Preparations for the repatriation of Michael Banana’s body have started, as the family seeks to fulfil his wish to be buried next to his father, a spokesperson has said.
Michael, a former Airforce of Zimbabwe pilot, who was first son to ex-Zimbabwe President Canaan Banana, and wife Janet Banana, died at the age of 56. He died in the United Kingdom on November 17 while waiting to undergo an operation for a heart ailment.
In a statement seen by The Herald yesterday, family spokesman Mr Nathan Banana said: “Michael’s wish was to be laid to rest next to our father in rural Zimbabwe eBembe. As shared in previous updates, the main reason for the delay in sharing this announcement was mainly because our mum, Mrs Janet Banana had fallen ill and admitted in hospital.
“However, she is now recovering but still in hospital. We have now started making arrangements for Michael’s body to be repatriated to Zimbabwe. We just do not yet have an exact date of when we will be leaving for Zimbabwe but will update you as soon as everything is confirmed.”
President Mnangagwa has already sent a message of condolence to the Banana family. He said Michael’s end was saddening and painful in that he was already scheduled for a minor procedure to correct a heart ailment.
The President said he remembered the young Michael for the commitment and faithful service he rendered to his country among the pioneering crop of officers of the Air Force of Zimbabwe. As a pilot, Michael served in the Mozambiquecampaign.