The Zanu-PF Second Secretary, Cde John Nkomo has officially informed the Mabhena family of the national hero status accorded to the late national hero, Cde Welshman Mabhena.
The late former Zanu-PF Politburo Member and Matebeleland North Governor, Cde Mabhena died on Tuesday this week at his home in Four Winds, Bulawayo, after battling with diabetes.
Speaking to ZBC News after announcing the hero status to the family, Cde Nkomo, who is also the countryâ€™s Vice President said the nation will be advised on the burial arrangements in due course.
He described the late Cde Mabhena who died at the age of 86 as one of the pioneers of the liberation war, adding that he is respected for his contribution to the well being of Zimbabwe.
Cde Nkomo called on all Zimbabweans to jealously guard the gains of independence in order to preserve the ideals and vision of Cde Mabhena.
The Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, Senator David Coltart also visited the Mabhena family to pay his condolences.
In an interview with ZBC News, Senator Coltart said the late Mabhena was a man of integrity who was passionateÂ aboutÂ the development of the country.
Meanwhile, fellow comrades in arms say the death of Cde Mabhena has robbed the nation of a visionary leader and a man of purpose.
Those who had the chance to work with the late Cde Mabhena have described him as a true nationalist and liberation fighter whose contribution to the liberation ofÂ Zimbabwe will forever be a part of the countryâ€™s history.
House of Assembly Member for Umguza and Zanu-PF Politburo Member, Cde Obert Mpofu, who assumed Governorship from Cde Mabhena described him as a fountain of wisdom and a good leader.
House of Assembly Member for Beitbridge and also Zanu-PF Politburo Member, Cde Kembo Mohadi noted that the late Cde Mabhena was a principled man who was concerned with the development of Zimbabwe.
Cde Mabhena died on Tuesday morning at his Bulawayo home after a long struggle with diabetes and high blood pressure.
The Zanu-PF Politburo met in Harare on Wednesday and bestowed national hero status on Cde Mabhena.Â
Cde Mabhena is survived by his wife Rebecca, three children, twelve grandchildren and two great-grand children.
Mourners are gathered at number 12 Amatja Road, Four Winds, in Bulawayo.
Residents of Bulawayo say they are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Cde Mabhena.
The residents described Cde Mabhena as a fatherly figure who will be greatly missed by the Matabeleland region and the nation as a whole.
Others described him as a man of the people who was always ready to stand for everyone.
Some residents described the late national hero as a man of integrity who could differentiate between good and bad and could give advice accordingly.
The late Cde Mabhena is accredited with bringing development to the Matebeleland region during his tenure of office.