Live updates by: Thembinkosi Mangena and Tendai Munengwa

12:07 – Now the body of Cde Chimbandi is being carried to its final resting place.

11:59 – President ED ends his speech by reminding Zimbabweans that it is their duty to ensure that the country is indeed in a new mode, ‘ a new Zimbabwe with new opportunities and freedoms.’

11:54 – ED expresses disappointment that the government’s efforts to address cash shortages in the economy are being hampered by people who export the cash soon after it is pumped into the economy.

11:53 – ED urges Zimbabweans to be hospitable to all visitors to Zimbabwe, among them election observers, and also urges the observers to acquaint themselves well with the country’s electoral laws.

11:51 – ED urges all Zimbabweans and political parties display the same resolve and commitment to peace and unity both in speech and deeds.

11:50 –ED – “Through the 30 July elections, we want to show the world that our democracy has come of age.”

11:49 – ED – “I am a servant leader and listening President, committed. My govt is fully cognisant of the power belongs to the people and that they expect the upliftment of their welfare.”

11:46 – ED “Never take the story of our liberation struggle for granted. This independence we have today was fought for.”

11:45 – ED – Even after independence, he never stopped working for the country. I challenge you Zimbabweans, both local and abroad, to always work hard to advance the national interest. We must always be motivated by his exemplary commitment to national duty.”

11:43 – ED – “Cde Chimbandi worked closely with the OAU liberation committee to ensure sustained support towards the liberation of African states such as Zimbabwe.”

11:36 – Cde Mnangagwa says death ‘is the fate that awaits us all.’ He describes Cde Chimbandi as a hero, who played a heroic role in the liberation struggle and continued to be work for the Zimbabwe after independence. “He thrived in various roles representing his nation. There is no service to the people that surpasses sacrifice.” 

11:32 – The MC, the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture, Dr Obert Mpofu invites President Mnangagwa to address mourners. 

11:18 – Speaking on the sidelines of the burial, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joey Bimha says the late Cde Chimbandi was among the founders of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the likes of the late Cde Witness Mangwende and others, who helped build the ministry after independence as the colonial regime had been isolated and there were no foreign relations to talk about.

He adds that the late hero was a committed and candid member of the diplomatic service and served with late OAU liberation committee chairman and Tanzanian national, the late Bridagier General Hashim Mbita in mobilising resources for the liberation struggle.

11:24 – The solemn mood at the shrine was flavoured with current election mood and the new dispensation’s thrust captured in the placards surrounding the arena. Some rea: ”A Culture of Work, Zimbabwe is Open for Business, Towards Free, Fair, Credible and Violence Free Elections, and Thank You Government for the Roads.”

11:10 – Cde Chimbandi is the first hero to be buried at the national shrine in the new political dispensation ushered in last November. The other national hero, Dr Timothy Stamps, who died at the end of November last year, was accorded the status his family opted for a private burial ceremony in accordance with its beliefs.

11:01 – You can catch the live proceedings from the comfort of your homes on ZBC-TV now.

11:01 – Cde Chimbandi’s body is now at the national shrine.

10:23 – After body viewing, the body leaves for the National Heroes Acre aboard a gun carriage for burial.

10:09 – The two Vice Presidents; Retired General Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi follow in paying their last respects to the national hero. Behind them are Zanu PF Politburo members, government officials, relatives and friends

10:05 – President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the First Lady, Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa arrives at Stodart Hall and soon lead the body viewing procession.

09:24 – Senior government and Zanu PF officials arrive. Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and his wife are now here. 

09:05 – As per tradition during the burial of national heroes and heroines, the body of Counsel General Chimbandi arrives at Stodart Hall in Mbare for the body viewing procession.

09:05 – Who is Cde Chimbandi?

Cde Chimbandi

  • Born Caston Chibanda whose Chimurenga name was Cde John Chimbandi.
  • Joined the liberation struggle in 1973 and assumed several senior posts.
  • Joined the then Ministry of Foreign Affairs at independence as Assistant Secretary prior to his posting to diplomatic missions.
  • He is former Consul General to Beira, Mozambique, and also served in several African and overseas countries as a career diplomat.
  • Cde Chimbandi retired from service last year.
  • He suffered a stroke some 34 years ago which could have led to his death.
  • Died last week Saturday in Harare.
  • He is survived by three daughters and one grandson.

09:01 – All is now set for the burial of national hero, Cde John Chimbandi at the National Heroes Acre in Harare today.