BULAWAYO residents have been urged to give national hero Dr Dumiso Dabengwa a befitting send-off by turning up in their numbers for a memorial service to be held in his honour at White City Stadium today.xrer
The service is expected to start at 9AM before his burial tomorrow in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North. Government has provided 11 buses to ferry residents who intend to attend the memorial service.
Dr Dabengwa died last week on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya, while en-route to Zimbabwe from India where he had been taken for medical treatment. He was 79 and died following a liver related illness that started last year in November.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Bulawayo Cde Judith Ncube yesterday said all solidarity messages will be delivered today at White City Stadium as tomorrow’s burial proceedings will be confined to a State programme.
“Tomorrow’s memorial service will be mainly controlled by the family. It’s a memorial service that we expect to be very big considering Dr Dabengwa’s stature. Those wishing to deliver solidarity messages are expected to speak tomorrow. However, on Saturday, it will be a burial service and we all know that in the burial of a national hero, it’s a closed programme where only the family speaks before the President delivers his speech,” said Cde Ncube.
She said members of the public that intend to share their memories on Dr Dabengwa would be advised to do so at today’s memorial service at White City Stadium.
“So tomorrow (today) those who want to deliver solidarity messages, would be their day. We want to encourage those who will attend the memorial service to be at their best behaviour. We should respect Dr Dabengwa. We are what we are because of his contributions to the nation. We need to give him a huge send-off and I encourage members of the public to come in their numbers for the service. The gates at White City will be opened as early as 8AM,” she said.
Dr Dabengwa’s younger brother, Mr Jabu Dabengwa, said after the memorial service, the national hero’s body will lie in state at his home in Fourwinds suburb before they proceed for burial tomorrow morning. “Most of the speeches by members of the public among other organisations will be delivered at the memorial service at White City Stadium. In Ntabazinduna where most of our relatives are based, the burial proceedings will follow what is done in the burial of other national heroes. There will be a family speaker and a Government representative. But we have also made a special request that our visitors from South Africa, members from African National Congress (ANC) and Umkhonto WeSizwe could deliver they solidarity messages during the burial as they will only be in the country on Saturday,” said Mr Dabengwa.
Bulawayo Provincial Information Officer Mr Farai Makuvaza said 11 buses would pick up residents who intend to attend the memorial service.
He said buses are expected to pick up residents as early as 7AM.
Some of the pick-up points include Mhlahlandlela Government Complex for ward 1, 4, 5 and 6 residents while residents from Ward 2 will be picked from Richmond Spar, Castle Arms, Trenance Hall, Cabatsha, Queens Park West and in Ward 3 residents will be picked from Imbizo Barracks, Fairbridge Bus Stop, Mahatshula and Glengary.
In Ward 7, 8, 9 and 12 a bus will pick passengers at Makokoba’s Efusini, Barbourfields Stadium, Thorngrove Shopping Centre, NocZim, D-Square, Mpopoma High School, Information Centre and Njube Police Station while those living in ward 10, 11, 14 will be picked up from Zothile Shopping Centre, Nhliziyo Shopping Centre, War Vets Office, Entumbane Spar, Emakhandeni, Hall, Woza Shopping Centre, Maunga, New Lobengula Bus Terminus.
For ward 16 and 17 residents their pick up points are Beit Hall, Emangcwabeni Turn, koMaplanka, Magwegwe North Bus Terminus, Lobengula West Turn, Gwabalanda Turn Off while Ward 17, 19 and 27 residents will get free transport in Old Pumula Terminus, Pumula Clinic, Pumula North Terminus, Pumula South Bus Terminus, Intemba Bus Stop, St Peters School, Mazwi Village, Robert Sinyoka School and Methodist Village.
Ward 20, 22, 23 residents will be picked from Tshabalala Garage, Sekusile, Queen Elizabeth Kiosk, Maqhawe Clinic, Nkulumane 12 Bus Terminus, Munyoro Shopping Centre, Manemo Shopping Centre and Bullet Shopping Centre while for Ward 21, 24, 25 dwellers they will be picked at Nketa 7 terminus, Nketa 9 Shopping Centre, Emganwini Flea Market, Khanyisa Shopping Centre, Bumby Lodge, Nketa High School, Nketa Garage, Nkulumane High School, Sidojiwe West Gate, Mbundane SDA Church, Esibhoraneni and Terminus.
For Cowdray Park’s ward 28 residents they will be picked at Emagetsini, Cowdray Park Terminus, Fly-Over Garikai Houses, Caravan Bus Stop, Booster Empompini, Esigodweni, TM, Sign Post while those staying in Ward 18 and 29 will be picked from Magwegwe West Terminus, Pats Hardware/Mabhodoko, Konron, Mountain view, Old Magwegwe Terminus and Caltex Garage. — @nqotshili