National hero status for Mtukudzi?

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Minister Kirsty Coventry has revealed that government will host a Tuku memorial concert in honour of the late national hero Oliver Mtukudzi

There has been echoes of calls from across the political divide and civic society to accord the late veteran musician Oliver Mtukudzi a national hero status.

Mtukudzi was a global icon and music ambassador for who flew the country’s flag high .

He rose through humble beginnings in the dusty streets of Highfield and his perseverance saw him at the pinnacle of his career on the global stage.

Top ZANU PF officials who spoke to this publication on Wednesday said the party has already started making consultations and engaging President Emmerson Mnangagwa to consider Mtukudzi a national hero status.

“Mtukudzi was an icon and it is only befitting for him to be buried at the National Heroes Acre.He is the complete definition of a hero and as soon as we heard of his death, we have started mobilising our structures with view of asking the government and our party President (Mnangagwa)to grant him a National Hero status,” said the top official who refused to be named.

Norton legislator Themba Mliswa also submitted that he will ask Mnangagwa to accord Mtukudzi a national hero status.

If Mnangagwa takes heed to these calls it will be in tandem with his vow of opening the democratic space in the new dispensation.

Traditionally, the National Shrine was a preserve of war veterans and liberation war heroes/heroines but after his ascendancy to power,Mnangagwa has since changed this and just recently he declared the late Professor Makhurane a national hero.

Makhurane’s family however requested that he be buried at their rural home but his contribution to the education sector was recognised by government.

In the same breadth Mtukudzi’s immense contribution into the arts and music sector is unparalleled.

He constructed a massive arts centre (Pakare Paya) in Norton and it has been home to the future of local arts.

Mtukudzi died on Wednesday afternoon at Avenues clinic in Harare after battling a long illness which has seen him in and out of hospital.

He was 66.