THERE is no greater tragedy in life than the death of a young soul, for as nature often has it, it is the young that bury the old and rarely the other way round.
However, in most excruciating fashion, Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa, son to Sean Mnangagwa, was taken from his family, in a blow that has left many with open wounds and unanswerable questions.
Only five years old, Yasha died due to respiratory complications on Sunday and is expected to be buried in Bikita today, next to his forefather Mafidi, whose name he carried as a healthy boy until tragedy struck.
At a church service at the family home in Helensvale, Harare yesterday, a sombre President Mnangagwa narrated the tragic events leading to the loss of his dear departed grandson.
“Mafidi is a son to our son Tafadzwa Sean. He is a twin, the other one is Takunda. Those are the names we gave them but when they went to school they changed their names to Sean and Collins.
“As has been said by our son, it is expected that the grandchild takes care of the grandfather, that the son takes care of the father. It is so heart-breaking that we are the ones to bury the grandson, but that is God’s way and there is nothing that we can do if tragedy strikes,” the President told mourners.
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, the Mnangagwa family, and Mangwiro family were in attendance.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Government ministers, senior Government officials, service chiefs and friends of the bereaved couple also attended the service.
President Mnangagwa said despite the heroic efforts of the medical team that was attending to Yasha, he unfortunately passed away on Sunday morning, leaving the family gutted.
“On Friday night when our son visited the hospital, we heard that when the now late grandson was taking his food it went through the wrong pipe, so they rushed him to hospital.
“I want to thank the doctors because they did their utmost best. When I visited with (First Lady) Amai, that night, we could feel that the doctors, young doctors, they impressed us, competent, very committed, we would like to thank them as the Mnangagwa family.
“By next morning, they told us that pneumonia had then developed as they were busy trying to pump out the food that had entered the wrong pipe,” he said.
While the medical staff was able to remove some of the food, there were residual elements that did not come out, despite the medical staff’s spirited determination.
“We were satisfied with the services they provided to our grandson, he was stable and that same night we went back to sleep just after midnight. The next morning on Sunday, we went back to the hospital with the First Lady and we saw that he was critical but stable, we spent some time there.
“When we were satisfied that he was stable and they were doing their best, I left for Kwekwe but Mhamha (First Lady) said she wanted to remain at the hospital. She called around 11 O’clock (Sunday) saying Daddy mwana ashaya, that is what happened, then I had to come back,” the President said.
Yasha was a young boy, full of life and the family, just like any, had high hopes for him. However, ineluctable fate had other plans.
“As you can see (from the pictures) he was very healthy, very strong. As a family we have agreed that he will be buried next to our forefather, my father’s father vaMafidi vacho.
“I want to thank you all for the love you have shown us. Tirikudzimbikana nekusiyiwa nemwana mudiki akadai, anga ari full of life and hope. To the father and the mother, I say be strong because this is what God has decided,” he said.
Mr Felix Mangwiro, father to Sean’s wife, Varaidzo, said a beautiful rose has been plucked from them leaving a gaping hole in their hearts.
“God has taken his gift from us, we are in deep sorrow. I say to Varaidzo and Sean, I am with you in your grief, may God be with you during this trying time,” he said.
Gogo Locadia from Varaidzo’s side said Yasha is now with angels.
“Let us, in our prayers, pray for the parents who have lost a beloved child, we say may his soul rest in peace,” she said.
In her speech, Sean’s sister, Farai, said: “It is a very difficult time for the whole family. It is not easy to lose a child, Varie muroora, my heart goes out to you especially as the mom because as a mother you go through the most.
“To my brother Sean, I am very sorry about your loss, remember we are here for you. I want to thank everyone who has come to support Sean and Varaidzo,” she said.
The church service was led by Bishop Edmore Chihota of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.