THE late former Health deputy minister Edward Munatsireyi Pswarayi has been declared a liberation war hero and is to be buried at the family farm in Beatrice tomorrow.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday confirmed Pswarayi’s status, saying the late former freedom fighter would get a State-assisted funeral.
Pswarayi died aged 87 at a private hospital in Harare on Sunday.
“He is going to be given a State-assisted funeral as he has been declared a liberation war hero,” Gumbo said.
But several Zanu PF insiders questioned how the ruling party had failed to recognise the former liberation movement’s former chairman’s contributions during the armed struggle when his juniors like national hero Rwizi Ziyenge’s remains were interred at the national shrine.
Family spokesperson Nathaniel Pswarayi said burial would take place at the family farm in Beatrice.
“Burial has been slated for Thursday (tomorrow) at 2pm at Tondori Farm in Beatrice,” Nathaniel said.
“The body will lie in state at the farm on Wednesday (this) evening in preparation for the burial the following day (Thursday).”
Pswarayi worked closely with several nationalists among them President Robert Mugabe, the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, James Chikerema, Herbert Chitepo and Samuel Parirenyatwa.
Although he did not go to the war front, he contributed immensely to the liberation struggle back home by offering his personal resources for use by nationalist leaders.
His home in Mbare was used as a meeting point by the Zanu leadership and as chairman of the People’s Movement, he was critical in the clandestine operations of the party when it was still banned by the Rhodesian regime.
At the height of the liberation war, Pswarayi’s surgery at Machipisa in Highfield, Harare, was burnt twice by the colonial regime while his Mbare house was raided on several occasions. He was arrested in 1978 and detained at Chikurubi and Whahwa prisons.
Pswarayi is survived by wife Mabel, 19 children, 37 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.