Velaphi declared national hero

05 May, 2019 - 00:05 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Sunday Mail Reporters

Veteran nationalist Cde Misheck Velaphi Ncube, who died on Tuesday has been declared a national hero.

Cde Ncube, who was a Zanu-PF National Consultative member, died in Bulawayo after a long illness.

He was 82.

In a telephone interview last night, Zanu-PF secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu confirmed Cde Velaphi’s national hero status.

“I am just coming from announcing the declaration at the funeral vigil,” said Dr Mpofu.

“The party recognises those who sacrifice their lives towards liberating the country and he was one of those people.

“He was involved in the liberation struggle and was incarcerated with the current President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) at Khami (Prison).

“After Independence, he served in the National Consultative Assembly and the Central Committee and has always been with the party.

“The President sent me to go and announce the declaration and that is where I am coming from,” he said.

Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Judith Ncube thanked President Mnangagwa for according Cde Ncube the revered status.

“We are so thankful that he was declared a national hero. Indeed he was one of the pioneers of the liberation struggle. He fought among the first group of cadres who launched the struggle on the Zipra side.

“I am struggling to think of words to describe him. He was one of the cadres who fought the famous Hwange Battle in the 1960s.”

Minister Ncube said at the time of his death, Cde Ncube had started documenting his history with the help of renowned historian Cde Pathisa Nyathi.

“He had been meeting with Cde Nyathi to document his history together with other cadres who include Cde John Maluzu, Cde Nzimela and Cde Clark Mpofu. These veterans had been meeting at Cde Ncube’s house so that they would capture some of those striking features of the liberation struggle that have not been widely documented,” said Minister Ncube.

Funeral arrangements for the national hero would be announced tomorrow.

The late national hero was one of the pioneer guerrillas under Zipra, serving in several positions both in the military wing during the war of liberation and in politics.

He is among the first ‘Group of 12’ to undertake military training in Egypt in 1962.

In 1966, he and his colleagues took advantage of the political instability in the Congo where they raided the Congolese rebels, poisoned them before looting their weapons.

His mission led to the first smuggling of weapons into Southern Rhodesia.

Soon after his death, Zanu-PF Bulawayo province had applied for a national hero status for the late cadre.

Addressing mourners last week, Politburo member Cde Absolom Sikhosana said if cadres like Cde Ncube are not declared national heroes, then no-one deserves that honour.

“If he is not declared a national hero, then we would be making a mockery of that status. A real mockery of that status because the man is more than deserving, he is more than qualified.

“He was involved at all levels of the liberation struggle. He was involved at all levels of the political leadership. There is no reason whatsoever for denying him that right. That is the appropriate consideration befitting a man of his calibre,” said Cde Sikhosana.

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