Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
Spiritual adviser to the late Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe Father Fidelis Mukonori of the Roman Catholic Church has described the former president’s death as a great loss to the nation. This comes as other churches also paid their condolences following the death of the liberation icon in Singapore yesterday at the age of 95.
Father Mukonori said Cde Mugabe was a believer in God.
“He believed in God and may his soul rest in peace,” he said.
“He was 95 years old, and he has rested. Cde Mugabe was the founding father of Zimbabwe, the founder of nationalism in Zimbabwe and the foundation of the nation.
“We thank him for the role he played in the liberation of Zimbabwe. Our hearts are heavy, we are mourning,’’ he said.
THE Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) also described the former president as a liberation icon who played an important role in shaping the history of Zimbabwe.
In a statement yesterday, ZCC general secretary Rev Kenneth Mtata said Cde Mugabe’s call for reconciliation in his inauguration speech in 1980 gave hope that Zimbabweans would work together and transcend the racial and ethnic divide.
“In mourning RGM, the nation stands at the ambivalence of the man who together with other liberation heroes oversaw the liberation struggle for the independence of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“He showed determination, tenacity and principle during the Lancaster House negotiations.
“The early years of his rule were marked by the exponential growth and development of primary and secondary education, which firmly set Zimbabwe’s education system among the best on the continent. He also championed a robust primary health system across the country.
“He boldly addressed the outstanding land question through the contentious land reform programme, whose intention was to give land back to the landless black majority. These milestones must be celebrated.”
Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa (UDACIZA), an umbrella body for Apostolic and Zionist churches also sent its condolences.
“We have lost an icon, a hero and Zimbabwe’s founding father who played a critical role in the liberation of the country,” said Rev Edson Tsvakayi.