National hero Oliver Mtukudzi's burial date set

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THE late Zimbabwean Afro-jazz musician and national hero Oliver Mtukudzi will be buried at his rural Madziva home near Bindura on Sunday, sources close to the Tuku family have revealed.

Mtukudzi, who succumbed to diabetes on Wednesday at a Harare hospital, was declared a national hero, with the family having the liberty to choose where and when he will be laid to rest.

Announcing the conferment of national hero status on Oliver Mtukudzi at the Mtukudzi home in Norton Thursday, President Mnangagwa said the government will cover all funeral expenses.

He added that the Mtukudzi family will decide where and when Tuku will be buried.

Sources close to the Tuku family told 263gossip that Oliver Mtukudzi will be laid to rest at the family’s rural Madziva, just outside Bindura, “as that had always been Tuku’s wish.”

A family source further said: “Over the past few weeks, the family had come to terms with the reality that Tuku might lose his fight to diabetes. All burial scenarios seem to have been finalized while Tuku was alive, as there wasn’t that much debate or consultations regarding his final resting place.”

This was also confirmed by UK-based former Radio Zimbabwe DJ Ezra Tshisa Sibanda, who worked for a long time with Mtukudzi.

Sibanda, who for much of the week has been at the Mtukudzi home in Norton to pay his condolences, said Tuku confided to him some years back that he would want to be buried at Madziva.

Ezra Sibanda said: “Tuku once told me his wish was to be buried at his rural home in Madziva, 30km from Bindura, Mashonaland Central province.”

He added: “He told me a few weeks after the burial of his son Sam in 2010 who died in a horrifying accident & was buried at Warren Hills, Harare. I’m pleased his wishes have been respected and will be laid to rest in Madziva on Sunday!”

There had been speculation that Mtukudzi could be buried at Warren Hills where his son Sam was buried eight years ago.

Mtukudzi is not the first national hero to be buried somewhere other than the National Hroes’ Acre in Harare.

Recently, the founding Vice Chancellor of Nust, Professor Phineas Mogorosi Makhurane, was declared a national hero but the family preferred to have him laid to rest at the family home in Gungwe, Gwanda South.

Professor Makhurane was buried on December 8, 2018.

— 263gossip


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