The Principal Director in the Office of Vice President Phelekhezela Mphoko, Mr Forbes Mbele, who died on Saturday at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo has been laid to rest at Mutasa Cemetery in Gweru.

Speaking during the burial today, Vice President Mphoko described the late Mr Mbele as a hardworking and a very  professional man who was dedicated to the civil service.

He said he had known the late Mr Mbele from the time he became Vice President, adding that he was a quiet but very intelligent and professional man of great integrity.

He urged the Mbele family to take heart and celebrate a life well lived and urged the children to carry their father’s legacy of hardwork and integrity forward.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda sent his condolence message to the Mbele family, saying the civil services will certainly miss his principled stance in defence of professionalism.

Dr Sibanda’s condolence message was delivered by the Permanent Secretary in the office of Vice President Mphoko, Mr Thabani Ndlovu.

The funeral of the late Mr Mbele had started with a church service at his home in Northlea, Gweru where Cde Mphoko led the body viewing procession as mourners paid their last respects.

During the wreath laying ceremony, Cde Mphoko laid a wreath from President Robert Mugabe, while Midlands Provincial Minister of State, Cde Jason Machaya laid a wreath from Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa before family and friends also laid their wreaths.

Mr Mbele, who is survived by his two children, joined the civil service in 1987 as an administrative officer in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.