President Emmerson Mnangagwa has granted the late Chief Mabhikwa a state-assisted funeral ahead of his burial in Lupane, Matabeleland North on Saturday.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga will represent the government at the funeral.
Chief Mabhikwa who died on Monday after a head-on collision with a truck will be buried according to the Khumalo clan’s traditions.
“Following the untimely passing on of the late Chief Vusumuzi Khumalo Mabhikwa arising from a fatal road accident on Sunday 22 May 2022, His Excellency the President, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa, has directed that the late Chief Mabhikwa be granted State assisted funeral,” said Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr. Misheck Sibanda.
He said this is in recognition of his dedication and commitment to national duty as a traditional leader and public servant.
“The President has assigned his deputy, the honourable Vice President, General (Retd) Dr C.G.D.N. Chiwenga to represent him at the late Chief’s funeral in Jotsholo tomorrow, Saturday, 28th May 2022,” said Dr Sibanda.
Meanwhile, speaking during the memorial service held in Northend, Bulawayo, Friday before departure to Lupane, Zwide Khumalo said the Khumalo clan is saddened by the passing of Chief Mabhikwa.
“He has left a great gap in the house of the Khumalo’s because we don’t know where to go from here. He was a dedicated child and we respected him as the child we selected to handle the position, losing him is not a small thing to us,” said Khumalo.
Meanwhile, the deceased’s uncle, Donald Khumalo, said the family appreciates the support they received from different stakeholders in the form of food and cash.
“The Vice President Chiwengwa in his own capacity gave us US$5 000 and the State took over the funeral, the Vice President will be at the funeral as the Chief mourner,” said Khumalo.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State and Provincial Affairs for Bulawayo Metropolitan, Judith Ncube, said the country had lost a leader.
“We have lost a great future leader, we are also crying with Matabeleland North and Zimbabwe as a whole,” said Minister Ncube.
Chief Mathuphula of Tsholotsho narrated their journey together with the late Chief Mabhikwa from the time they were installed.
“We got appointed during the same year in 2012 and we worked together for these 10 years, developed, and assisted each other on the challenges we were facing, it’s painful to me, to the people he led and the committee he was leading, he was a chief of the people,” said Chief Mathuphula.
“He worked well until the Government recognized it and promoted him in different positions, he was working on different boards and this made us all happy and we saw that he was happy to work well with the people.”