Veteran nationalist and national hero Cde Cephas George Msipa, who died at a private hospital in Harare on Monday, will now be buried on Saturday at the National Heroes Acre, instead of Gweru Provincial Heroes Acre as initially indicated.The announcement was made by family spokesperson Mr Masimba Msipa last night.Cde Msipa, a former Zanu-PF
Politburo member, succumbed to pneumonia. He was 85.
Speaking after a church service at the Msipa residence in Borrowdale, Harare, last night, Mr Msipa said the decision was reached after considering logistical challenges and was arrived at in consultation with the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Earlier on, acting Zanu-PF secretary for Administration and political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, had said the Msipa family had indicated to the party that the veteran nationalist’s wishes were to be buried next to his wife in Gweru.
“The Government is here to announce the conferment of national hero status on the late Cde Cephas Msipa who passed on yesterday (Monday) morning. Cde Msipa has been recommended by the Midlands province to have the honour bestowed on him as a national hero and the Government, through His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde R. G Mugabe, has accepted,” he said.
However, Mr Msipa said: “Although the family would have wanted him to be buried in Gweru next to his wife, we have agreed that he will now be buried at the national shrine on Saturday.”
He said the new programme would now see Cde Msipa’s body being taken to 1 Commando on Thursday before being transported to Siboza in Zvishavane and then to Mandava Stadium the same day.
He said from Mandava Stadium, Cde Msipa’s body would be taken to the Msipa family home in Gweru, where it would lie in state overnight until Friday morning.Mr Msipa said the body was expected to leave Gweru for Harare around 3pm for burial at the national shrine on Saturday.
“We want to make it clear that we are not in conflict with the party and, we appreciate that VaMsipa was not only our father, but father to many. We have been working very well with the committee organising his funeral arrangements and we really appreciate that,” said Mr Msipa.
He said in making the decision, they considered the fact that since Cde Msipa was accorded national hero status, the committee that organised his burial arrangements was different from the one that arranged burials at provincial level, hence the decision to bury him in Gweru could have posed some logistical challenges.
“We also appreciate that Cde Msipa was not only our father, but a father to everyone,” he said. Initially, the Msipa family had requested that the late hero be buried next to his wife Charlotte Sithabile Msipa, who died in 2013.
Cde Charlotte Msipa, who was conferred liberation war heroine status, was laid to rest at the Gweru Provincial Heroes’ Acre.Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko who also attended the church service yesterday described Cde Msipa as a selfless cadre who dedicated his life to the nation.He said the late national hero was a man who lived his life not only for the Msipa family, but for the entire nation. Herald