Amai Mpofu and the bereaved Mpofu family; The First Lady, Amai Mnangagwa; Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Gen. (Rtd) Dr C.G.D.N. Chiwenga; Vice President, Col. (Rtd) Cde K.C.D. Mohadi; Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate J.F. Mudenda; President of the Senate, Amai M.M. Chinomona; The Chief Justice, Honourable L. Malaba; Politburo and Central Committee members; Honourable Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province, Cde O. Chidawu; Honourable Ministers; Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Senior Government Officials; Service Chiefs; War Veterans, Ex-Detainees, Ex-Restrictees and War Collaborators; Our Traditional Chiefs; Ladies and Gentlemen; Comrades and Friends.
We gather here today at our sacred national shrine in deep sorrow and grief as we lay to rest another outstanding veteran of our liberation struggle, the late Deputy Commissioner (Rtd) Comrade Moses Griffiths Mpofu who passed on, on February 12, 2021 at the age of 66.
Our nation is again in mourning and grieving at the loss of one of her Sons of the Soil.
On behalf of the party Zanu PF, Government and people of Zimbabwe, my family and indeed on my own behalf allow me to convey our deepest heartfelt condolences to the Mpofu family, foremost to his wife Sibonile Khumalo and children.
May you find comfort and solace in that the nation is with you over this huge loss. Together we have lost a man of extraordinary deeds, a protagonist and executor of our liberation struggle, a unifier, a family man and a father figure. We have thus lost a stalwart of the national struggle, indeed a fearless cadre. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
The late national hero grew up in the then derogatively described native reserves by the settler regimes and endured the oppressive, segregatory systems and practices of the colonial regime.
Born on the 9th of August 1954, in Nyamandlovhu district, the late Cde Mpofu went to Nhlabathi and Nkonzo primary schools in Tsholotsho. He completed his secondary education at Tegwani high school. The late national hero, Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu, was an avid reader of his books and dedicated his time to his studies even when herding cattle.
It is during this period, where upon, the growth and rise of the revolutionary spirit had gathered momentum and engulfed the entire nation, influencing the late national hero to become fully involved in politics under the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) banner.
Expectedly, mission schools such as Tegwani where the late Cde Mpofu studied, became political hotbeds with many young students abandoning their education to join the liberation struggle.
In 1974, he was appointed to the post of Secretary for Youth in Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) covering Hwange and Victoria Falls. A veteran of the liberation struggle, our late national hero, Cde Mpofu, crossed the border into Zambia alongside 12 other recruits with the assistance of Cde John Nyamupingidza who commanded the then ZAPU’s Northern Region Front.
Under the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army in 1975, he received rigorous guerrilla training at Mwembeshi and later Mgagao and Morogoro in Tanzania.
Later he specialised in intelligence and became a member of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) Intelligence Wing, National Security Organisation, a counter-intelligence agency against Rhodesian forces.
Due to his impressive performance and track record during training, he impressed his commanders.
Subsequently between 1978 and 1979 he was seconded for further command-related and intelligence training course at the Novocherkassk Advanced Police Academy in the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in anticipation of new duties in a free, liberated, sovereign and independent Zimbabwe.
Fellow mourners, comrades and friends; Our protracted liberation struggle lasted up to our victory in 1979, with our late national hero, Cde “Matswata Witness Mhlanga”, Moses Griffiths Mpofu in the thick of it.
In 1979, the late national hero, Cde Mpofu returned to Zimbabwe as part of the Intelligence Unit Advance team tasked to carry out mapping and reconnaissance activities.
At Independence, the late national hero, Cde Mpofu joined the police service in 1980 as a constable and thereafter was promoted in 1981 to the rank of patrol officer.
Even though he was trained outside the country, he accepted the rank of constable, which attests to his humility, great discipline and clarity of purpose.
To him the supremacy to serve independent Zimbabwe was of paramount importance than the post.
He served the country in the police with distinction, loyalty, courage, fortitude and determination.
His illustrious policing career can be traced back to various police stations countrywide including, Mphoengs, Mayobodo, Fort Rixon, Esigodini, Gwanda, Bulawayo Central and Harare Province where he served as Officer in-Charge Crime and Investigations, Inspector, Superintendent Administration and Officer Commanding.
His astute leadership qualities, firmness and due diligence in the execution of police duties, saw him being promoted to the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner in 1998.
He scooped many accolades which attest to his exemplary and extraordinary qualities as a trained and disciplined cadre, these include: The Bronze Liberation Medal, Service Medal, Police Long and Exemplary Service Medal.
The late Cde Griffiths Mpofu excelled in his career and rose through the ranks to the post of Deputy Commissioner in 1999, a rank which he held until his retirement in December 2003.
Indeed, we have lost a repository of knowledge and true patriot.
He never wavered in the course of serving the nation and Government particularly with regards ensuring law, order and safety; hence we honour him in this befitting way, resting him amongst his wartime comrades.
Fellow mourners, comrades and friends; The late National Hero, Cde Mpofu was part of the top leadership of the Zimbabwe Republic Police at a time when we embarked on the historic Land Reform Programme. That programme delivered unique challenges to conventional police duties.
At the heart of the Second Chimurenga was a frontal challenge to property relations which the racial colonial system had bequeathed to Independent Zimbabwe as a baneful legacy.
