The Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) Veterans Association and Zapu have encouraged all war veterans, who worked with late national hero Dumiso Dabengwa (DD), to join a mass memorial scheduled for Friday at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.
Dabengwa whose remains arrived in Bulawayo, was the former Home Affairs minister died in Nairobi, Kenya while on his way from India.
Dabengwa will be buried at the family shrine in Ntabazinduna, Matebeleland North province as per his wish.
Zipra Veterans Association spokesperson Buster Magwizi yesterday called on all war veterans and citizens in general to give the late hero a befitting send-off.
“From all corners of Zimbabwe, we are saddened by the passing on of Dabengwa. We appeal to all Zipra and Zanla comrades who worked with Dabengwa, who feel that they want to join us in remembering the commander, general, supremo Dumiso Dabengwa to come in your numbers,” Magwizi said.
He said Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa lost a bold son of the soil, a hero of the African people’s liberation and a freedom fighter.
“Dabengwa may not have been a darling of the current administration, but let the brutal truth be told, Dabengwa earned his respect. Hate him, like him or love him, his contribution to the liberation of Africa will forever stand out unchallenged,” Magwizi added.
“DD was a forerunner in the armed struggle; he trained the crop of (President) Emmerson Mnangagwa and (Vice-President) Kembo Mohadi, who today… have a myopic view and squinted respect for their commander.”
The mass memorial is expected to be held at the White City Stadium on Friday starting in the morning.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithile Maphosa said in honour of Dabengwa, only Zapu regalia should be worn at his funeral wake and burial.
“We anticipate to lay our greatest hero to rest on Saturday, June 1 at Manxeleni in Ntabazinduna, about 30 kilometres from Bulawayo. We welcome everyone’s continued support as we all celebrate the life of the finest citizen to ever come out of southern Africa, a friend to all and a father to the orphaned,” Maphosa said.
Maphosa indicated that: “We, however, would like to advise our friends who will be coming to mourn with us to respect Cde DD and everything that he stood for. President Dabengwa was Zapu in blood, thought and in deeds. Throughout his life he was a principled cadre of the Zapu ideology and teachings. In as much as we welcome all Zimbabweans at the celebration of our father, we will appreciate it if only Zapu regalia be conspicuous at his funeral and burial.”
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.