BY SILAS NKALA
SEVERAL dignitaries from Sadc are expected to attend the late national hero and Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa’s memorial service in Bulawayo today and burial in Ntabazinduna tomorrow, a party official has said.
Zapu director of communications Patrick Ndlovu and secretary-general Strike Mkandla yesterday said many of the dignitaries were yet to confirm their attendance.
Ndlovu told Southern Eye that some organisations in southern Africa that worked with Dabengwa had confirmed their attendance.
“We have some organisations that have confirmed that they are coming, especially those that worked with the late president Dabengwa. The African National Congress of South Africa, Umkhonto weSizwe (ANC’s liberation military wing) and the South African Communist Party by Wednesday had confirmed with us that they were coming,” Ndlovu said.
“We still expect more to confirm, especially those that worked with him at that time.”
Ndlovu said preparations for the memorial are at an advanced stage.
“We are also finalising the list of speakers together with the government. The government is providing logistical arrangements in terms of transport and infrastructure. But in terms of programme, it’s in the hands of the party (Zapu) in liaison with the family,” Ndlovu said.
“We still request that other parties that will attend should respect and honour our wish that only Zapu regalia is allowed.”
Mkandla said many dignitaries, “some from South Africa, Botswana and all over Africa,” have expressed interest in attending Dabengwa’s memorial and burial.
Reports say a number of sitting Presidents and former Presidents in Africa and beyond would be trooping to Bulawayo on Friday to attend the memorial of the late Zipra intelligence supremo.
These include former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, who worked with Dabengwa during the apartheid era in the neighbouring country and the Zimbabwe liberation war and former Botswana President Ian Khama.
Ndlovu said Dabengwa’s body would tonight lie in state at his Bulawayo home before being airlifted tomorrow morning to Ntabazinduna for burial.