By Sydney Gokomere
Zvishavane, October 21, 2016 – THE family of late ex-Midlands governor, Cephas Msipa has admitted arm-twisting by President Robert Mugabe to abandon the late national hero’s deathbed wish to be buried besides his wife, Charlotte at the provincial heroes acre in Gweru.
This comes after the family was early this week divided on whether to go with the government wish to have the outspoken politician buried at the national shrine in Harare or go with his own wish to be buried in Gweru.
Addressing mourners at the family homestead at Siboza in Zvishavane on Thursday, Obert Msipa, brother to the nationalist politician, said the family had disagreed on where he should be buried until Mugabe “showed us the way”.
Msipa’s brother said the family was now “happy” that the late liberator would be buried at the national heroes acre in Harare,
“You might have read in the papers of the disagreements that were there but President Mugabe showed us the way and said it was not possible for our brother to be buried away from his fellow comrades,” he said.
“We are happy that he would be buried at the national heroes acre in Harare on Saturday.”
The one time Mugabe aide turned critic had quit active politics at the time of his death.
He took many by surprise when he openly told the 92-year-old to name his successor saying he had played his part and should take a rest.
It is almost taboo for any Zanu PF politician to tell Mugabe in his face to quit his job.
On Wednesday while paying his condolences to the family at Msipa’s son, Charles’s Borrowdale home in Harare, Mugabe said he disagreed with a view that Msipa should be buried in Gweru since he played a crucial role during the liberation struggle.
Msipa’s body will lie in state at his house in Kopje, Gweru before mourners pay last respects at CJR Primary School on Friday before the body is taken back to Harare for burial on Saturday.
The late PF Zapu stalwart and a Zanu PF politburo member after the 1987 unity accord, was referred by many as a father figure, humble and unifier in the Midlands province.
He died at a Harare private hospital on Monday morning at the age of 85.