MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has claimed that she was on Saturday verbally abused by relatives of the late former High Court judge, Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe, who were protesting government’s failure to accord him a national hero’s status.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Chimene said tempers flared during Mutambanengwe’s burial at Dambakurimwa village near Mutare after she insinuated that the late top jurist could have been denied national hero’s status because he was inconsistent.
“Yesterday (Saturday), I went to bury someone, who was not declared a national hero. I told mourners that there might be something he did wrong, I was verbally assaulted for that,” she said, as she addressed a Zanu PF interdistrict youth meeting at Mary Mount Teachers’ College in Mutare on Sunday.
“I am urging you not to do that. You should always strive to be consistent.”
According to party officials who attended Mutambanengwe’s burial, family members and friends openly expressed their anger over the government’s decision not to accord him a hero’s status for the role he played during the liberation war.
Mutambanengwe succumbed to renal failure in Namibia almost two weeks ago.
The Namibian government took care of the parlour expenses and flew the judge’s body from Windhoek to Zimbabwe, amid reports that the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executive had approached the politburo recommending that Mutambanengwe be declared a national hero.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF Manicaland youth leader, Mubuso Chinguno told party supporters on Sunday that President Robert Mugabe “would clock 365 years, describing the veteran politician as the Biblical Abraham”, who outlived most people of his generation.
Mugabe, who turns 94 next year, has already been endorsed as the ruling party’s presidential candidate for the polls in 2018.
“We will continue supporting him regardless of his age because we agree with what President Robert Mugabe stands for and what he believes in,” Chinguno said.
But according to the Bible book of Genesis 25:7, Abraham died in 1843 BCE at the good old age of 175 years and was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah, while his wife Sarah died at the age of 127.
Zanu PF national youth leader, Kudzanai Chipanga told party supporters that Mugabe would address his 2018 maiden campaign rally at Sakubva Stadium on June 16, with Manicaland province expected to host his 94th birthday celebrations in February next year.