THE Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial executive and war veterans have separately approached the politburo requesting national hero status for the late politburo member George Rutanhire.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Rutanhire (68) died at Karanda Mission Hospital in Mt Darwin on Saturday.
Both the provincial chairperson Dickson Mafios and war veterans’ leader Sam Parirenyatwa yesterday confirmed that they had approached Zanu PF administration secretary Ignatius Chombo recommending that Rutanhire be declared a national hero.
“It is with deep sorrow that we formally notify you of the death of one of our illustrious commanders and member of the General Staff Cde George Rutanhire who passed on at Karanda Hospital yesterday on 19 August 2017,” Parirenyatwa wrote.
“We do not hesitate to recommend the late commander to be declared a National Hero owing to his invaluable contribution to Zimbabwe’s liberation and development before and after independence.”
Mafios added: “We have recommend, we have submitted the letter but we didn’t specify for national hero. We said he should be given the highest honour he deserves. We didn’t want to pre-empt.
“Our letter was confirmed by the provincial coordinating committee and we don’t just write letters. We follow the party’s procedure. We sat down as a party with all the stakeholders to write the letter which is accompanied by the minutes of the coordination.”
Mafios and Parirenyatwa belong to rival factions fighting for control of the province.
At the fore of the fight is Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha, who yesterday said everyone was in agreement.
“I can confirm that the Mashonaland Central provincial leadership and war veterans have all unanimously recommended national hero status for Cde Peter Musanhu, whose nom de guerre was George Rutanhire. We are hopeful that the Zanu PF Politburo will grant him this befitting status. He was a true revolutionary and charismatic leader whose contribution to the liberation struggle for independence is sterling.”
At the time of his death, Rutanhire was chairperson of the Fallen Heroes Trust responsible for the exhumation and reburial of liberation war heroes buried in shallow graves and disused mine shafts dotted around the country. He was also leader of the Chitepo School of Ideology.