are humbled by that,” he said.
Chief Musarurwa said the community had lost a unifier and loving member who worked well with people from the grassroots level, headmen, councillors and chiefs.
“Our future as a community also depended on him. He was a friendly man who took time off his busy schedules to interact with others including the young people. He was an advisor and was also open to suggestions from others. “We worked together spearheading developmental projects such as the (Operation) Maguta and Command Agriculture.
“We are humbled that he was given a befitting status. He deserved it,” said Chief Musarurwa.
Chikomba resident, Mr Jephat Kasimeni said Maj Gen Mugoba was a humble man who could relate well with other members of the community.
“He was a generous man and we are glad his good works have been recognised. It is an honour to the community that he was declared national hero,” he said. The body was later airlifted to One Commando Regiment in Harare.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists in Harare yesterday that the body of the late Maj Gen Mugoba will today go to Parachute Regiment for a parade scheduled for 2pm.
Burial is scheduled for tomorrow at the National Heroes’ Acre.