Absolom Sikhosana who died in Bulawayo over the weekend will be buried at the National Heroes Acre today where President Mnangagwa will address mourners.

His body arrived in Harare yesterday and was received at One Commando Barracks by Major Generals Kasirai Tazira and Paul Chima and other senior military officials.

The body lay in state at the barracks and mourners are gathered at Number 12 Kathrine Road in Belvedere.

Outlining the burial programme at One Commando yesterday, Mr Xavier Chisoko, who was standing in for Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera said the body would be taken to Stodart Hall this morning but because of the Covid-19 threat, movements were restricted and all relatives would proceed to the national shrine for burial.

“At Stodart Hall, the family will meet President Mnangagwa who will also pay his condolences there before the body proceeds for burial,” said Mr Chisoko.

President Mnangagwa had already paid tribute to Cde Sikhosana describing him as a trained veteran of the liberation struggle who began his struggle against colonialism as a youth activist in the 1970s.

A radical trade unionist, Cde Sikhosana later joined the liberation war at Camp of General Training in Zambia in 1977, said President Mnangagwa.

“Always dedicated to the freedom and service of his people, Cde Sikhosana distinguished himself as a long-time leader of our Youth League, in the process moulding several youths many of whom matured politically, becoming dependable leaders in different echelons of our party Zanu PF and in different sectors of our society.

“Genial but firm, respectful and soft-spoken but unwavering, the late Cde Sikhosana was always faithful to the party line and would be relied upon to undertake onerous chores for the party in different provinces of our country. In all this throughout his political career, the late hero exemplified unity and cohesion in the party, a demeanour which made him approachable and acceptable across all organs of our party. We will miss him sorely,” said the President.

“On behalf of the party, Zanu-PF, the Politburo, my family and my own behalf, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Sikhosana family, especially to Mrs Sikhosana and the children. As they grieve over this saddest loss, may they find comfort and be consoled by Cde Sikhosana’s outstanding role in the struggle for our independence and in his distinguished leadership, both in the Youth League and lately of the whole Bulawayo Province of which he was its interim chairman.”

state media