PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will not attend liberation struggle icon Dr Dumiso Dabengwa’s burial today in the spirit of respecting the bereaved family’s request for privacy.
This was said by Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba in a brief interview soon after President Mnangagwa officially opened the Zimbabwe Annual Mining Conference in Victoria Falls yesterday.
Mr Charamba said President Mnangagwa will be represented at the burial set for today at Dr Dabengwa’s home area in Emanxeleni, Ntabazinduna in Matabeleland North.
“If a national hero’s family accepts the designation of national hero but opts for private burial, immediately the State President cannot participate directly except through delegated authority. The moment the President gets to that, it means we take over and that breaches the privacy and control of the family. So he will be represented at an appropriate level,” said Mr Charamba.
He said a similar scenario has been used with other national heroes who were declared national heroes but their families opted for private burials.
“In short the President doesn’t go. This is for the purpose of upholding the privacy and control preferred by the bereaved family but more critically to also protect the National Heroes’ Acre because the moment we allow people to have a bite of the cherry then we are undermining the national shrine,” said Mr Charamba.
President Mnangagwa left Victoria Falls soon after officially opening the mining conference because of other commitments in Harare.
Last week he mourned the death of Dr Dabengwa saying the former Zipra intelligence supremo was and will always remain a hero.
Dr Dabengwa died in Nairobi, Kenya last week while en-route to Zimbabwe from India where he had been taken for medical treatment. The late national hero who died from a liver related illness, was 79.