HomeLocal NewsZapu snubs state-assisted funeral for Lesabe

Zapu snubs state-assisted funeral for Lesabe

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Zapu has snubbed government’s offer to assist in the burial of former Zanu PF politburo member and Cabinet minister Thenjiwe Lesabe.

Lesabe, who was 79, was on Monday denied national heroine status by her former colleagues in Zanu PF despite being one of the country’s liberation war icons and long-serving party cadre.

Instead, the Zanu PF politburo offered a state-assisted funeral for her.

Lesabe, who died last Friday, will be buried at her Fort Rixon farm in Insiza, Matabeleland South province, on Saturday.

Lesabe defected to Zapu in 2009 where she became chairperson of the party’s Council of Elders.

On Tuesday, Zapu acting spokesman Mark Mbaiwa said the party had turned down the Zanu PF offer because they believed it was not sincere.

“What we do not want and will not accept is the state-assisted funeral. We do not want it. They can go and hang with their state assistance.

“We can bury Lesabe without their aid,” he said.

“It now sounds like we actually wrote a letter and applied for the heroine status. We did not ask for it and we do not want it,” he said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said on Monday: “With respect to Mai Lesabe, she was given a state-assisted funeral because she was no longer a member of Zanu PF. She had crossed over to Zapu, so arrangements are being made that she gets a state-assisted funeral.”

However, Zapu official Retired Colonel Thomas Ngwenya said: “There is nothing inconsistent about Lesabe joining Zapu.

“She simply went back to where she belonged. Even (President Robert) Mugabe came from Zapu.

Therefore, those who went back to Zapu simply revived the party.

“We are not happy about the decision that has been made, but we all know, including those who have denied her heroine status, that she was a hero.”

Lesabe worked closely with Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku during the liberation struggle.

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