Ndebele Paramount Chief Khayisa Ndiweni, who died in his sleep on Wednesday, will have a state-assisted funeral and could be laid to rest after the Heroes’ Day Holiday commemorations, it has been learnt.
Provincial administrator for Matabeleland North, Latiso Dlamini, said following the announcement by President Robert Mugabe on Thursday night that the traditional leader would receive a state-assisted funeral,said preparations for his burial had begun.
“As announced by President Mugabe, there will be a state-assisted funeral for the late Chief Ndiweni,’’ he said.
“The date of the burial will have to be discussed with the family. Some of the members of the family are still out of the country. However, it is most likely to be after the Heroes Day Holiday commemorations.’’
Dlamini did not shed light on where Chief Ndiweni would be buried, but a family member indicated that the traditional leader who had served for 71 years, was likely to be interred at the family cemetery at Nhlambabaloyi in Ntabazinduna where his brother and mother are buried.
The family was expected to deliberate on the site of the burial today when some family members based overseas would have arrived.
Since the death of Chief Ndiweni, scores of people from all walks of life have been trekking to the late traditional leader’s homestead in Ntabazinduna, about 30km from Bulawayo near Nhlambabaloyi Primary School.
On Thursday Vice-President John Nkomo, Zapu interim chairman Dumiso Dabengwa, the Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo, MDC-M vice-president and member of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration Gibson Sibanda, among other politicians, visited the Ndiweni family to express their condolences.President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also sent their condolence messages to the Ndiweni family.
The late chief has been described as a fountain of wisdom and a forthright person who spoke his mind and was consistent in his political outlook.
Chief Ndiweni served in the shortlived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia government. He is survived by his wife, Gogo Agnes Ndiweni, 11 children, 30 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.