Msipa burial creates fresh headache for ZANU PF as late hero wanted to be buried next to wife

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FORMER Midlands Governor and Resident Minister Cephas Msipa, 85, who died in Harare Monday has been declared a National Hero.

Msipa, in his later years, became openly critical of President Robert Mugabe’s rule and the Zanu PF strongman has often denied those who opposed him the country’s highest honour.

Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the conferment of the status Monday after President Robert Mugabe’s instruction before the latter’s departure for Madagascar to attend a COMESA Summit.

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However, Mnangagwa’s statement however suggested that some in the party might have had other ideas.

“We had a chat with the President, and what we have resolved will stand,” said the vice president.

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“When we are talking as the presidium, the likes of Kasukuwere will step aside. Yes, the procedure is to have the province recommend, but what we have resolved will not change.”

He was referring to Local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is also the Zanu PF national commissar.

Msipa’s family said he would be buried in Gweru – in line with his wishes – on Saturday.

Mnangagwa described the late Msipa as a “frank and direct man in his dealings (who) served the country until his last breath.”

The former Zanu PF politburo member suffered a kidney failure and had been admitted to hospital with a chest infection.

Son Douglas Msipa said his father’s health deteriorated over the weekend before he succumbed to the ailments early Monday morning.

In an interview with New Zimbabwe, Douglas said his late father would be buried in Gweru on Saturday after he expressed wishes to be buried close to his wife.

“It is very true he expressed wishes to be buried in Gweru where our mother is buried and according to what he wished for, we will respect his wishes,” Douglas said.

He will be laid to rest at the Midlands Provincial Heroes Acre where his wife Charlotte, who died in 2013, is buried.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have mourned Msipa, describing him as a man of integrity.

MDC Tsvangirai Statement:

The MDC is deeply saddened by the passing on of a revolutionary icon and nationalist par excellence, Cephas Msipa Snr, in the early hours of Monday, October 17, 2016. The late Mr. Msipa belonged to that rare breed of dedicated, selfless and iconic politicians and nationalists who dedicated their entire lives to ensure that Zimbabwe gained independence from colonial rule in April,1980

He was a candid, fearless and straight – talking nationalist who was always ready to denounce such evils like tribalism, racism corruption and sexism. Up until the time of his death, the late Mr. Msipa was vociferously speaking out against the excesses of political violence and intolerance. He was unwavering and solid as a rock when it comes to matters to do with patriotism, honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency. He relentlessly spoke against the emerging trend of rampant corruption; particularly amongst the ruling elite.

As the nation mourns the sad passing on of a true and honest nationalist; the MDC would like the entire nation to take note of the virtues of selflessness and tolerance which epitomised the life of the late Cephas Msipa. The nation has been robbed of a reservoir of love and selfless dedication to the cause of the total and unconditional emancipation of all the people of Zimbabwe; regardless of race, ethnicity, colour or creed.

MDC- Ncube Statement:
He was a candid, fearless and straight – talking nationalist who was always ready to denounce such evils like tribalism, racism corruption and sexism. Up until the time of his death, the late Mr. Msipa was vociferously speaking out against the excesses of political violence and intolerance. He was unwavering and solid as a rock when it comes to matters to do with patriotism, honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency. He relentlessly spoke against the emerging trend of rampant corruption; particularly amongst the ruling elite.

As the nation mourns the sad passing on of a true and honest nationalist; the MDC would like the entire nation to take note of the virtues of selflessness and tolerance which epitomised the life of the late Cephas Msipa. The nation has been robbed of a reservoir of love and selfless dedication to the cause of the total and unconditional emancipation of all the people of Zimbabwe; regardless of race, ethnicity, colour or creed.

ZAPU Statement:
“When time to retire came, Dr Msipa did not wait to be pushed out but voluntarily, hanged his political garments and cap, another of the rare attributes of former Zapu cadres. He led from the front and also led by example by promoting leadership renewal and change.

“Zapu today appreciates and cherishes Dr Msipa’s efforts of that time. It was his concerted efforts to peaceful solutions to conflict that saved the lives of millions who were predominantly Zapu supporters.

“His stint as Midlands Governor saw the upliftment of people lives especially in the Midlands province as he was a people oriented leader. As we mourn the departure of a hero, we take comfort in lessons he leaves behind, those of straight forward leadership that is brave and articulate.

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