FORMER Police Deputy Commissioner and national hero Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu, who died on Friday last week, will be buried today at the National Heroes Acre in strict compliance with Covid-19 World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
President Mnangagwa will preside over the burial, which will be physically attended by family members and a few other people.
Vice Presidents Dr Constantine Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, are expected to attend.
Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe confirmed the burial arrangements saying because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the interment will follow strict Covid-19 guidelines that include social distancing, wearing of facemasks and a limited number of people.
“Burial is on Saturday (today). Covid-19 protocols will be observed strictly as has become the norm. Mourners are expected to follow World Health Organisation guidelines to avoid the risk of spreading the pandemic.
“We have to follow the Government and WHO protocols. Only a prescribed number of people are expected at the funeral,” he said.
A statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs last night said the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda, President of the Senate Mabel Chinomona, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, ZANU PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu, Minister Kazembe, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province Oliver Chidau, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, and service chiefs, are expected to attend the burial.
“All other people are kindly requested to watch the programme from home,” said the Home Affairs Ministry.
Cde Mpofu died on Friday last week at the United Bulawayo Hospitals after a long illness.
He was 66.
Cde Mpofu, who was unanimously declared a national hero by the Politburo on Wednesday, was a former deputy commissioner general in the police service and participated in the country’s liberation struggle.
In his condolence message President Mnangagwa described the late Cde Mpofu as a patriotic and courageous Zimbabwean whose life should inspire the nation.
In his condolence message, President Mnangagwa said the late national hero will be fondly remembered for his virtues of courage, fortitude, patriotism, and integrity which he amply demonstrated before and after Independence as a senior police officer of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“The death last week of Retired Deputy Commissioner of the ZRP Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu, has robbed our nation of yet another gallant son of the soil, a former freedom fighter and a strong revolutionary cadre.
“While we knew that Deputy Commissioner Mpofu had not been well for some time, to the extent that he had to be hospitalised, our prayerful expectations were for his speedy recovery
“Therefore, his untimely death came as a great shock to those of us who had lived, fought and worked alongside him both before and after our country’s independence.”
The President said the death of Cde Mpofu has left a deep wound.
“His passing on has left a deep wound in our hearts that will be difficult to heal.
“We shall remember him for his strong virtues of courage, fortitude, patriotism, and integrity which he amply demonstrated before and after Independence as a senior police officer of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. On behalf of Zanu PF, Government, my family, and indeed on my behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Mpofu family, especially to his wife, Sibonile, and the children who have lost a dear husband, father and counsellor.
“May they be comforted from the fact that we are together during this hour of deep grief. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.”
His former workmates in the police force described him as an astute and disciplined officer. He excelled in his career and rose through the ranks to Deputy Commissioner in 1999, a rank which he held until his retirement in December 2003.
Cde Mpofu went to Nsezi Primary School in Tsholotsho before completing his secondary education at Tegwani High School in 1974.
A veteran of the liberation struggle, Cde Mpofu crossed the border into Zambia under the ZIPRA banner in 1975 and received military training at Mwembeshi and later Mgagao and Morogoro in Tanzania.
After training, he was deployed in Zambia under the ZAPU Intelligence Wing, National Security Order, a counter-intelligence agency against Rhodesian forces.
Deputy Commissioner Mpofu underwent several police command-related courses between 1978 and 1979 at Novocherkassk Advanced Police Academy under the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
After Independence, Cde Mpofu joined the police service in 1981 as a patrol officer and was posted to Mphoengs after training.
He served at various police stations countrywide including Mayobodo, Fort Rixon, Esigodini, Gwanda, Bulawayo Central and Harare Province.