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Council honours ZPRA veteran

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

THE late Zapu secretary for security Canaan Ncube has been honoured by the Bulawayo City Council and will be interred at the Lady Stanley Cemetery where the city’s senior illustrious citizens are buried.

Ncube died last week aged 80 at a local hospital months after the opposition party also lost its leader Dumiso Dabengwa. He is likely to be buried tomorrow.

The late ex-combatant, who served under the party’s armed wing during the liberation war, the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZPRA), will be burried where several other top Zapu heroes are buried in the city.

“We have not heard of any word of him being accorded a hero status from those Zanu PF people, who have given themselves that responsibility of doing so.

“We have not sought their hero status…what we know, however, is that he has been honoured by the city fathers and will be buried at the Lady Stanley Cemetery,” Zapu chairperson Isaac Mabuka told Sunday Southern Eye on Friday.

Lady Stanley Cemetery has become a de facto Heroes’ Acre for Zipra veterans while their Zanu PF’s Zanla colleagues have been enjoying a monopoly of the national shrines in the provinces and in Harare.

Some of the Zapu and Zipra heroes, who lie at Lady Stanley Cemetery or were denied national hero status include Thenjiwe Lesabe, ZPRA commander Lookout Masuku, former Matabeleland North governor Welshman Mabhena, Masala Sibanda, diplomat Isaac Nyathi, Swazini Ndlovu, Richard Dube and Ethan Dube among others.

Zapu has been celebrating Heroes Day by honouring some of the unsung heroes and those that are buried at Lady Stanley.

“In any case, there is nothing special about Heroes Acre,”Mabuka added.

“Even the late (Robert) Mugabe out of all people who denied others a hero status refused to be buried there.

“The issue of according a hero status should be apolitical, but unfortunately those in Zanu PF believe otherwise.”

Ncube, who served under ZPRA’s intelligence division, was the inaugural chairperson for Bulawayo province after the party pulled out of the Unity Accord after the 2008 elections.

Mourners are gathered at his residence in 26 Sherwood Road, Woodlands.

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