By Lloyd Gumbo and Patrick Chitumba
Thousands of people are expected to throng the National Heroes’ Acre today to pay their last respects to national hero, Cephas George Msipa who succumbed to pneumonia in Harare on Monday.
President Mugabe is expected to address mourners at the national shrine.
Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan province Miriam Chikukwa said Government had availed 20 buses to ferry people in Harare while 10 buses had been deployed to Midlands province where Cde Msipa hailed from while the rest of the provinces got one bus each.
“So in Harare, the buses will start picking people at the usual pick up points at 6.30am,” said Minister Chikukwa.
“But as you may be aware Harare has a lot of people, so the 20 buses may not be adequate.
“It is for that reason that we implore other people in and around Mbare to find their way to Stodart Hall.
“The (Harare) provincial administrator, Alfred Tome headed a meeting yesterday (Thursday) where they deliberated on the logistics for the burial.
“I understand 10 buses went to Midlands while other provinces got one bus each. From what I have been advised, everything is in order now.”
Zanu-PF Harare provincial spokesperson, Abicia Ushewokunze said the party was also mobilizing people throughout the province to attend the burial.
“We are mobilising people throughout the 29 constituencies in Harare so that we give a befitting send-off to Cde Msipa who by the way, had a strong relationship with His Excellency, President Mugabe.
“We urge people around Warren Park, Westlea and Kambuzuma to walk to the national shrine because the buses we got may not be adequate,” said Cde Ushewokunze.
Meanwhile, thousands of people thronged Cecil John Rhodes Primary School grounds in Gweru yesterday to pay their tribute to Msipa.
From as early as 7:30am people from all walks of life started trickling in to the school grounds as they waited for the arrival of Cde Msipa’s body from a church service that was held at Church of Christ in Windsor Park, Gweru.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, described the late Msipa as a humble, honest and fair person.
He said if there was one minister who was not corrupt, it was Msipa who wanted things done in a proper manner without cutting corner or corruptly.
“He was one of the people who excelled well in education before he became a headmaster and subsequently the president of teachers under the Rhodesia Teachers’ Association.
”The whites fought him and the organisation before he was fired for standing against colonialism. He was an honorable man, who was humble and would speak his mind. He was full of humility was honest and had a sense of fairness,” said Mumbengegwi.
He said Msipa left behind a legacy in the form of CG Msipa Trust, which he said had seen over 600 students benefiting.
Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, ason Machaya said as humble as he was, Msipa sold his only farm to fund his trust.
He said as the chairperson of the Midlands Land Committee in charge of allocating land, the late nationalist had shocked many people by allocating himself a piece of virgin land where there were no structures.
“I was shocked to see the undeveloped piece of land he got himself, we them forced him to move to a farm near Gweru, which because of his love to assist the underprivileged students, sold it to fund their education,” said Machaya.
“Vamunyoro, vamafirakureva, vamudavanhu is gone and we will miss him so much. President Mugabe once said if the government had more uncorrupt people like Cde Msipa, the country would be in a fair better place.”
The National Heroes’ Acre, Machaya said, carries the richness of a people struggle against the brutal oppressive regime and therefore the need for Msipa to be buried there.
“There lies the leadership of a people’s revolution like Cde Msipa, those who sacrificed their life to bring change in the country. It is an honor to have the national hero’s status bestowed on him,” he said.
Midlands provincial administrator, Mrs Cecilia Chitiyo said buses had been availed to ferry relatives and mourners to Harare for Cde Msipa’s burial today at the National Heroes’ Acre.
She said Government, and private players had sourced the buses for the worthy cause. The Herald