Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister and zanu-pf Politburo member Senator Shuvai Mahofa, who was declared a national heroine, will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Sunday.
This is contrary to media reports that the Zanu-PF Politburo member and Senator would be buried next Wednesday.
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Ignatius Chombo this morning said: “There are no changes to the dates. Cde Mahofa will be buried on Sunday at the National Heroes Acre as scheduled.”
Sen Mahofa, who was secretary for Security in the Women’s League, died at Makurira Memorial Clinic early Sunday morning after battling poor health for a long time.
She was 76.
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President Mugabe conferred national heroine status on Sen Mahofa in recognition of the role she played in the development of Zimbabwe before and after independence.
Earlier, zanu-pf secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo had led a team of top Government and zanu-pf officials including Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira, Cde Hungwe and Women’s League national secretary for Administration Cde Letina Undenge to pay last respects to Sen Mahofa at her home in Rhodene suburb, Masvingo.
Dr Chombo officially informed the Mahofa family of the decision to confer national heroine status on Sen Mahofa. He said Government would dispatch two helicopters that would ferry Sen Mahofa’s body and some of her relatives to Harare.
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‘’We must also have a committee that comprises members of the Mahofa family who will work closely with us so that everything flows according to plan. We have already given orders for two helicopters that will accompany Sen Mahofa’s body to Harare,’’ he said.
‘’I must, however, point out that we will stand guided by the wishes of the Mahofa family in everything that we will do until the body is buried at the Heroes Acre. We will also provide 20 buses to ferry people from Masvingo to attend Senator Mahofa’s burial,” added Dr Chombo.
Cde Undenge delivered a condolence message from First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe to the Mahofa family, the people of Masvingo and the nation at large. In her condolence message the Women’s League boss said they were saddened by the untimely death of Sen Mahofa who many thought was on the road to recovery.
She fell sick in 2015.
‘’The Zanu-PF Secretary for Women’s Affairs Her Excellency Amai Dr Grace Mugabe, the Women’s League top 10 Management Committee, the National Executive council of the Women’s League and the entire membership of the Zanu-PF Women’s League, express their deepest condolences to the family of Cde Shuvai Mahofa, the people of Masvingo province and the nation as a whole on the passing on of Cde Shuvai Ben Mahofa,’’ reads the statement.
‘’Indeed, the Women’s League was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the untimely death of a dear colleague at a time when we all thought she was on a recovery path.
‘’Cde Mahofa played a pivotal role during the liberation struggle and dedicated her entire life for the political and socio-economic development of Zimbabwe before and after independence. To the Women’s League she was a pillar of strength, a reserviour of knowledge, experience and advisor who worked tirelessly in support of women’s issues. She will be sadly missed by the entire Zanu-PF Women’s League and May her dear soul rest in eternal peace,’’ added Dr Mugabe.
Mahofa family spokesperson Ms Lucy Chivaviro, thanked President Mugabe and Government for according national heroine status on Sen Mahofa.
Ms Chivaviro requested that before Sen Mahofa’s burial at the National Shrine, the Mahofa family wanted her body to lie in state at her Greendale home and Dr Chombo acceded to the request.
But he said the body would first be taken to One Commando Barracks.
Mourners from all walks of life continued to flock to Sen Mahofa’s residence to pay their respects yesterday. Great Zimbabwe University Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo who was among the mourners, said his institution was prepared to assist with food for the mourners in recognition of the good and close relationship they had with the national heroine.
Sen Mahofa was born in 1941 in Chivi and attended Chibi Mission and Morgenster Mission schools. She enrolled for a nurse training course at Morgenster Mission where she attained a Diploma in General Nursing between 1958 and 1960.
In 1973 she enrolled for a Diploma in Community Development at Domboshava Training Centre and was active in early nationalist politics that saw her joining the National Democratic Party before joining Zapu in 1960 and then Zanu in 1963.
Sen Mahofa was a renowned war collaborator who worked with the likes of late national hero Dr Simon Mazorodze supplying clothes and medicines to freedom fighters, a dangerous role by then.
From 1980 to 1984 Sen Mahofa was Councillor for Ward 20 in Tirizi, Gutu and at the same time she served as the first woman council chairperson for Gutu District. Sen Mahofa was elected Gutu South Member of Parliament in 1985 and occupied the seat until 2008. She also served as the first Zanu-PF Women’s League provincial leader for Masvingo in the 1980s.
Sen Mahofa served as Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs from 1987 to 1992 and Political Affairs Deputy Minister from 1992 to 1997.
From 1998 to 2007 Sen Mahofa served as Deputy Minister of Gender and Youth Development. In 2013 she was elected Sen before her appointment as Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs in February 2015, a post she occupied until she breathed her last.