President Mugabe yesterday described Cde Cephas Msipa, who died at Westend Hospital in Harare on Monday as a gallant fighter of the liberation struggle.Cde Msipa, who died aged 85, will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Saturday.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, visited one of Cde Msipa’s sons, Charles, at his Borrowdale home in Harare to pay his condolences.
He was accompanied by First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe and Cabinet ministers Dr Christopher Mushohwe (Information, Media and Broadcasting Services), Kembo Mohadi (State Security), Oppah Muchinguri (Environment, Water and Climate), Ignatius Chombo (Home Affairs) and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Foreign Affairs).
Addressing mourners, President Mugabe said Cde Msipa was a national hero who worked hard to liberate the country.
He said although his family had indicated that the departed national hero wanted to be buried next to his wife at the Gweru Provincial Heroes Acre, it was important to honour him with a status befitting his contribution to the nation.
‘’Ndakange ndati kuna VaMnangagwa (Emmerson) naVaMphoko (Phelekezela) kana vakomana zvichikurumidzwa kugadzirwa, vakomana gadzirai zvakanaka (I had said to Cdes Mnangagwa and Mphoko make prompt arrangements),” he said.
“Apa hapana nhauro dziripo idzi, igamba guru. Saka mumwe wevatinokudza sekukudza kwatakaita vamwe. Ndazoenda uko (in Madagascar) ndopandakazonzwa kuti vemhuri vari kuti VaMsipa vakatenge vamarker nzvimbo yerutivi rweguva remudzimai vachiti kana zvazoitika, ndadaidzwa apa ndopandosungirwa kuiswa (There was no need for consultations on his hero status. He is a certified national hero who deserves the highest honour accorded others. When I was in Madagascar, I heard that the family had said his wish was to be buried next to his wife)
“Ndikazonzwa kuti asi gakava range riripo rinenge rakazopera mhuri yakazenge yoti hazvinei kwakaenda vamwe vazhinji angaende zvake. Saka ndange ndisingafunge kuti richipo, pfungwa iyoyo yekuti avigwe pane mudzimai kuti yange ichiripo. Saka muchiri nayo here ndigotaura inini semuzukuru (I then heard that the issue had been resolved and the family agreed that he should be buried at the National Heroes Acre with others of his ilk. Is the issue of burying him in Gweru still on the table so that I, as the nephew, can talk)?”
President Mugabe chronicled how he stayed with Cde Msipa and his long political career. He described Cde Msipa as an open politician who spoke his mind.
“Ndakagara naVaMsipa ndichiri jaya pandabva kuGhana ivo naPeter Gumbo pauviri hwavo Madyirapanze. Peter Gumbo ange ari mwana kune rimwe divi kwavatete hanzvadzi yababa (I stayed with Cde Msipa as a bachelor when I returned from Ghana. Peter Gumbo and him, the two of them of the Madyirapanze totem. Peter was son to my aunt, sister to my father),” he said.
“Kune rimwe divi vasekuru vekwaGumbo kwakaroorwa vatete. Saka vange vagere vakagarisana muHighfield ini ndabvawo ikoko ndinongovawo jaya zvangu ndikati ah majaya aya ndogarapo. Ichokwadi ndozvakazoitika topinda muhurukuro dzepolitics dzedu dzeNational Democratic Party. Taitaura nhau dzenyika vachimbotaura kuti tange tichimbova kuCentre Party ndikati dai makasiya iyo endai kune yedu yevanhu iyo. Vakomana avo vanoda vanhu vakafundawo kuti vavatungamirire.
“Vakazobva ikoko vachienda ndinofunga kuKwekwe here kana kuGweru nebasa reuheadmaster – izvozvo vange vari maheadmaster maviri vandiri kutaura ava vari mabhachura zvavo ini ndiriwo rizere bhachura.
“Saka nyaya dzataitaura dzaive dzakakosha imi musati mavepo imi.”
President Mugabe continued: “Ndozonzwa kuti vapinda munyaya dzenyika. Tave tose neniwo handina kuzodzoka vanhu vati chirega kudzoka. Saka takazova tiri tose muparty, tiri tose hezvo ivo vakazoregawo basa rehuheadmaster iri matove mushure nehusungwa vachiendeswa kunana Gonakudzingwa ikoko nedzimwe nzvimbo. Hezvoo mubishi iri rematambudziko okusungwa nhasi maregedzwa, mangwana masungwa takava nekuzivana zvakakosha.
“Tikava nekuzova nehurukuro dzakaunza nyika muna 1979 kuLancaster House tiri tose toita maelections. Nyangwe akabuda (maelections) achiti avo vari kuZapu ava vari kuZanu asi takange tatoita pachiPatriotic Front kare tatopanana mhiko kuti wahwina tinobatana chete pahHurumende.”
After independence, President Mugabe said, Cde Msipa served as a Cabinet minister among other senior posts both in Government and the party.
President Mugabe said Cde Msipa served as a Cabinet minister, Politburo and Central Committee member among other posts.
“KuGweru vaigara vakamutsana nava (VP Emmerson) Mnangagwa kwanzi iwe ndiwe wakanganisa Gweru, iwe wakanganisa Kwekwe. Asi tichitaura tiri muparty imwe chete tichinzwanana pakusimudzira musangano wedu. Takaramba tichingodhonza. Pazofa mudzimai tichiva tose kuProvincial Heroes Acre ndakaona kuti upenyu hwasekuru hwaderera. Saka ndopazvakazosvika apa.
“Gamba renyika yose raiita mushando wakadaro. Hongu mudzimai wakaiswa kuProvincial Heroes Acre kuGweru, hongu vaive neshungu yekuti vazoradzikwawo ipapo nokuti vakange vasina kuzvitarira kuti ndingazove here national hero aihwa
“Vakange vachizvidupukisa. Zvino ndowomuti imi monomuchengeta moga, kunomuisa mudumba menyu? Ibvai apa madzisekuru. Madyirapanze, ah sekuru vangu vane imba kugomo kune vamwe. Ndiye wadii woga woga? Aiwa, aiwa. Tinoda kumuona. Charles nevamwe vakomana aiwa. Even in respect of care, there is permanent care at the Heroes Acre mazviona. Gore negore hongu maProvincial Heroes Acres are given care but maximum care is given iko kugomo. Saka handingade. Hongu ndiri kutaura semuzukuru asi ipfungwa yandinayo semuzukuru yekuti madzisekuru tongwai nemuzukuru.
“Zvakanaka zvazvo. Pakaradzikwa mbuya ndinopaziva saka ndatongaka? Handingambove nemufaro kana, kana kuti ndopataisa apa VaMsipa? Saka kana chiri chigumbu kwaari tinogosvitsawo shoko redu kuti usagumbuke iwe wee. Ndozvawakarwira izvi. Tiri kukupa rukudzo rwezvawakarwira. Hatisi kushora mudzimai, hatisi kushora hama kwete. Rukudzo rwatiri kukupa senyika, rukudzo rwatiri kukupa semusangano, rukudzo rwatiri kukupa seHurumende. Saka ndakafara ndichinzwa kuti makawirirana pazuva reMugovera kuti ndopaangaradzikwe.
“Ndaiti dzimwe nguva ndinowana mamutora mamukanda uko kusango. Zvakaitwa zvakanaka.”
Cde Msipa’s son, Masimba, said as a family they had only highlighted what their father had suggested to them but they had no objection to him being interred at the National Heroes Acre.
He said they were happy that they delivered that message to President Mugabe. Masimba said Cde Msipa’s body would be taken to Zvishavane today and would be in Gweru on Friday before returning to Harare for burial on Saturday.