The zanu-pf Masvingo provincial leadership yesterday made a request for the late Provincial Affairs Minister and Women’s League national executive member Cde Shuvai Ben Mahofa to be declared national heroine.
Cde Mahofa died at a private clinic at around 3am yesterday. The former Gutu South legislator was also the national secretary for security in the zanu-pf national Women’s League executive and a committee member in the Politburo.
Masvingo was plunged into mourning as news of Cde Mahofa’s death filtered through. Ruling party heavyweights in the province, led by Politburo member and former Masvingo Governor Cde Josaya Hungwe, converged at Minister Mahofa’s home in Rhodene suburb to pay homage.
zanu-pf Masvingo chairperson Cde Ezra Chadzamira said they had made a request to the ruling party leadership for Cde Mahofa to be declared a national heroine.
‘’We have met this morning (yesterday) and unanimously agreed that Cde Mahofa be accorded national heroine status for the sterling work that she did in Masvingo province and Zimbabwe,” he said. “We are waiting for a response from the national leadership of Zanu-PF.’’
Cde Chadzamira described Cde Mahofa as one of the leaders who vigorously supported the land reform programme that saw thousands of people in the province moving onto farms owned by white former farmers.
‘’We are poorer without Cde Mahofa,” he said. “She was a fearless and dedicated cadre of our party zanu-pf. She stayed strong and committed to the development of the province despite her failing health. We will dearly miss her.’’
Cde Chadzamira said Cde Mahofa deserved national heroine status because of the work she did for Zanu-PF and the country before and after the attainment of independence in 1980.
zanu-pf chief whip and Gutu Central legislator Cde Lovemore Matuke said Cde Mahofa’s death robbed Masvingo of a hardworking and visionary leader committed to the development of the province.
‘’It’s a big loss, Minister Mahofa was one person who was committed to the development of our province and we will never be the same again,” he said. “We have been robbed of a pillar of development, a person who tried her best to make sure the lives of ordinary people improved.’’
Cde Hungwe described Minister Mahofa’s death as a blow to the province and the nation. ‘’We are at a loss because she was one woman who was completely committed to improving the lives ordinary people in this province,’’ he said.
zanu-pf Central committee member and former Masvingo Rural District council chief executive Cde Clemence Makwarimba said Cde Mahofa’s death came at a time when Masvingo was beginning to reap results of her visionary leadership.
‘’We will dearly miss Minister Mahofa’s visionary leadership,” he said. “She was one woman who made an impact in ordinary people’s lives. Minister Mahofa was a fair and honest leader who was committed to the development of Masvingo province and the nation.’’
Provincial administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa praised Cde Mahofa, describing her as a tolerant leader.
‘’I am a new person in this province, but I must say she listened to me and took my advice,” he said. “She accepted me and we had a good working relationship. I must say that her death is a big loss to this province and the nation.’’