Cde Mathuthu’s body arriving earlier at Hwange Aerodrome aboard an Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter.

A church service for the late national heroine, former Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Thokozile Mathuthu has been held at the Colliery Stadium in Hwange with several speakers honouring her immense contributions in the empowerment of women and transformation of the province.

For the late national heroine and former governor Cde Mathuthu, the coal-mining town of Hwange, Kamativi and Lupane were more than just home but a community dear to her heart that nurtured her to be a courageous, hardworking and humble woman.

On Thursday (today) patriotic Zimbabweans from the province had a chance to say goodbye to one of their own who has been described as an exceptional leader.

The body of the late heroine arrived at Hwange Aerodrome around mid morning accompanied by Minister of Women’s Affairs Sithembiso Nyoni, husband Jonathan Mathuthu and other family members.

Among those who were at the Aerodrome to receive the body included Matabeleland North Minister of State Ambassador Cain Mathema, senior government officials, service chiefs, Women’s League representative Tambudzani Mohadi and Zanu PF provincial leadership.

From the Aerodrome the body was taken to Colliery Stadium where mourners gathered to bid farewell to Cde Mathuthu.

There were cheers around the stadium when the hearse carrying the casket entered the arena.

Family members, colleagues and government officials described the late as a unifier and a leader who worked hard to bring about meaningful development in the province.

“As a family we have been robbed of a unifier, a source of inspiration and a pillar of strength,” said some of the family members.

Chief mourner Ambassador Mathema and Minister Nyoni said the province has been robbed of an exceptional leader who worked hard to unite the party and to bring about meaningful development in the province.

Women’s League provincial chairperson Medeline Bhebhe said the Women’s League has lost a dedicated leader who gave her all to women advancement.

She ended her speech by singing and dancing to one of the late Mathuthu’s favourite song ‘Thoko’ by the late Joe Mafela.

“The province will certainly be poorer without Cde Mathuthu, she has been an exceptional leader and worked tirelessly to bring about meaningful development here in Matabeleland North,” she said.

Ambassador Mathema led the mourners in body viewing as the province bade farewell to the late national heroine.

From the stadium the body was taken to her Mpumalanga residence.

Tomorrow morning, it [body] will leave for Bulawayo where another church service will be held at White City Stadium.

The former Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcastings Services Cde Mathuthu will be buried at the National Shrine on Sunday.

Cde Mathuthu’s body arriving at the Colliery Stadium for the church service.