Friday, 18 August 2017


Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa, who died last Sunday, will be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre tomorrow. zanu-pf secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo yesterday said there were no changes to the national heroine’s burial date.

Sen Mahofa, a zanu-pf Politburo member, died at Makurira Memorial Clinic after battling poor health for a long time. She was 76.

Said Cde Chombo: “There is no change. The announcement that burial will be postponed to Wednesday is news to us. That was not discussed yesterday (Thursday) and it did not come from the family members.

“The family spoke about Saturday and moved it to Sunday. There could be some mischievous elements who were trying to confuse the situation, but the family and political leadership are at one that burial is on Sunday.”

Sen Mahofa earned the national heroine status for her immense contribution to the development of the country before and after independence.

At the time of her death, she was also secretary for Security in the Women’s League. Cde Chombo said Masvingo Province had used the right procedure in requesting national heroine status for Sen Mahofa.

“We received a letter from Cde Ezra Chadzamira, the (zanu-pf) chairman of the province who had met with his provincial executive and other party leaders including Politburo member, Senator Josaya Hungwe and other Central Committee members and recommended to the Politburo that Cde Mahofa should be declared a national heroine to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre,” he said.

“The letter came and we convened a Politburo meeting on Wednesday after Cabinet. After deliberations, the Politburo concluded that the request should be accepted that Cde Mahofa, for what he has done for the party and Government before and after independence, be declared a national heroine.”

He went on: “We went to Masvingo yesterday morning accompanied by Cde Hungwe to inform the family. The family was extremely grateful, they sang, ululated and thanked the President for conferring Cde Mahofa with national heroine status. We asked the family members if all the children and key relatives were around so that they could give us the date for the burial. After a brief consultation, the family said Saturday would be the best day to bury her.

“I informed the officials back here (Harare) to prepare accordingly but 30 minutes later one of the family members requested that it was going to be difficult to do the burial on Saturday because they wanted to have body viewing in Masvingo and Gutu. Because of the time issues, it was not feasible because her body was supposed to be flown from Gutu to Harare this afternoon (yesterday) for burial tomorrow. That is why they had to change it to Sunday to give themselves time to do all the preparations.”

Cde Chombo said Government agreed with the family proposal.

“We thought it was reasonable,” he said. “Cde Hungwe and one of the children went on to brief the press. This was with our concurrence. It was proposed by the family and the party and Government concurred. We have put all the machinery in place for burial.”

Cde Mahofa had not been well since 2015. Born in 1941 in Chivi, Cde Mahofa attended Chibi Mission and Morgenster Mission schools. She attained a diploma in General Nursing in 1960 after training at Morgenster Mission.

In 1973, she enrolled for a Diploma in Community Development at Domboshava Training Centre and was active in early nationalist politics that saw her joining the National Democratic Party before joining Zapu in 1960 and then Zanu in 1963.

A renowned war collaborator, Cde Mahofa worked with the likes of late national hero Dr Simon Mazorodze. She supplied freedom fighters with clothes and medicines, a dangerous role by then.

From 1980 to 1984 Sen Mahofa was councillor for Ward 20 in Tirizi, Gutu and at the same time she served as the first woman council chairperson for Gutu District.

She was Gutu South Member of Parliament between 1985 and 2008. She also served as the first Zanu-PF Women’s League provincial leader for Masvingo in the 1980s.
Sen Mahofa served as Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs from 1987 to 1992 and Political Affairs Deputy Minister from 1992 to 1997. From 1998 to 2007 Sen Mahofa served as Deputy Minister of Gender and Youth Development.

In 2013 she was elected Sen before her appointment as Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs in February 2015, a post she occupied until her death. Herald


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