The late veteran nationalist, civic leader and businessman Ben Mucheche, who succumbed to heart failure on Wednesday, has been declared a national hero.

He died at the age of 96.

Mucheche was born on 31 March 1927 at Chishawasha Mission in Goromonzi.

He later moved to Salisbury (now Harare) in search of employment and worked as a schoolteacher.

In 1956, he started Easy Way Taxis, a taxi business, with only £300 in savings. By 1962, he had a fleet of six taxis, which he sold to buy two buses.

In 1979, when the Liberation War ended, Mucheche was running a fleet of 75 buses.

In 1973, he was elected the president of the Rhodesian African Chamber of Commerce which represented the interests of black people.
In 1975, he was appointed the director of the Reserve Bank, a position he held up to 1988.

He was also elected as the leader of the Zimbabwe Rural Transport Organisation between 1976 and 2002.