THE burial of Zanu-PF National Consultative Assembly member and national hero Cde Velaphi Misheck Ncube (82), who died last week, is slated for Thursday at the National Heroes’ Acre.
Family spokesperson Retired Assistant Commissioner Claydon Seulah yesterday said the provisional burial date was subject to confirmation after consultations with the Government.
“Tentatively we’re planning to have all the funeral services done here in Bulawayo before his body is flown to Harare on Wednesday evening in preparation for burial at the National Heroes’ Acre on Thursday,” said Rtd Asst Comm Seulah.
Cde Ncube’s widow, Margaret, who is also into politics and is secretary for information and publicity for J.W. Msika District, thanked President Mnangagwa for the honour bestowed upon her husband.
“We appreciate the honour that has been bestowed on my husband, which is well-deserved because he worked hard for the country during and after independence. Because of the love he had for his country, he joined politics at a young age and never turned back until the time of his death.
“We have lost our pillar of strength, who taught us the meaning of peace and love and made all of us better people. He always reminded his children to be responsible people,” said Cde Ncube.
She said her husband had been in and out of hospital from 2016 due to diabetes.
Cde Ncube’s son, Mr Zifiso Masiye, described his father as a rare character, an epitome of principles and absolute humility.
“He had strong values of ubuntu and was a powerful unifier. He achieved so much in terms of liberating the country and bringing people together. Some people don’t know him because he was a humble man. He never stood on top of a mountain to shout out who he was. We learnt a lot from him as a family. He taught us good values, how to be courageous and to forgive,” said Mr Masiye.
He said his father was slapped left, right and centre by the white regime and his own brothers after independence but he never complained.
“This is what we call humility. We used to question why he was not as wealthy as some of his colleagues who he worked with and he would say it’s not what he fought for.
“He fought for the people of Zimbabwe not to line his pockets. He was a patient man who was always ready to eat last and keen to help the needy,” he said.
Mr Masiye, who is not Cde Ncube’s biological son, said he never felt less of a Velaphi because of the love he received from his father and siblings.
“He made sure everything was shared equally and I never remembered my own surname. I’m actually writing a book about my life and how this man made me what I am today,” said Mr Masiye.
Cde Ncube died at the United Bulawayo Hospitals. He was one of the pioneer freedom fighters under the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra).
Cde Ncube joined the liberation struggle in the early 1960s. He was among the first “Group of 12” to undertake military training in Egypt in 1962.
In 1966, he and his colleagues took advantage of the political instability in the Congo where they raided the Congolese rebels, poisoned them before looting their weapons. His mission led to the first smuggling of weapons into Southern Rhodesia.
He also served a jail term for his activities at Grey Prison, now known as Bulawayo Prison.
The national hero leaves behind his wife Margaret, nine children, 16 grandchildren and two great grand children.
Mourners are gathered at 70590 Lobengula West in Bulawayo.