By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday buried the late Roman Catholic Priest, Father Emmanuel Ribeiro at the National Heroes Acre becoming the first priest to be buried there.
Fr Ribeiro died at St Anne’s Hospital in Harare last Thursday after a short illness. He was 86.
On Friday, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri declared him a national hero.
Addressing mourners at the national shrine, Mnangagwa said Fr Ribeiro helped the country’s independence course through actively assisting the country’s freedom fighters such as late former president Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa added that Fr Ribeiro was an inspiration to many people and his burial at the Heroes Acre was special considering the many people he saved during his life.
“A dark cloud hovers over our country and the church at large, as we gather here at the National Shrine to lay to rest, mourn and celebrate the life of our Roman Catholic Cleric Father Emmanuel Francis Ribeiro.
“We thus, mourn a great son of the soil, a Roman Catholic priest, Father (Baba), a brother, a comrade, composer and novelist. He worked tirelessly and used his diverse talents to nurture the souls of many people in our beloved country.
“I am personally pained by his demise, for our lives and fates intersected under extremely difficult and unenviable circumstances. Those circumstances knit us together, after he saved me from the gallows, with his sheer compassionately goodness and astuteness,” he said.