Dabengwa’s body to arrive Sunday

The body of the late ZAPU leader and liberation war icon, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, who succumbed to an undisclosed ailment is expected to arrive in Bulawayo on Sunday.

Dr Dabengwa, affectionately known as the Black Russian died in Nairobi, Kenya enroute to Zimbabwe from India where he had been receiving medical attention.

Bulawayo residents have been encouraged to throng the Joshua Mqabuko International airport to welcome the body, which is expected to touch down at 11.45am.

According to ZAPU’s communication director, Patrick Ndlovu, buses have been arranged to ferry residents to the airport.

“The body of Dr Dabengwa has already left Nairobi and is in Johannesburg. His wife, Zodwa, is accompanying him. We expect them to arrive at Joshua Mqabuko at 11.45 Sunday,” he told CITE.

“Departure is at 9am from the Bulawayo City Hall to the airport and same transport will be provided back. Transport is not restricted to ZAPU members but to everyone who interacted with DD at whatever level, whether personal, business, in the community or wherever is welcome.”

The party’s National Executive Committee met Saturday afternoon, the first time to meet since Dabengwa’s death to sympathise with each other and arrange for tomorrow.

It is in this meeting – acting ZAPU president Issac Mabuka stressed the point that Dabengwa did not only belong to ZAPU but to everyone, as he shared his life with everyone.

“It was his wish and the wish of the party that his death is celebrated by everyone,” said Ndlovu.

“We also discussed the selection of protocol committees to meet incoming guests, set up logistics committee that will look at transport or other logistical requirements and spruce publicity to spread information.”

The communication director added that ZAPU’s foreign secretary has already met with South Africa’s ANC, Umkhonto WeSizwe and SACP veterans who said they will attend Dabengwa’s funeral.

“We are also in communication with fraternal liberation movements throughout Africa,” he noted.

Ndlovu pointed out that although the party recognised government and state processes, Dabengwa did not need to be declared a national hero, as he already was one.

“In the words of the late nationalist, Joshua Nkomo at the burial of another liberation hero –Lookout Masuku, heroes are not declared they are recognised,” quoted the communication director.

Meanwhile, a condolence book has been opened at the Dabengwa residence, ZAPU offices in Bulawayo and in South Africa.

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