All is set for the burial of national hero Brigadier-General Emilio Munemo at the National Heroes’ Acre today.
Brig-Gen Munemo died on Sunday after a short illness. He was 64.
As usual, buses would be deployed to ferry people in various places countrywide to and from the National Heroes’ Acre.
Government has requested people go to their normal pick-up points by 5.30am. They are also expected to be seated before the President Mnangagwa arrives to address at the burial of the national hero.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema said everything was on course for the burial today. “Buses will be there at the usual pick-up points,” he said.
“We urge Harare province to come to the national shrine in their numbers as the hosting province.”
He added: “It is important for people to come out in full force to bid farewell to our national hero. To celebrate his life and what he achieved in the liberation struggle and after independence.”
Yesterday hundreds of people from all walks of life thronged the Munemo homestead at Tsaurai Village, Watungwa in Chivi North, to bid farewell to the late national hero.
The Zanu- PF Politburo unanimously agreed on the conferment of national hero status on Brig Gen Munemo making him the first person from Chivi district to be interred at the national shrine.
Speaker after speaker hailed the late national hero as a humble patriot who fought tirelessly to ward-off the winds of neo-imperialism until he breathed his last.
Addressing mourners Zanu-PF national political commissar Retired Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje paid tribute to Brig Gen Munemo for being one of the pacesetters in promoting education amongst freedom fighters during the struggle for independence.
He said Brig Gen Munemo was one of the brains behind the birth of Mavhudzi School in Mozambique’s Tete province where guerrillas went to school under the tutelage of cadres such as the late national hero.
Brig Gen Munemo, he said, was to continue his passion for education at Chindunduma High School in Mashonaland Central where he continued to push for the education of freedom fighters in post-independent Zimbabwe.
“One of his biggest accomplishments was being one of the pioneers of Zanu PF Chitepo’s School of Ideology meant to inculcate and the values and ideology of the liberation struggle to party cadres so that they continue to toe the revolutionary line,” he said.
“Brig Gen Munemo was a repository of Zimbabwe’s liberation history and we as the Commissariat Department (of Zanu-PF) we feel greatly pained because of such a loss.
“He was also the architect of the military/civil relations that spearheaded teachings about the country’s history and its present and future direction.’’
He said Brig Gen Munemo was one of the first cadres to go to university after independence and was also credited for playing a key role during a stint in the army’s public relations wing.
“We have lost a pillar of strength in terms of ideology, we are pained as Zanu-PF,” he said adding, “he was also a leading proponent of the 3rd Chimurenga and was a successful sugar cane farmer in Mkwasine, Chiredzi where he assisted many emerging indigenous farmers in our constant battles with Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe.”
Masvingo provincial affairs Minister Cde Ezra Chadzamira commended President Mnangagwa and the Zanu PF leadership for conferring Brig Gen Munemo national hero status. He reminded Zimbabweans never to forget the sacrifices made by heroes such as Brig Gen Munemo who put their lives on the line for a free Zimbabwe where indigenous people were masters of their destiny.
Zimbabweans, said Cde Chadzamira, should never betray the sacrifices of cadres like Brig Gen Munemo by relenting in the ongoing fight for economic independence.
Masvingo provincial war veterans chair Cde Tendeukai Chinooneka said Zimbabweans should draw inspiration from cadres like Brig Gen Munemo and continue fighting for complete independence.
Chivi district administrator Mr Mafios Hlavati and chiefs from the district who were present to bid farewell to Brig Gen Munemo paid tribute to President Mnangagwa saying they were honoured that the late national hero was the first person from the district to be interred at the national shrine.
Brig General Munemo’s body, draped in the national flag, arrived at the Munemo homestead aboard an Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter accompanied by close family members.
The body left Chivi for Harare yesterday afternoon ahead of burial today and present to see it off was Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje, Cde Chadzamira, Cde Chinooneka, Chivi Rural District Council chair Councillor Godfrey Mukungunugwa, Chiredzi West legislator Cde Farai Msikavanhu, chiefs and senior Zanu-PF and government officials among others.