That legacy was now being challenged, presenting a real dilemma to policing and, more keenly, to senior officers like the late retired Deputy Commissioner Moses Griffiths Mpofu who had gone to war precisely to free the occupied land.
One had to strike an intricate balance between one’s duties as a senior police officer sworn to the maintenance of law, order and the defence of property, on one hand, and on the other to preserve the obligations of the struggle which was driven by the land question.
We owe it to cadres like the late Cde Mpofu that our land reform programme was a success and never will it be reversed by those who opposed it. Today the land is united with its owners and its owners are united with the land.
More importantly, today we commit the late Cde Mpofu into the land which is now free.
As we lay our late national hero, Cde Mpofu to rest here at the national shrine, let us reflect on the arduous journey we have travelled as a people.
We are a nation born out of a protracted liberation struggle for which cadres like the late Cde Mpofu made huge sacrifices.
We must defend our independence and fortify it by any means available and necessary. Above all, we must never betray the ideals which our freedom fighters sacrificed for, some with their precious lives.
For these ideals define an all-binding covenant for all generations. Today, the instruments of political power and authority which our Independence delivered should now be harnessed towards consolidating our heritage and giving us a secure place in the world.
The land has come. We must cultivate it so that our economy recovers and grows.
Agriculture is the bedrock of our economy. I am aware that our youths are crying out for pieces of land and are eager to work the land. The inquiry we launched on agricultural land has identified lots of land which is vacant, underutilised and belonging to multiple owners. Government will repossess that land for on-leasing to the landless, foremost among them the youths.
Our Land Reform Programme must validate its justness by delivering to this generation of youth. Therefore, I urge stakeholders in the agriculture sector to nurture our young population who are rearing to join the agricultural revolution already underway.
The rains have been good and continue to bless our land. The land must therefore be worked on, made to produce like never before. Meanwhile, my Government continues to build dams, and to set up irrigation schemes designed to climate-proof our agriculture, towards greater production and productivity in both lean and “fat” years.
This is more urgent and important as the ongoing trade on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area presents opportunities.
In addition, many countries across the globe are presenting market opportunities.
Let us therefore put Zimbabwe on the global agriculture map, by taking full advantage of our rich soils, climate and our tradition as a hardworking people.
In this regard export market-led production must be strengthened leveraging on the ongoing work by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) and ZimTrade.
Our country is well on the path to irreversible economic recovery. This is further augmented by the macro-economic fundamentals which are pointing in the right direction. We are taming inflation, bolstering currency and price stability in our economy. I urge business enterprises to consolidate these gains going forward.
With greater discipline and all the measures we are taking, the pandemic will be defeated, and our nation will flourish.
Fellow mourners, comrades and friends; Early in the week, we took delivery of our first batch of vaccines against the pandemic. The vaccination programme started rolling out this Thursday, with our Vice President, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, receiving the first jab and many other frontline workers joining. The vaccine is safe and an effective antidote against Covid-19 and indeed part of our weaponry in fighting the virus.
All of us, including myself as the President, Cabinet Ministers and all officials, will get vaccinated. So should you, my dear Zimbabweans, if we are to protect ourselves, our families and our nation, towards returning our lives to normalcy.
Children must go back to school and businesses must reopen with regards resumption of normal economic life of our nation. More doses of vaccines will be delivered until we vaccinate all those who volunteer to participate in the vaccination programme, which is fully funded by our Government.
While Covid-19 is still with us stealing our loved ones, we should not let our guard down. Instead, let us heighten our vigilance so that we win the war against it.
Let me once more thank the Chinese government for supporting our fight against the global pandemic.
The global demand for vaccines is enormous; yet the People’s Republic of China put Zimbabwe ahead of many nations. We are truly thankful. We are equally thankful to Russia, India and the United Kingdom.
We applaud this gesture of great humanity and show of solidarity.
Fellow mourners, comrades and friends; Recently, Government announced measures to clean up illegal settlements created by opposition-controlled local authorities. We mean business and there will be no going back or let up. We cannot leave our people to the whims and caprices of notorious land barons who have been running riot.
Equally, the fight against all forms of corruption and other criminal activities continues at full throttle. All those barons, whoever they are; must be brought to book. The Second Republic is for law, order and planned settlements; nothing less will do.
This is what the late Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu stood for. We will not let him down by condoning lawlessness in the country.
I exhort the officers, men and women in the Zimbabwe Republic Police to emulate the footprints of the late national hero, Deputy Commissioner (Rtd) Cde Mpofu, who was a rare breed, uncompromising service officer, dedicated and disciplined cadre. You must be emboldened by a benchmarking legacy our national hero bequeathed to the policing service.
Meanwhile, my Government remains committed towards supporting the Police Service with regards executing its mandate. Capacity building in the force must be implemented with urgency and speed in the wake of the use of artificial intelligence, technologies and forensic sciences as well as the growing need to fight trans-border crimes.
Let me end my address by asking us to emulate the illustrious life of late Cde Mpofu.
He bequeathed to us the message of love for our country and for one another; across region and tribe. He served all Zimbabweans, ranked them same and equal. He fought for our total freedom, safeguarded our unity which he personified.
To Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu, I say:
Go well, Go well Son of the Soil!
Rest in eternal peace!
God bless you all!
God bless Zimbabwe! I thank you.