GUTU - Francis Zimuto, popularly known as Black Jesus, who passed on last week, was given a hero send-off over the weekend at his mother's rural home in Makore village under chief Makore in Gutu.
The 62 year-old war veteran, whose efforts helped to start the Land Reform Programme, was given a state-assisted burial which saw government dignitaries attending and the military giving him a three man gun salute.
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Shuvai Mahofa, war veterans secretary general Victor Matemadanda, war veterans spokesperson Douglas Mahiya and other legislators from Masvingo province witnessed the send-off.
Alleged members of Team Lacoste also went to bid farewell to their colleague while suspected Generation 40 (G40) loyalists snubbed the burial.
Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson Amasa Nhenjana was one of ruling party officials who became conspicuous by his absence.
Mahofa described Zimuto as an astute war veteran whose contributions to the country's liberation will forever be appreciated.
"Zimuto was a great leader and his role from the liberation struggle to the time of his death will be cherished forever.
"He always said the truth and we liked him like that. His journey ends here but the journey for the rest of Zimbabweans is still on going.
"We are like the Israelites on their journey to Canaan. Not all of us will reach the land of milk and honey. Some of us will die but others will come and take over and lead," said Mahofa.
She fired warning shots at people who go against the revolutionary principles saying they should be careful so as to avoid bringing trouble to themselves.
"The constitution says people have their freedoms to do what they want but they will not watch when people lose direction while going against Zanu PF," said Mahofa.
Mahofa took the opportunity to urge political leadership to give food aid to everyone without discrimination. She said she was worried to hear that some Zanu PF leaders were blocking opposition supporters from getting food aid.
"Food aid must not be distributed along political lines. The aid is for everyone despite their political affiliation and I urge you today that when it comes to food, everyone must receive their share weather they are green, yellow, black or red," said Mahofa amid ululations from the mourners.
She also called for unity in the party and pleaded with the masses to support President Mugabe because it is his time to lead.
"We still have a long way to go and a lot of leadership roles many of us have to assume. Right now we have President Mugabe as our leader and we should support him. Moses led the Israelites to Canaan but he did not reach there with them.
"He died along the way and another leader was appointed. So, as long as Mugabe is still able, he will lead us but some other people will reach Canaan with us. Zimuto today has died and you never know who could be next," said Mahofa.news