The Zimbabwe state funeral for Elias Kanengoni, the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). Thousands of mourners gathered at Hero's Acre., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Thousands bid hero Kanengoni farewell
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 00:00
Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Thousands of people yesterday thronged the National Heroes Acre to bid farewell to Central Intelligence Organisation Deputy Director (Internal) Cde Elias Kanengoni who died last week.
Scores of people lined the streets early in the morning to view the casket bearing the body of the national hero on its way to Stodart Hall in Mbare for body viewing.
At the hall, thousands sang revolutionary songs outside, while those who could fit squeezed into the hall to view the body.
The youths and the elderly waved Zimbabwean flags in honour of Cde Kanengoni as they waited for the arrival of dignitaries who included Acting President Joice Mujuru and senior Government officials.
Mbare Chimurenga Choir belted out its popular songs to which the mourners danced.
Some of the mourners climbed tower lights and a nearby precast wall to catch a better view of the funeral procession.
Acting President Joice Mujuru arrived at around 10am and led the mourners in body viewing.
Soon after the body viewing, Cde Kanengoni’s body was taken to the National Heroes Acre where thousands of people had already gathered to pay their last respects.
Mourners held posters that described Cde Kanengoni as a loyal, dedicated and shrewd hero.
Cde Kanengoni’s young brother Mr Douglas Kanengoni said the entire Kanengoni family contributed immensely to the liberation struggle that brought independence to Zimbabwe.
“Six members of our family joined the liberation struggle, while others remained and worked as war collaborators,” he said.
“Three perished during the war while three, including Elias returned.
“He worked hard and raised the family flag high.
“We are humbled by the presence of thousands of people here.
“This is the biggest respect the family has ever had.”
Mashonaland Central Governor Martin Dinha described Cde Kanengoni as an honest man who was not afraid of telling the truth.
“We used to call him Yahwe or Waka Waka and he never minced his words when it came to issues,” he said.
“He called a spade a spade. We have lost a man who was proud to be black, proud to be Zimbabwean and proud to be African.”
Zanu-PF Youth League deputy secretary for Information and Publicity, Cde Cecilia Chivhunga said Cde Kanengoni was instrumental in the empowerment of youths.
“Cde Kanengoni was not selfish with knowledge,” she said.
“He was a true leader whom youths could learn from. We have leant to be persistent and consistent from him. He never faltered until his death.”
Cde Kanengoni’s daughter Tabeth described him as a dedicated father and successful farmer.
“My father has died, but I understand God has his plans,” she said.
“We know his flesh has left, but his spirit is with us. We know we have a family in Zanu-PF that loves us.”
Tabeth hailed President Mugabe and the Zanu-PF Politburo for according her father the national hero status.