Mugabe Declares Brother In Law A Liberation War Hero

Marufu, brother to Mugabe’s wife, Grace, died on Tuesday evening after a long illness.

Marufu, was a controversial figure in Zimbabwean politics and made headlines  in the 90s when he claimed huge sums of money from the War Victims Compensation fund arguiong that he had been disabled during the liberation struggle.

He claimed that he was 95 percent disabled and benefitted from the fund.

In 1999, Marufu, a former Zanla combatant, was recalled home from a diplomatic posting in Canada after the Canadian police raided his home over charges of severely assaulting his daughter.

According to the State-owned Herald Newspaper, Marufu will be buried on Sunday at his rural home in Chivhu with full military honours.

Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party said the status was bestowed on Marufu for his contribution to Zimbabwe’s Independence and his work in the defence forces and intelligence services after 1980.

Mugabe said it pained him that there were people actively working to erode what the likes of  Marufu had sacrificed for.

Meanwhile Zanu (PF) refused to bestow hero status on the late co-founder of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC), Gibson Sibanda, who died at a Bulawayo hospital also on Tuesday.

Sibanda who died at 66 years old was only accorded a state-assisted funeral and is expected to be buried at his rural home in Filabusi on Sunday.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said this week his party had tried in vain to convince Mugabe and his party to declare Sibanda a national hero.

“We have since received communication from Dr Isiah Sibanda who is the chief secretary in Cabinet and also from Minister Didymus Mutasa who is the Minister in the President’s Office saying that the Zanu (PF) politburo has decided that Gibson Sibanda is not worthy of being declared a national hero, instead they have taken a position where he has been accorded a state assisted funeral status,” Mutambara told journalists.

Mutambara said he and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wrote two letters respectively to Mugabe to convince him that Sibanda deserved to be laid to rest at the national heroes acre.

“In so far as we are concerned as a political party, Gibson Sibanda is a national hero, if there is any definition of a hero either by way of what you get from literature or what you get from political interpretation this is an epitome of heroism that we are celebrating today,” Mutambara added.