VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said the worst was over concerning his health as he is making a tremendous recovery.

Addressing hundreds of people at a memorial service for national heroine Cde Shuvai Mahofa at her home in Mpandawana growth point, VP Mnangagwa paid tribute to Zimbabweans for their prayers, adding that only God had the final word on the number of days one lives.

 Cde Mahofa — who was the Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister —died at Makurira Memorial Hospital in August after battling health problems for almost two years.

VP Mnangagwa said, “I only received news of her death when I was in hospital in South Africa; I was recovering. President Mugabe confirmed Senator Mahofa’s death when he visited me in hospital. I was not able to attend her funeral because I was not fit but her passing on was a great loss. We were very close.

“I only came back from hospital (in South Africa) on Friday evening and found out that there was a memorial service. Before resting, I made arrangements to be here today (yesterday). I am happy I managed to attend the memorial service. I can now go home and rest.”

VP Mnangagwa went on, ‘‘After falling sick, the late Senator Mahofa would phone me asking how I was feeling. There were some people who were spreading false information, so she was checking on me. I am still alive because the Lord has not called me yet. Thank you for your prayers.”

He promised to convey Masvingo gratitude to President Mugabe for conferment of national heroine status on Cde Mahofa, and urged the nation to follow the late minister’s example of preaching peace.

VP Mnangagwa lambasted Zanu-PF officials who sought to hijack the party for selfish ends, and called for unity of purpose to ensure victory in the 2018 harmonised elections.

 Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Josaya Hungwe described Cde Mahofa as a daughter of the soil; while party provincial chair Cde Ezra Chadzamira said the national heroine had been instrumental in implementation of key projects like Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam and dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway.

Gutu Central legislator Cde Lovemore Matuke assured President Mugabe that the party would win all 26 House of Assembly seats in the 2018 polls, just as it did in the 2013 elections.

At the memorial service were the family of the deceased, friends, traditional leaders, and Zanu-PF and Government officials. state media