Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
Lupane East Member of Parliament and liberation war heroine Cde Sithembile Gumbo, who died this week, will be buried tomorrow at Lupane Provincial Heroes Acre. Cde Gumbo, who was battling bone cancer, died on Monday evening at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where she had been admitted after being involved in an accident two weeks ago.
She was 56.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Richard Moyo said Cde Gumbo, who was also Zanu-PF Matabeleland North Women’s League secretary for Administration, will be buried tomorrow at the provincial shrine.
“We made an application as a province and she was declared a liberation war heroine,” he said. “We went to visit the family and they have agreed that she be buried at the provincial shrine here in Lupane on Saturday.”
Cde Moyo said Cde Gumbo’s body will lie in state at her rural home in Jibajiba today ahead of the burial.
He said the province had lost a hardworking cadre who defied ill health to work for the revolutionary party.
“I want to urge everyone in Matabeleland North to come so we mourn together with the family and bury our heroine,” he said.
“She was our MP and this means that as a party and province we have lost because there will be need for a by-election.”
Cde Moyo said when Cde Gumbo was involved in an accident which left her injured and hospitalised recently, she was on her way to Harare after Parliament had arranged that she be taken out of the country for cancer treatment.
Cde Gumbo was born on November 11, 1962.
She did her primary education at Masungamala and Silwane primary schools in Lupane and went to Hwange Government Secondary School in Hwange and Mabhikwa Secondary in Lupane.
Cde Gumbo studied various professional short courses such as business studies, gender and development studies as well as urban councils capacity building with various institutions.
Her political career started in 1977 when she joined PF-Zapu at Jibajiba ward under Sabula village as a district secretary for Information and Publicity in the Youth Wing.
In 1988, Cde Gumbo joined Msika Branch in Nketa 8 in Bulawayo as Secretary for Administration in the Women’s League.
She left Bulawayo for Lupane in 1994 where she was elected as Matshiya District chair for Zanu-PF’s Main Wing in her home district.
While in Lupane, Cde Gumbo was in 1995 elevated to the provincial Women’s League executive as Secretary for Legal Affairs and later deputy Secretary for Health and Child Welfare, a position she held between 1995 and 2000.
Towards the end of 2000, she was elected as provincial Secretary for the Disabled and Disadvantaged Persons for the Women’s League.
She was later elected as provincial Secretary for Administration in the Women’s League, a position she held until her death.
During her political career, Cde Gumbo also served Government and the local authority in various capacities.
She was also active in a number of developmental projects targeting women and the disadvantaged in Lupane district.
She is a founding member of the Lupane Women’s Centre, Lupane Village Bank and Lupane Business Association.
Between 2007 and 2013, she was a Commissioner for Lupane Local Board before being elected Member of Parliament for Lupane East in 2013.
She was re-elected during last year’s parliamentary elections.
Cde Gumbo, who was a widow, is survived by four children.