President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe needs people like the late national hero, Cde Misheck Velaphi, who valued unity and hard work more than personal and partisan interests.

Addressing mourners at the National Heroes Acre in Harare this morning during the burial of the national hero, Cde Mnangagwa said unity, peace, hardwork and dialogue should define all Zimbabweans for the country to rise again.

“Our country needs men and women like this hero. Like those who sacrificed to liberate this country, we need people who can rise above personal interests, regionalism, nepotism………from Plumtree to Mutare, we are one people,” said President Mnangagwa.

He also reiterated that the culture of dialogue will remain the hallmark of the second republic.

President Mnangagwa said he met Cde Velaphi at Khami Prison in Bulawayo in the 1960s, when the national hero was sentenced to seven (7) years in prison.

The President also said Cde Velaphi started political activism at a tender age and most notably during his time at Howard where he was training as a teacher.

He said for his commitment to a better country where there is equality and non-discrimination, Cde Velaphi was to be detained in several prisons which include Gonakudzingwa and Whawha.

“His consistence and commitment to a better Zimbabwe has earned him a place in our hearts, hence a place here at the national shrine,” the President added.

Family representative, Mr Douglas Dube thanked President Mnangagwa and his government for always being there to help the family, particularly during the times of need.

He described his uncle as a selfless and consistent cadre who loved the revolutionary Zanu PF party and his country until his last breath.

Cde Velaphi succumbed to hypertension at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and is survived by wife, Margaret Khumalo, five children and several grand children.