THE body of liberation war stalwart and former Home Affairs Minister Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, will arrive this afternoon at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport, in Bulawayo.
Dr Dabengwa, 79, died on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya on his way back home from India where he had gone for medical treatment. The Zipra intelligence supremo succumbed to a liver ailment.
Family spokesman Mr Freeman Dr Dabengwa, who is the Zapu leader’s last born son, said the body was expected at around midday. It will be accompanied by Dr Dabengwa’s wife, Zodwa.
The family has provisionally planned to bury Dr Dabengwa this Saturday at his rural home in Ntabazinduna – about 40km outside Bulawayo.
“Nyaradzo (funeral parlour) buses will ferry mourners from the Large City Hall to the airport at 10.30am tomorrow (today),” said Mr Dabengwa.
“We are grateful for the assistance received from the Government through provision of food for the scores of mourners.”
Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu said the party’s decision on Dr Dabengwa’s hero’s status will be announced soon.
“We will make pronouncements and then the nation will know,” he said.
The Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Cde Judith Ncube said Dr Dabengwa deserved to be honoured in recognition of the pivotal role he played towards the liberation of Zimbabwe from the colonial yoke.
“A leader is gone; a commander is no more. We hope that he gets the respect and honour he deserves. I encourage the Bulawayo community to welcome Dr Dabengwa’s body back home today,” she said.
Zimbabweans across the political divide have united in mourning the liberation war stalwart with several senior Government officials visiting the Dabengwa’s residence in Fourwinds to pay their condolences.
Dr Dabengwa is well-known for his key role in the war that brought independence in 1980.
He participated in the liberation war under Zipra which was Zapu’s military wing – with other heroes like the late Misheck Velaphi Ncube, Moffat Hadebe, Robson Manyika, Clark Mpofu, Sikhwili Khohli Moyo, Retired Colonel Thomas Ngwenya and Retired Colonel Tshinga.
He is survived by his wife Zodwa, five children and five grandchildren.
Mourners are gathered at number 39 Diamond Road, Fourwinds, Bulawayo.