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Hands off our leader, Zapu tells govt

The Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) is adamant that the government should not interfere with funeral arrangements for the late national hero Dumiso Dabengwa.

The late Dabengwa was declared a national hero after passing away on Friday in Kenya on his way from India where he was seeking medical assistance.

Speaking during the launch of the late Dabengwa’s condolence book launch, ZAPU secretary general Dr Strike Mkandla told the state to slide back on the arrangements.

“The government should stay on their lane. They are just here to help, nothing more. We hope they won’t trouble us.

“For now, they have not given us any problems. The programme will give them a slot both on Friday at the memorial and Saturday on the day of the burial.

“This is not a state funeral but a family and ZAPU one,” said Mkandla

He said government would be kept updated on the programme.

“We will only notify the government on what is happening.

“We are glad that the government is helping. As ZAPU and the family, it was not going to be hard for us to bury him. However, we appreciate assistance from the government,” highlighted Mkandla.

ZAPU chairperson Isaac Mabuka concurred saying they will work together with the government.

“We have a novel case that has never happened before, an opposition leader being declared a national hero.

“It is usual that the government takes over the funeral and the ruling party takes over everything. We are forced to work together with the ruling party. We are going to have a memorial on Friday at white city stadium so we will ask state buses to carry people of all political parties, tribes. We only appeal to other political parties not to wear political regalia,” said Mabuka.

Bulawayo city Council also postponed its 125 years celebrations to pave way or the funeral scheduled for Saturday in Ntabazinduna.

“The city has postponed the #Byo125 celebrations from 1 June to 4 June so as to allow everyone to celebrate both the life of Dabengwa and the city,” announced the Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni whilst giving a condolence message to the Dabengwa family.

The condolence book where mourners can write their messages to the family would be available at the Dabengwa residence, Joshua Nkomo statue in town, Harare, Johannesburg and the United Kingdom.

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