THE late former Finance Minister Dr Samuel Creighton Mumbengegwi was buried yesterday at his rural home in Chivi. He was buried at Chikwehle Village under Chief Madamombe with state assistance. Dr Mumbengegwi (74) died at Avenues Clinic in Harare on Wednesday last week after battling hypertension, diabetes and a kidney ailment.
Speaking at the burial, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Dr Mumbengegwi was an obedient party cadre and an astute Cabinet Minister who diligently worked for Zanu-PF and the government.
“I have came with the Joint Operations Command (JOC) led by Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga. I have been sent by President Robert Mugabe to deliver his message. He said although Dr Mumbengegwi hailed from Masvingo, he belonged to the nation because of his sterling work. He worked with Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ General Constantine Chiwenga and other senior cadres during the war,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said Dr Mumbengegwi became party chairman for Masvingo province due to his leadership qualities that saw him rising through the ranks to being a member of the Zanu-PF Central Committee.
“He was learned and I realised he had brilliant brains at the Gweru Agricultural Show as Minister of Industry. I was with the President when he (Cde Mumbengegwi) delivered a brilliant financial speech. We realised that he was good at finance and we worked with him. The President could not make it to this funeral but he said he is mourning with the Mumbengegwi family,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said Dr Mumbengegwi got liberation hero status because he was walking within the correct party direction. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi hailed Zanu PF and the government for according his late brother liberation hero status.
“I want to thank our party Zanu-PF and government especially President Robert Mugabe for such an honour to our family. It is painful that we have lost our elder brother but we are happy because of the multitudes of people who have come to console us and commemorate the life of my brother. I want to thank all those he worked with especially General Chiwenga,” said Cde Mumbengegwi.
“I implore VP Mnangagwa to take this message to President Mugabe who sent him here despite having a busy schedule. We know that he was at the national shrine burying national hero late Gen Muchemwa. This is a rare gesture and we feel honoured,” he said. Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Shuvai Mahofa also hailed the respect accorded to Dr Mumbengegwi.
“It is true you have accorded Dr Mumbengegwi a status that he deserved, although we expected more. He worked tirelessly in the party for the province until he became provincial chairman. I and Dr Mumbengegwi were instrumental in the distribution of sugarcane farms at Tongaat Hulett in Chiredzi during the land reform,” said Cde Mahofa.
Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo who worked with late Dr Mumbengegwi at the university he joined in 2012 till his time of death said he was a pillar of strength of the university especially in the faculty of education where he was a senior lecturer. Dr Mumbengegwi is survived by wife Salan, five children and eight grand children.
Gen Chiwenga, ruling party Politburo members Josiah Hungwe, Joram Gumbo, Paul Mangwana and Lovemore Matuke and Midlands State University Vice Chancellor Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe and acting Zanu-PF provincial chair Cde Amasa Nhenjana attended the burial.