By Anna Chibamu
THE widow of the late Douglas Nyikayaramba Saturday sobbed uncontrollably as her husband’s casket was being lowered into the grave at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
Nyikayaramba, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Mozambique, died early last week after succumbing to Covid-19 and was declared a national hero.
However, the late retired army general’s wife Elina could not hold back her grief as she uncontrollably and inconsolably sobbed for her husband during the gun salute, forcing the military to go against military protocol and allowed her to sit while the rest stood in honour of Nyikayaramba.
“Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Why??? I am a prayerful, faithful servant. I did pray for him to get well. I did my best for him to be healed. Wuu…. wuu…wuu…,” she called out as her husband was being led to rest.
A relative next during the funeral rites also failed to console her as Elina continued to ask God why her husband had died despite all efforts to assist him.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa presided over the burial.
Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to honour the late national hero by defending his legacy.
“I challenge us all to thrive to preserve, defend and protect the legacy that the late Cde Nyikayaramba ‘Blessing Muhondo’ and other heroes bequeathed to us. Citizens must resist to be used as willing tools by those advancing myopic, narrow and alien agendas burnt to slow down and reverse our gains of Independence. We are a united, caring and peace loving people.”
“After the war of liberation, he assumed many titles related to his changing ranks as he rose in the military. Today he is gone, snatched away from us by a virus which has wreaked havoc in all nations.”
He said the war against the global Covid-19 pandemic was far from over.
“We are in the thick of it. We dare not lose it. Each Zimbabwean who falls to the pandemic is a grim reminder that the pandemic is real and a danger to our nation,” he said.
“However, such tragic loss of life should fortify our determination to do the needful in order to save our lives, lives of our families, friends and our fellow countrymen and countrywomen.
“Government continues to assess the threat posed by the pandemic, and of course to take measures necessary to save lives.