The Sunday Mail
UPDATES: Freeman Razemba and Simiso Mlevu; PHOTOGRAPHY: Believe Nyakudjara and Wilson Kakurira; EDITOR: Costa Mano; PICTURE EDITOR: Noel Munjanja
1347: Dr Chombo has requested mourners to stand at attention as the national Anthem is being sung to mark the end of official proceedings here at the national shrine. This concludes our updates.
1334: It’s now the laying of the wreath here at the national shrine. VP Mphoko has laid his. Dr Sydney Sekeramayi lays wreath on behalf of VP Emmerson Mnangagwa
1318: The body of the late Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs is now being interred into her final resting place.
1316: The body of the heroine is now at the graveside and members of the Zimbabwe National Army firing party make gun salutes.
1310: Pall bearers are now taking the body of Cde Mahofa to its final resting place.
1259: “To the new generation, I say in the passing of Mai Mahofa you have a challenge to visualise and appreciate what she and her generation went through to attain the Independence that we enjoy today.”
In conclusion, VP Mphoko pays tribute to Mai Mahofa for playing her role during the productive years of her life to ensure that the country is free from colonial bandage.
1258: “In the late Cde Mahofa, we saw a political cadre who was straight forward, and morally upright. She subordinated herself to the party leadership and embraced whole heartedly the work and assignments she was given. She hailed from a generation of principled cadres who never hesitated to make sacrifices for the people, sadly, hers is a generation which is bowing out of the stage to give way to the new generation of young cadres.”
VP Mphoko has challenged the younger generation to follow in the footsteps of people like Mahofa.
1253: Cde Mahofa became a war collaborator in the 1970s in Masvingo. Being a war collaborator demanded as much courage, bravery, discipline, and vision as a trained guerilla combatant. She worked in cahoots with the late Dr Simon Mazorodze to ensure that medical provision, clothes, food and other accessories were received in the war front.
“I am told that in turn, comrades trained her how to handle an array of weapons as she was responsible for coordinating the carriage of weapons,”
1250: VP Mphoko chronicles the journey travelled by Cde Mahofa in politics from as far back as 1959.
1249: “She was with us in the last Politburo meeting and her death took us all by surprise. The sad development was further compounded by her passing on, on the very day were scheduled to commemorate National Heroes Day.”
On behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, VP Mphoko has expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Mahofa family on this sad loss.
1247: “As many of us are aware, she has not been well for some time but she was showing positive signs of good recovery to the extent that she was participating very actively in all of her party and government activities with her usual zeal and enthusiasm she was known for.”
1245: “We are gathered here to lay to rest a gallant daughter of the soil. Mwana wevhu/umtwanenhlabathi,” says VP Mphoko.
1238: Dr Chombo has invited VP Mphoko to address the mourners.
1234: As he concludes his speech and leaves the podium to take his seat, the Public Address system thunders with Reverend Chivaviro’s Ebenezer song. Chivaviro is the late Cde Shuvai Mahofa’s maiden name.
1233: Cde Mahofa joined politics in 1963 and never looked back in fighting for the liberation of this country. At independence, she was elected Councillor for Tirizi Ward 20. Hubert says his grandmother’s commitment to serving the party has never been questionable. She served as deputy ministers in several portfolios.
According to Hubert, Cde Mahofa was a Barcelona FC fan who adored Lionel Messi and also a huge fan of her nephew, Reverend Chivaviro of the Ebenezer hit song.
1220: Dr Chombo has invited a representative of the Mahofa family to address mourners. Hubert Mahofa, grandson to the late Cde Mahofa thanks everyone who made time to bid farewell to his grandmother.
He thanks President Mugabe for bestowing heroine’s status to Cde Shuvai Mahofa. Hubert Mahofa chronicles Cde Shuvai Mahofa’s life narrating her journey from birth, schools she attended, marriage and courses she did as she grew up.
1216: Today’s scripture comes from Revelations 14 verse 13 and it goes like: I heard the voice from heaven saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow.” The Reverend says he has no doubt that Cde Mahofa died in the Lord and as such, her good works follow her and speak volumes.
1214: Dr Chombo calls the Minister of Religion, Reverend Rangarirai Chitsotso of the Dutch Reformed Church in Zimbabwe to give today’s bible reading.
Rev Chitsotso says Cde Mahofa had dedicated her life to serving the Lord in the Dutch Reformed in Zimbabwe as well as her country.
1213: Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Ignatius Chombo is the Director of Ceremonies. He announces that President Mugabe who arrived back home early this morning assigned VP Mphoko to preside over today’s proceedings.
1156: The body of Cde Mahofa has arrived at the national shrine and pall bearers are carrying the casket to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
1150: Service chiefs are now taking their position as they prepare to welcome the body of the national heroine which is accompanied by family members and VP Mphoko who is going to deliver keynote address on behalf of the President. Cde Mahofa is the ninth Heroine to be interred at the national shrine.
1146: Some of the messages read; Cde Chikowore simbi yebasa; fearless, consistent and bold; Cde Mahofa, chikoforo chebudiriro; Go well veteran of the liberation struggle, our patron and friend by ZILIWACO.
1142: Profound messages inscribed on several placards and paraphernalia is visible all over the national shrine as her supporters seek to show the masses what kind of a woman Cde Mahofa was.
1138: Among the hundreds already gathered here are senior Government officials who include Chief Justice Luke Malaba; Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda; Senate President Edna Madzongwe; service chiefs and several Government ministers.
1119: Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo has announced that Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko will preside over the burial of Cde Mahofa.
1114: The body viewing ceremony has ended. The body of Cde Mahofa will be ferried to the National Heroes Acre.
1051: Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has arrived in the company of his wife, Laurinda, and will lead the body viewing ceremony.
1045: Service chiefs have arrived.
1007: Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has arrived.
0955: Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa.
0948: Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda has arrived.
0930: Home affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo has arrived.
0915: Several senior Government and party officials have arrived at the hall.
0905: The body of Cde Shuvai Mahofa has arrived.
0845: Hundreds of mourners are gathered here outside Stodart Hall in Mbare awaiting the arrival of the body of National Heroine Cde Shuvai Ben Mahofa who passed on at Makurira Memorial Clinic after collapsing at her Rhodene home in Masvingo on Monday last week.
Groups of women and youths are in full song here celebrating the life of Senator Mahofa.