President mourns National Hero Mpofu President Mnangagwa

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has sent his condolence message to the family of the late national hero and former police Deputy Commissioner (Retired) Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu, describing him as a man of strong virtues, fortitude and integrity.

Cde Mpofu (66), whose Chimurenga/Umvukela name was Matswata Witness Mhlanga, died last Friday at the United Bulawayo Hospitals after a long illness.

He is expected to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare tomorrow and his body is expected to leave Bulawayo today.

In a statement yesterday, President Mnangagwa expressed deep grief and sadness following the death of Cde Mpofu, saying the nation had been robbed of another gallant son of the soil.

He said Cde Mpofu will be remembered for his invaluable contribution to the country before and after independence.

“The death last week of Retired Deputy Commissioner of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu, has robbed our nation of yet another gallant son of the soil, a former freedom fighter and a strong revolutionary cadre. His passing on has left a deep wound in our hearts that will be difficult to heal,” he said.

“We shall remember him for his strong virtues of courage, fortitude, patriotism and integrity, which he amply demonstrated before, and after independence as a senior police officer of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The life he lived shall continue to inspire our nation.”

President Mnangagwa said Cde Mpofu’s untimely death came as a great shock to those who had lived, fought and worked alongside him both before and after independence.

“On behalf of Zanu-PF, Government, my family and indeed my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Mpofu family, especially to his wife Sibonile and children, who have lost a dear husband, father and counsellor. May they be comforted from the knowledge that they are together during this hour of deep grief,” he said.

In an interview, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe yesterday said Cde Mpofu’s burial will be held tomorrow at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare with strict adherence to Covid-19 health protocols.

President Mnangagwa will preside over the burial ceremony.

“The burial of Cde Mpofu will be held on Saturday at the national shrine. Everything is in order and consultations with the family have been ongoing and the body is expected to leave Bulawayo for Harare tomorrow (today),” said Minister Kazembe.

“Burial is on Saturday and Covid-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to. A limited number of mourners will be allowed to attend the ceremony at the national shrine. His Excellency, President Mnangagwa will preside over the burial.”

Minister Kazembe said logistical arrangements are in place to ferry both the relatives and the body to Harare. The body is expected to arrive in Harare at 3PM today ahead of tomorrow’s burial.

Meanwhile, the Mpofu family spokesperson, Mr Anderson Simms Ncube said: “As a family we are in the process of liaising with officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage so that we come up with a final programme ahead of burial. We will announce the programme tomorrow (today) morning.”

A veteran of the liberation struggle, Cde Mpofu, crossed the border into Zambia under the ZIPRA banner in 1975 and received military training at Mwembeshi and later Mgagao and Morogoro in Tanzania.

After training, he was deployed in Zambia under the ZAPU Intelligence Wing, National Security Order, a counter-intelligence agency against Rhodesian forces.

He underwent several police command-related courses between 1978 and 1979 at Novocherkassk Advanced Police Academy under the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

After Independence, Cde Mpofu joined the police service in 1981 as a patrol officer and was posted to Mphoengs after training.

He served at a number of stations across the country including Mayobodo, Fort Rixon, Esigodini, Gwanda, Bulawayo Central and Harare province.

Earlier this week, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said while still in the police force, the late national hero was an astute officer.

Asst Comm Nyathi said Cde Mpofu served in the police force between 1981 and 2003, having been part of the Zapu intelligence wing during the liberation struggle which he joined in 1975.

He excelled in his career and rose through the ranks to Deputy Commissioner in 1999, a rank which he held until his retirement in December 2003.

Cde Mpofu went to Nsezi Primary School in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North Province before completing his secondary education at Thekwane High School in Plumtree, Matabeleland South in 1974.

The late national hero is survived by wife Sibonile Khumalo and four children.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Richard Moyo said the late National Hero was a renowned farmer in Umguza District who will be missed by many.

“I join the President in mourning the late National Hero. He had a farm in Umguza District and was a hard-working farmer. His loss is indeed a huge loss to the nation. He was a serious farmer until his sickness,” he said
Minister Moyo said it is clear that late National Hero had shown commitment to the land reform programme as he had built permanent structures at his farm.

He said the community in Umguza will miss him as he was a successful livestock and crop farmer.

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