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Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Party Reaffirms Control Over Liberation Hero Designation

Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa, a top ZANU-PF official, said Thenjiwe Lesabe, who left ZANU-PF two years ago for the reconstituted ZAPU party, would not be buried at Heroes Acre, Harare

Former ZANU-PF politburo member, Thenjiwe Lesabe, a member of the council of elders of the reconstituted Zimbabwe African People’s Union or ZAPU, has been denied national hero status with a top ZANU-PF official saying only party members qualified.

Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa, also ZANU-PF secretary for administration, was quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper as saying Lesabe will instead be given a state-assisted funeral for her role in the 1970s liberation struggle. He told the newspaper, considered a ZANU-PF mouthpiece, this was because she left ZANU-PF two years ago.

Lesabe, 79, died Friday and was to be buried on Saturday at her farm in Fort Rixon.

However, contrary to Mutasa's statement, the late Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army intelligence chief Cornius Nhloko, who died last Wednesday, was granted hero status.

The British-based political analyst Musekiwa Makwanya told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that Zimbabweans will never agree on the formula to be used to honor its heroes and therefore should start honoring people when they are still alive.