VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said the worst was over concerning his health as he is making a tremendous recovery.
Addressing hundreds of people at a memorial service of Shuvai Mahofa at her home in Mpandawana growth point, VP Mnangagwa paid tribute to Zimbabweans for their prayers, adding that only God had the final word on the number of days one lives.
Mahofa — who was the Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister —died at Makurira Memorial Hospital in August after battling health problems for almost two years.
VP Mnangagwa said, “I only received news of her death when I was in hospital in South Africa; I was recovering. President Mugabe confirmed Senator Mahofa’s death when he visited me in hospital. I was not able to attend her funeral because I was not fit but her passing on was a great loss. We were very close.
“I only came back from hospital (in South Africa) on Friday evening and found out that there was a memorial service. Before resting, I made arrangements to be here today (yesterday). I am happy I managed to attend the memorial service. I can now go home and rest.”
VP Mnangagwa went on, ‘‘After falling sick, the late Senator Mahofa would phone me asking how I was feeling. There were some people who were spreading false information, so she was checking on me. I am still alive because the Lord has not called me yet. Thank you for your prayers.”
He promised to convey Masvingo gratitude to President Mugabe for conferment of national heroine status on Cde Mahofa, and urged the nation to follow the late minister’s example of preaching peace.
VP Mnangagwa lambasted Zanu-PF officials who sought to hijack the party for selfish ends, and called for unity of purpose to ensure victory in the 2018 harmonised elections.
Zanu-PF Politburo member Josaya Hungwe described Mahofa as a daughter of the soil; while party provincial chair Ezra Chadzamira said the national heroine had been instrumental in implementation of key projects like Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam and dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway.
Gutu Central legislator Lovemore Matuke assured President Mugabe that the party would win all 26 House of Assembly seats in the 2018 polls, just as it did in the 2013 elections.
At the memorial service were the family of the deceased, friends, traditional leaders, and Zanu-PF and Government officials.
Mahofa was born in 1941 in Chivi and attended Chibi and Morgenster mission schools, before attaining a Diploma in General Nursing in 1960.
She was active in early nationalist politics as a member of the National Democratic Party before joining Zapu in 1960 and then Zanu in 1963.
A renowned war collaborator, Mahofa worked with the likes of national hero Dr Simon Mazorodze, and supplied freedom fighters with clothes and medicines. She rose from being a councillor in the 1980s to become an MP between 1985 and 2008.
Mahofa served as Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs (1987-1992) and Deputy Minister of Gender and Youth Development (1998-2007).
She was elected Senator in 2013 before her appointment as Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs in February 2015, a post she occupied until her death. – Sunday