Updates by Nduduzo Tshuma

Photographer: Elia Saushoma

Dashboard: Stanford Chiwanga

11:50 – That’s it from us. Thanks for joining us.

11:45 – Mourners are now viewing the body of Cde Nleya.

11:35 – Army Chaplin giving closing prayer before body viewing…

11:30 – Minister Ncube concludes her address.

11:05 – Bulawayo Minister for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Judith Ncube takes to the podium. She welcomes mourners to the services.

“I was in Masendu yesterday and got a message that we must encourage the use of our currency. The pastor preaching at Cde Nleya’s House also raised the same issue. No one can fix our country besides us. Our national hero lying here fought his fight and you must not reverse what the freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for. That would be very unfortunate

“I was visited by some residents telling me that they reported a neighbour who was bragging that they sneaked into the country evading quarantine.

“…We want to thank the efforts by the government in ensuring that no one starves despite successive droughts we have experienced. The President has made a number of initiatives to alleviate hunger including subsidizing some food items. Unfortunately we have some unscrupulous people who divert those communities to the black market. They reported that person and I encourage that you do the same with those who sell commodities on the black market. This is not what the sons of the soil like Cde Nleya fought for.

“We thank the President for conferring Cde Nleya the honour that he deserves. To the Nleya family, I’m happy that your wish for Cde Nleya’s mother to pay her last respects to her son was granted. I’m told that many people came to bid him farewell in Masendu and I thank you.

“We have been visiting veterans of the struggle to check on their welfare and assist where we can. There are many who have various challenges and our wish is to assist them and that can be achieved through unity. Our hero will be airlifted to Harare in a few minutes and let us pray that the programme goes well.

“Let us also pray for our leaders because we are going through difficult times. We are battling with Covid-19 and we must follow laid down regulations so that we do not perish.”

11:00 – Cde Tshuma calls for the recording of the history of war veterans so that they get the honours they deserve.

“We want to carry on your legacy even after your death because you made great sacrifices in the fight for the liberation of our country.”

10:55 – Next is Cde Joseph Tshuma speaking on behalf of Zanu-PF.

“We would like to thank President Mnangagwa for honouring our father Cde Nleya. With the new dispensation we see more Zipra cadres getting the recognition they deserve. Had it not been for Covid-19 there would be many more people but because of social distancing we had to limit the numbers. Even those that wanted to bid Cde Nleya farewell, we are sorry that only a few will have to go because of the regulations of Covid-19.

10:45 – Female war veterans sing in honour of Cde Nleya.

10:40 – He says sadly Cde Nleya never made it out of hospital but sadly passed away.

“He will be remembered by everyone. A hero doesn’t die as his works will always live. Go well our commander, we will always remember you.”

10:35 – Next speaker is Bulawayo Provincial war veterans chairman Cde Cephas Ncube

“We are lucky that we have leaders who were pioneers in the struggle like our hero we came for here.”

He says Cde Nleya was one of the first heroes to fight for the liberation of the country.

“He was an instructor, a leader during the war and after Independence. We heard about his journey to train as a fighter and later trained luminary war veterans like General PV Sibanda. We pride ourselves today liberation because of the sacrifices of Cde Nleya. We are greatly pained to lose comrades like Cde Nleya at a time when we needed their wisdom. The challenge is for us the remaining ones to emulate the ways of Cde Nleya. I visited Cde Nleya in hospital after hearing that he had been admitted.”

10:27 – He pays tribute to President Mnangagwa for conferring Cde Nleya with National Hero Status.

“We are grateful that Nleya’s bedridden mother was afforded a chance to pay her last respects to her son at her homestead in Masendu.”

10:26 – Family spokesperson Tshakalisa Dube takes to the podium. He details the history of Cde Nleya. He says Cde Nleya’s two daughters could not make it to the burial as they are stuck in the United Kingdom due to Covid-19. Cde Nleya’s four siblings were also not able to attend the burial as they are stuck in South Africa.

Pays tribute to President Mnangagwa for conferring Cde Nleya with National Hero Status

We are grateful that Nleya’s bedridden mother was afforded a chance to pay her last respects to her son at her homestead in Masendu

10:26 -Army Chaplin opens the service with a prayer

10:2 5 – The body of National Hero Stanley Nleya has arrived at the White City B Arena for a funeral service.