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Zimbabwe mourns two national icons, grants state-assisted funerals

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Dr Martin Rushwaya, announced on Friday the passing of two prominent figures who made significant contributions to the country’s development and culture.

Mr Karikoga Kaseke, a former army officer and civil aviation and tourism chief, and Mr Meshack Ndlovu, a founder and leader of a renowned gospel choir and a co-creator of the national anthem, both died this week after long illnesses.

Rushwaya said President Emmerson Mnangagwa had granted them the honour of state-assisted funerals in recognition of their outstanding service to the nation.

He expressed his deep grief and sorrow and extended his condolences to the families of the two men, whose achievements he said would be forever remembered and cherished.

Kaseke, who served as the permanent secretary for transport and infrastructure development and the chief executive officer for the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, was hailed as an intelligent, loyal and committed hard worker who boosted the transport and tourism sectors.

Ndlovu, who founded and led the Seventh Day Adventist Church Choir “Wings of Jordan”, was praised as a great artist who used the power of music to spread the Word of God and also played a key role in the development of the national anthem.

He was part of the team that selected and harmonised the lyrics and the tune of the anthem, written by national hero Professor Solomon Mutsvairo and composed by Mr Fred Changundenga, and received a certificate of appreciation from the late President Robert Mugabe for his outstanding work.