Zimbabweans from all walks of life and members of the diplomatic corps, yesterday mourned the death of veteran nationalist, politician and national hero, Cde Cephas Msipa.The former Midlands Provincial Governor and zanu-pf Politburo member, died during the early hours yesterday.He succumbed to pneumonia.
He was 85.
Condolence messages started pouring in immediately after news of his death started filtering in.He was described as a selfless gallant son of the soil, who dedicated the rest of his life fighting and working for the people.
Cde Msipa was a unifier and nation builder who tirelessly worked until there was unity in the country following the historic signing of the 1987 Unity Accord between Zanu and PF Zapu.
He was known for being candid, straightforward and fearless.The Midlands Province formally wrote to the Politburo to consider according Cde Msipa national hero status.
However, the status was accorded before the arrival of the letter.zanu-pf acting Midlands provincial spokesperson, Cde Joram Gumbo said the province had started the process of applying to the Politburo for the party stalwart to be accorded national hero status.
“We are saddened by his passing on because he has left a great void, difficult to fill. As Midlands Province, we have already applied to the Politburo to have him accorded a national hero status,” he said.The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Midlands province Cde Jason Machaya said the province had lost a pillar of strength.
“We are devastated because we have lost a great man, a principled leader who dedicated his life for the development of the entire nation. We have lost an icon and inspiration to generations to come,” said Cde Machaya.
Cde Machaya took over from Cde Msipa in 2008.
Mr Douglas Msipa, son to Cde Msipa, said mourners are gathered at his house in Kopje, Gweru; while others were gathered at his brother Charles Msipa’s Borrowdale home in Harare.
The United States of America Embassy, in a statement, extended its condolences to the Msipa family yesterday.
“A longtime member of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and later Governor of Midlands Province, he was committed to serving the people of Zimbabwe,” reads the statement posted its Facebook page.
The MDC-T national spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu said, Cde Msipa belonged to the rare breed of dedicated, selfless and iconic politicians and nationalists.
Mr Gutu said his party was deeply saddened by the passing on of Cde Msipa, a revolutionary icon and nationalist par excellence.
“He 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.
“He spent several years of his life in detention as the racist settler regime of Ian Douglas Smith heavily descended on the political activities of revolutionary icons in the mould of Joshua Nkomo, George Nyandoro, Eddison Zvobgo, Josiah Chinamano and many others.
“After Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980, the late Msipa served the new Government in several capacities, the last of which was as Governor of the Midlands Province.”
He said Cde Msipa was always ready to denounce tribalism, racism, corruption and sexism.
“Up until the time of his death, the late Msipa was vociferously speaking out against the excesses of political violence and intolerance.
“He was unwavering and solid as a rock when it comes to matters to do with patriotism, honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency.
“The nation has been robbed of a reservoir of love and selfless dedication to the cause of the total and unconditional emancipation of all the people of Zimbabwe; regardless of race, ethnicity, colour or creed.
“Without a shadow of doubt he is a national hero. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace. We salute him”.