Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday officially declared his predecessor Robert Mugabe a national hero, saying the country will mourn him until he is laid to rest.
In a press briefing at State House on Friday, Mnangagwa said: “Zanu-PF, the party which the late president founded, has met and accorded him national hero status, which he earned and deserved.”
Mnangagwa worked closely with Mugabe, beginning as his assistant and bodyguard in the late 1970s. He later became one of his trusted cabinet ministers and vice-president before their fallout in 2017, which ultimately resulted in a military-assisted transition.
He eulogised Mugabe, whose health had deteriorated early this year and who was flown to meet doctors in Singapore from time to time – with the government footing the bill.
Mugabe died on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, MDC President Nelson Chamisa has said his party has lost one more voter following the passing of ex-Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe Friday morning.
Chamisa was speaking to international broadcaster Al Jazeera on Mugabe’s life and legacy Friday afternoon.
“We acknowledge the contribution made to the country in the liberation of our country and also his contributions in the early days when he contributed to education and health.
“But we also acknowledge the reality that there were also negatives in terms of the pains that the people had to go through on account of the omissions and commissions in government,” Chamisa said.
“What is gratifying to us is that at the end of his reign he voted for change, he voted for myself, in fact Mr Mugabe is one of the few people who did not hide their vote.”
Chamisa added: “He clearly endorsed the alternative, he clearly endorsed the narrative and paradigm of change and we are excited that towards the end of his reign he had come to his senses on the need for democracy, the need for justice, the need for freedom, the need for accounting for past transgressions particularly against other Zimbabweans.
“We have lost a voter, we have lost a supporter, we have lost a citizen, an African son.”
Mugabe threw his weight behind Chamisa in last year’s presidential elections after an acrimonious fallout with his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party.
He openly declared that he will vote for Chamisa.