Higher Education Minister Isaak Stanislaus Gorerazvo Mudenge, who died on Thursday, has been declared a national hero. His hero status was announced last night following consultations among Zanu PF Politburo members.
The minister collapsed and died in his room at a Masvingo hotel on Thursday afternoon. He was 71 and leaves behind a 22 year old wife, Mildred Kada and three children and two grandchildren. His two previous wives all passed away.
“Cde Mudenge has been declared a national hero and will probably be buried on Monday. Ministry of Home Affairs has been tasked to make all the necessary arrangements for burial,” Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said last night.
In his condolence message yesterday, President Robert Mugabe said Mudenge will go down in the country’s history as part of the founding crop of bureaucrats who took over the running of Government in ministries at independence in 1980.
“In his case, he had to build a whole Ministry of Foreign Affairs from scratch, given that Rhodesians never ran such an open, professional structure.
“Before long, Dr Mudenge would be sent on various sensitive missions abroad, culminating in his deployment to the United Nations in New York, as our Permanent Representative to that world body.
“He bore the brunt of those heady days, always standing steadfast for his people’s rights and interests, which he fully grasped and understood as a historian. Today that powerful and evocative voice is gone, silenced by this untimely death.
“Under his watchful eye, many universities offering diverse disciplines were formed in almost all our provinces. Today our country runs the whole gamut by way of focus, all of them forward looking, but never in a way that ignores or undermines our cultural rootedness.
“His broad works stand poignant and must give pride and solace to his bereaved wife, children, as well as to the wider Mudenge family by whose side the whole nation presently stands in this hour of great pain and loss.
“To them, on behalf of the inclusive Government, our party Zanu-PF of my wife and on my own behalf, send deepest condolences and words of comfort,” Mugabe said.
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