Politburo Member Mrs Thenjiwe Lesabe will be accorded a State-assisted funeral.
Cde Nhloko, whose Chimurenga name was Cde Victor Mlambo, died in a horrific fire incident at his rural home in Silobela.
He will be buried at his rural home in Silobela tomorrow at the request of his family while Mrs Lesabe will be interred at her Fort Rixon farm on Sa- turday.
Cde Nhloko deputised former Zipra intelligence supremo, Mr Dumiso Dabengwa, during the liberation struggle and worked with the likes of Colonel Tshinga Dube and Major-General Jevan Maseko.
In his condolence message to the widow, Irene, Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said Cde Nhloko’s death was very painful.
“I worked with the late Cde Cornius Nhloko in Zambia during the liberation struggle for many years. He had all the credentials of a true and tested revolutionary, a man of depth, simplicity, humility and seriousness of purpose.
“He left an indelible mark in the sphere of intelligence service,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
“In serving his country with admirable merit until his well-deserved retirement in 2008, Cde Nhloko always exhibited characteristics of selflessness, integrity and focused attention. The family has been deprived of an irreplaceable pillar, Zanu-PF has lost an uncompromising and principled cadre and Zimbabwe is poorer by his absence. We will miss him greatly.”
Chronicling his contribution, the Director-General in the President’s Office, Retired Major General Happyton Bonyongwe said Cde Nhloko was born on June 13 1948 in Gweru and attended the then Lower Gwelo Mission and Solusi College where he completed his Cambridge School Certificate.
He left the country for Zambia to join the liberation struggle in 1967 and received military training in Russia.
In 1974, he was appointed Head of Intelligence Division for Zipra, deputising Mr Dabengwa.
He returned in December 1979 and at independence, Cde Nhloko was appointed an intelligence officer in the President’s Department after being awarded 15 years additional pensionable service for his participation in the liberation struggle.
Because of his hard work, the national hero rose through the ranks of becoming Assistant Intelligence Officer, (1986) where he was Head of Counter Subversion Unit for Harare Province, Divisional Intelligence Officer (1988) and in 1992 he was appointed liaison officer to Lagos, Nigeria.
On his return in 1996 he continued to serve in the intelligence before being transferred to the organisation’s Training Academy.
“On behalf of the Honourable Minister for National Security, the Directorate and on my own behalf, senior management and fellow officers, I wish to express our collective heartfelt condolences to the Nhloko family, relatives and friends on the occasion of this sad loss,” said Rtd Maj Gen Bonyongwe.
Commenting on the hero status of Mrs Lesabe, Zanu-PF secretary for administration, Cde Didymus Mutasa, said the Politburo and President Mugabe had concurred that she had immensely contributed to the liberation struggle.
“We could not confer her the national heroine sta-tus, which was her rightful status because she was not consistent when she joined Zapu led by Dabengwa,” said Cde Mutasa who is also the Minister of Presidential Affairs.
He said Zanu-PF was consistent in treating people who left the party as the same was done on former Zanu (Ndonga), Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.
“When you become a member of Zanu-PF, a revolutionary party, you need to be consistent and by joining Zapu, that was deemed not to be consistent. Zapu members are still party and parcel of Zanu-PF because of the agreement that we signed and nobody should go against that agreement” said Cde Mutasa.
“Ndabaningi Sithole was treated the same way even though he was at the core of setting up Zanu, so if we treat others differently, we would also fail to be consistent ourselves as the party.”
Zanu-PF Secretary for Women Affairs, Cde Oppah Muchinguri urged members of the Women’s League to come in their thousands for the burial of Cde Lesabe.
“She was a gender activist from the 50s who started her political life from the ANC, from throwing stones, to being incarcerated and to fight for the freedom of this country,” said Cde Muchinguri.
In civic affairs, Cde Lesabe was instrumental in the crafting of the National Gender Policy, which set the tone for women’s participation in the mainstream economy and empowerment programmes, said Cde Muchinguri.
“Cde TV, as she was affectionately known, played a major role in bringing about unity between PF Zapu and Zanu-PF. She was instrumental in integrating the Women’s Wings of the two parties. After the 1989 People’s Congress she became the first Deputy Secretary for Women’s League, deputising the then Secretary, the late First Lady Amai Sally Mugabe,” said Cde Muchinguri.