MSIPA GETS NATIONAL HERO STATUS
‘True patriot’s’ death unites Zimbabwe’s politicians
FORMER Zanu-PF Politburo member, Midlands Governor and Resident Minister, Cde Cephas George Msipa has died. He was 85. Cde Msipa died at the West End Hospital in Harare around 4AM yesterday. His son, Mr Douglas Msipa confirmed the passing on of the liberation war hero, having lost a battle to a chest infection.
“Yes it’s true that my father has passed on. He was admitted to a private hospital in Harare for a week. We received the news this morning (yesterday),” said Mr Msipa.
“He was suffering from a chest infection which made him cough excessively. His health deteriorated during the weekend when he was struggling with breathing.”
Leaders across the political divide yesterday described Cde Msipa as a true patriot who tirelessly served his people up to the time of his death.
The former PF Zapu secretary general, who was appointed into the Zanu-PF Central Committee after the 1987 Unity Accord between PF Zapu and Zanu and rose to the Politburo, was admitted to the hospital complaining of chest pains which developed to pneumonia.
Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Savior Kasukuwere said the party shares with Cde Msipa’s family the pain of losing the seasoned politician.
“We’ve lost a true patriot and a father figure in the party where he worked very hard in all his deployments. It’s a sad loss the party shares with his family,” he said.
The Zanu-PF Women’s League said it was saddened by the death of Cde Msipa whom the structure said upheld the values of the liberation struggle until the time of his death.
“We’re saddened and regret Cde Msipa’s FORMER Midlands governor and Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Cephas Msipa, who died at West End Hospital in Harare yesterday, has been declared a national hero.
Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.
Acting President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, announced the hero status at Cde Msipa’s son Charles’ Borrowdale home last night.
He said although the Midlands province was yet to write to the party making its recommendations on the hero status, a resolution was already made in consultation with President Mugabe that he be conferred national hero status.
Cde Mnangagwa was accompanied by the Zanu-PF national commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe.
“In Zanu-PF we’ve a way of handling such issues. You heard the political commissar Cde Kasukuwere speaking on the procedures to be taken. He was the elder in Midlands. He’s our elderman in Midlands. He was our father figure in the Midlands. He was our shining guiding star for the Midlands province.
“The procedure is we would want to hear what the Midlands leadership thinks. Cde Daniel untimely death. We will always cherish his contribution to the liberation of this Mackenzie Ncube was supposed to be here for him to tell us what the province thinks. However, the national leadership has taken a decision. Before the President flew out of the country we held a meeting. The President said he wasn’t sure what the Midlands’ recommendation was but said Cde Msipa has worked for this country, has served this country, has served our party and all political organisations in this country, which have fought for the liberation of this country. He has participated in them. Up to his last breath, he still spoke about our Independence, about our freedom and dignity. We decided to accord him the honour of burial at the National Heroes Acre. That is the word that the President of the party and President of the country left.”
Cde Mnangagwa said Cde Msipa’s credentials as a national hero were not questionable.
He said Cde Msipa was an outspoken politician who dedicated his entire life to serve his country.
Cde Mnangagwa said the departed hero was also a teacher just like President Mugabe and at one point he was the president of the Rhodesian Teachers’ Association.
As president, Cde Mnangagwa said, Cde Msipa was always in trouble with authorities who accused him of dabbling in politics. He said Cde Msipa was arrested several times by the Smith regime for his political activities. country,” said the leagues’ secretary for information and publicity, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu.
Zanu-PF Midlands province described Cde Msipa as a great leader, a guide and a fountain of knowledge.
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial secretary for information and publicity, Cde Cornelius Mpereri, said the province was, “of a firm view that Cde Msipa should be accorded national hero status due to the selfless service he rendered to the nation, before, during and after the liberation struggle.
“His quest for national unity was manifested when he was president of Rhodesia Teachers’ Association (RATA) for years during the colonial era. It was again clearly shown in PF-Zapu before and after Independence where he rose through the ranks to the position of secretary general.”
Former PF Zapu national chairman and Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu said, in Cde Msipa, he had lost a personal friend with whom he worked very well from their days in PF Zapu during the liberation struggle.
“It’s so sad because he was one of the few remaining age mates of mine. We would contact each other and discuss a number of issues. He was more of a friend to me and we worked very well from PF Zapu to Zanu-PF,” he said.
“Cde Msipa was always that person who was not afraid to speak his mind. He was a principled man and remained that kind of person until his death.”
In his condolence message, MDC leader, Professor Welshman Ncube said Cde Msipa stood for fairness and justice.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu said, Cde Msipa, “belonged to that rare breed of dedicated, selfless and iconic politicians and nationalists who dedicated their entire lives to ensure that Zimbabwe gained independence from colonial rule in April, 1980.
Cde Msipa’s son Charles said his father had hypertension problems and in 2010 he suffered a stroke and recovered miraculously.
“In the last five years he had chest infections particularly during the winter (season),” he said.
“Since our mother passed away three years ago, it was difficult for us to look after him in Gweru when we are here in Harare, but more recently, he was back in hospital due to chest infection.”
He said doctors last week had indicated that they had managed to arrest the chest infection, but over the weekend, doctors called to inform them that his condition had deteriorated.
“Today (yesterday), the doctors called us in the morning around 4AM, and informed us that he had died,” he said.
Cde Msipa was born in Zvishavane on 7 July 1931. He attended Siboza School and Dadaya Mission.
The Giga’s Wholesale outlet in Bulawayo
The late Cephas Msipa
Acting President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa