Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
The family of national hero, Cde Cephas George Msipa, has said it is honoured to have him buried at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare tomorrow. Addressing mourners at the family homestead at Siboza Village in Zvishavane yesterday, the late nationalist’s brother, Mr Obert Msipa, said while there were areas of disagreement regarding the burial of his brother, President Mugabe had convinced the family to have him interred at the national shrine.
“We thank the Government for the honour bestowed on our brother. We are happy that he will be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare on Saturday. Yes you might have read in the papers of some disagreements that were there but President Mugabe showed us the way. President Mugabe said it was not possible for Cde Msipa to be buried away from his fellow comrades,” he said.
“President Mugabe said his fellow comrade; his former roommate when they were still bachelors, could not be buried “mubako” (in a cave)”.
Obert said Cde Msipa, Cde Mugabe and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa shared a house in Zvishavane when they were still young.
He said they were very close and that connection could be severed by death.
Thus Cde Msipa would be buried at the Heroes Acre with other national heroes.
“Yes we had our views, yes we thought he could be buried in Gweru but that is not the case now and we are happy with what President Mugabe said. So I thank you all for coming in numbers to see our brother off to the National Heroes Acre,” Obert said.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Midlands Province, Cde Jason Machaya, said he had been tasked by President Mugabe to take Cde Msipa’s body to the province for the people to pay their last respects.
Cde Mugabe, the provincial minister said, declared that even if Cde Machaya was declared a national hero, his body was supposed to come to Zvishavane so that his people would say goodbye.
“President Mugabe said we should bring him here so that you bid him farewell. At the same time we are giving the family members an opportunity to do their traditions, if any, before his body is buried in Harare,” Cde Machaya said.
Speakers described the late trade unionist as a unifier, a hard worker and a man of the people who had a passion for developing members of the community.
The Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Cde Larry Mavhima, said the C. G. Msipa scholarship would go on assisting the less privileged students in the country.
“Let me assure you that the C. G. Msipa scholarship will not stop paying fees for its beneficiaries. It is a registered trust and will continue supporting pupils throughout the country,” he said.
Zanu-PF Midlands Province deputy chairperson, Cde Daniel Ncube, said the province had been honoured to have the national hero status bestowed on Cde Msipa.
Politburo member Cde July Moyo said the first independence celebrations in the country were organised by Cde Msipa.
He said Cde Msipa — a hard worker of repute — was determined to see progress in the country.
“This is a great day for us as we come together to honour our gallant son. We will forever be grateful for the work he did for the community and country at large,” Cde Moyo said.
After a church service at his homestead in Siboza and at Mandava Stadium — there was time for body viewing.
The body was later flown to Gweru where it was to lie in state at his house at number 57 in Kopje.