A Bulawayo abattoir owner, Noel Eric York, popularly known as Mbokodo died last night at his home at the age of 72.
Mbokodo’s brother, Allan York, confirmed his death to CITE adding he succumbed to cancer.
He said his brother has been under hospital care for quite some time.
“It is true,” said York.
“It happened yesterday evening. He has been fighting cancer over the last two years. He died peacefully in his bed at his house.”
He said while burial arrangements were yet to be finalised his brother is likely to be buried in Bulawayo within a week.
Meanwhile, condolences have started pouring in from Zimbabweans across the country.
“My deepest condolences are extended to Stella and the entire York family following the death last night of Noel Erick “Boetie”or “Mbokodo” York,” posted former Khumalo senator, David Coltart on Twitter.
“Boetie was a patriotic # Zimbabwean to his core and will be deeply missed. May his soul rest in peace. # Zimbabwe has lost one of its finest men.”
Mbokodo who has been running Mbokodo Butchery situated along Bulawayo-Plumtree Highway, a stone’s throw from the city, is popular for his fluency in IsiNdebele.
He is also popular among Matabeleland livestock farmers from whom he has been buying cattle for fattening and slaughter.
Mbokodo was one of the people with an interesting history.
During Rhodesia, he was a major in charge of amalgamating national service recruits and 3RAR. In January 1982 Noel and his brother Allan were arrested on arms cache charges but acquitted in May. They were immediately rearrested.
On July 16 the High Court found their detention unlawful and ordered their release. However, their freedom was short-lived and they were detained again at a roadblock on their way home. The then-Attorney-General, Godfrey Chidyausiku, told the Court in August 1982 that he had been instructed by the Minister of Home Affairs, Herbert Ushewokunze, not to disclose where the two brothers were being held.
He said: “The executive will not release them irrespective of any order by this Court”.
The York brothers were only released after Mugabe’s intervention.