Matabeleland North provincial leadership has described the late former Provincial Affairs minister Sithokozile Mathuthu’s death as a blow to the development of the region, as she worked hard towards the empowerment of marginalised communities.
Mathuthu died on Monday at her family home in Harare after a long battle with cancer, according to her husband Jonathan Mathuthu.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema pledged to carry on Mathuthu’s developmental work in her honour.
“She is one person who continued with her heroine status after independence, where she pledged to work for the people of Matabeleland North. We pledge to work and carry on fulfilling her wish that she wanted for people of Matabeleland North.”
Provincial administrator Lathiso Dlamini also weighed in, revealing some of the projects that Mathuthu spearheaded, which included the establishment of Lupane State University and construction of a dam and government complex.
“She left all the comfort in Bulawayo to stay with her poor people in the province. She shared her struggles with them and we would like to thank the government for seeing it fit to lay her at the National Heroes’ Acre. She was a great mother,” Dlamini said.
Chief Mabhikwa said Mathuthu’s death had left a void in the province.
In a statement, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said: “Her declaration as a national heroine by the party’s president and first secretary, Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa, after a unanimous decision by the politburo, speaks volumes of her liberation history, courage, perseverance, commitment, humanity, hard work and enviable determination to the promotion of unity, peace and development.
“She has left a legacy of service to humanity and, indeed, has been promoted to glory for higher responsibility. In wishing her dear husband and family strengthen and staying power, may her soul anchor and rest in eternal peace.”
At the time of her death, Mathuthu was Zanu PF women’s league deputy secretary.
Burial arrangements were yet to be confirmed, but Dhlamini said: “Her body will be taken to her home in Mpumalanga suburb tomorrow (today), then on Thursday at 10am, we will hold a church service and body viewing at Hwange Colliery Stadium for farewells. On the same day, she will be taken back to Bulawayo Amphitheater or Large City Hall. Perhaps after that, she will be taken to Harare. We hear that the burial is likely to be held on Sunday.”
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