Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
CHURCHES yesterday said the late national hero Dr Dumiso Dabengwa is an international icon whose legacy transcends the political realm.
Different church leaders under the banner of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) yesterday visited the late Dr Dabengwa’s residence in Fourwinds to condole with the family over his death.
The church leaders held a funeral service and pastors leading their respective congregants took turns to preach about the good works of Dr Dabengwa.
The national hero who will be buried on Saturday at his rural home in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North province, died on Thursday last week in Nairobi, Kenya en-route to Zimbabwe from India where he had gone to seek medical treatment.
He was 79.
Local pastors and bishops led by ZHOCD executive secretary Dr Bishop Kenneth Mutata said Dr Dabengwa’s life was of great service to humanity and should be celebrated.
Dr Mutata said in his interactions with the liberation icon, he was always charmed by his depth in understanding global issues
He said society should therefore not understand him only in the political spectrum.
“When we are celebrating Dr Dabengwa’s life, some people may try to confine his life history to a political narrative but Dr Dabengwa’s life is far much bigger than politics. He embodies far much more than a political institution can contain. Others may try to confine his life just to the national discussion to say he is just someone from Zimbabwe but Dr Dabengwa is bigger than Zimbabwe. He is celebrated all over the world and is therefore too big to be just a national narrative,” said Dr Mutata.
He said some may want to confine his history to the region yet his deeds transcend regional boundaries.
“They might say he is from Bulawayo, from Matabeleland region, ubaba uDabengwa is bigger than the region. Ubaba uDabengwa is bigger than Zimbabwe. If we are to talk about him we say a mountain has fallen instead of saying a tree has fallen because this is a big life that is being celebrated. His life touched many lives.”
Dr Mutata said the nation should strive to fulfil Dr Dabengwa’s vision of a united Zimbabwe. He said the liberation stalwart died while they were still in conversations about how to unite Zimbabweans in their diversity.
Dr Mutata said in the weeks leading to his death, they held a meeting where Dr Dabengwa highlighted that the country’s national unity was paramount.
“I asked him what job needed to be completed and he said since the liberation struggle there was a question of how we could unite the people of Zimbabwe. He said we tried this during war to bring our military together, we tried it at Lancaster House, we tried in at Independence, we tried it in 1987, we tried it in 2009. He said this is the job that is yet to be completed,” he said.