BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe’s opposition ZAPU this week implored people who visited the home of fallen party President Dumiso Dabengwa and those who would attend his burial to respect Dabengwa and everything that he stood for.
While expressing his party’s gratitude to the multitudes who have continued to pay their respects since the passing on of Dabengwa last week, Maphosa said the former Zipra intelligence supremo’s political beliefs should not be trampled upon.
“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 will be conspicuous at his funeral and burial,” said Maphosa, in a veiled plea to fellow politicians during an interview in Bulawayo Monday.
“We believe the ideology and beliefs that he stood for are appealing to all who are celebrating his life today and we sincerely are hopeful that this request will be taken seriously in respect of our father and the ideology he so believed in and stood by in truth till the end.”
Dabengwa, head of intelligence for Zapu’s military wing, ZIPRA, during the liberation war that brought Zimbabwe’s independence from former colonial master Britain in 1980, died in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, while awaiting a connecting flight to his home country from India, where he had gone to seek an operation for a liver ailment.
Affectionately known as the Black Russian, he was one of the first from the ZAPU ranks to undergo military training in the then Soviet Union and was trained by the KGB to eventually become the ZIPRA intelligence supremo.
Since his passing on, Zimbabweans and other national activists and leaders in the world have continued to pay their tributes to the national hero and Zapu said this week it was grateful for that kind of support as the former Minister of Home Affairs is being prepared for his final resting place in his Emanxeleni rural home in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland South Province.
“We have finally received his body in Bulawayo after technical glitches we experienced yesterday,” said Mr Maphosa.
“We thank all for people’s patience and continued support. We anticipate to lay our greatest hero to rest on Saturday at Manxeleni in Ntabazinduna and 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. ZAPU appreciates all who have come to comfort us and the Dabengwa family.
“Everyone’s continued presence is still welcome. We are appreciative of the fact that Cde DD, as he is affectionately known, was a man of the people and as such, we are alive to the fact that his influence goes far beyond ZAPU and Zimbabwe.”