President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made strong indications that the late war hero Dumiso Dabengwa could be declared a national hero.
Dabengwa died in Kenya on his way from India where he had gone for medical treatment.
In a televised address on Thursday, Mnangagwa gave a glorious eulogy of the late veteran who had left Zanu PF to lead an opposition.
“My last contact with the late Dumiso Dabengwa was at state house this April, just two days before our independence celebrations. He clearly looked unwell and I directed government to arrange for his speedy evacuation to India for urgent medical attention on government expense. That was promptly done and we all hoped that Cde Dabengwa condition would improve and take a turn towards full recovery. Sadly, that was not to be and we lost him today (Thursday) in Nairobi Kenya as he was being flown back home,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa narrated how Dabengwa as the head of the intelligence wing of Zapu during the armed struggle helped to integrate two armed wings of the two liberation parties (Zapu and Zanu) at independence to form the Zimbabwe National Army.
“The late Cde Dabengwa was always principled and resourceful. The late DD as we affectionately called him would bring calmness and sobriety to the whole process that is ensuring its unmatched success. He served his country well and helped us grow the peace that abides in our nations,” Mnangagwa stated.
After serving as Home Affairs minister after the Unity Accord in 1987, in 2008 Dabengwa left Zanu PF to revive Zapu and backed the then opposition independent candidate Simba Makoni.
After The death of Vice President John Nkomo, Dabengwa was reportedly to have been approached by Zanu PF and offered him the post of VP but he turned it down.
The president said despite him leaving Zanu PF in 2008 to lead an opposition party, Zapu, Dabengwa remained resourceful to Zimbabwe.
“We will solely miss his wisdom and dedication to the nation. He was and will forever remain our hero. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Mnangagwa said.
Dabengwa, 80, had been in and out of hospital after suffering from liver disease. He had been in South Africa for some time where he was receiving treatment before he was recently airlifted to India for further medication.
He had indicated that he was to retire from actve politics in 2020 at the Zapu congress.