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Mnangagwa mourns Banana's wife

by Staff reporter
30 Jul 2021 at 07:25hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa has mourned founding First Lady Janet Banana and Mrs Angela Haritatos, the mother to Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos.

The former First Lady, who was the widow of founding President Canaan Sodindo Banana, died yesterday at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo following a long battle with kidney-related complications while Ambuya Haritatos died on Wednesday due to Covid-19-related complications. Mrs Banana, who died at the age of 83, has been accorded a State-assisted funeral.

In a statement last night, President Mnangagwa said it was with deep grief and sorrow that he informed the nation of the passing on of the country's inaugural First Lady.

"When I last visited her at the family home in Luveve, Bulawayo, to console her following the death of her son Michael, she was ailing, and our thoughts and prayers were for her speedy recovery.  

"Sadly, we have lost her when we thought she would be well again," said President Mnangagwa. He said the country remembers her with fond memories and admiration for the important roles she played during the liberation struggle and later as First Lady.

"During the struggle for our Independence, the late former First Lady exhibited courage and bravery as she endured persistent harassment at the hands of the Rhodesians for supporting her husband, the late First President of the Republic, Reverend Canaan Sodindo Banana, in his activism.

"To the very end of her husband's life and her own, she remained a strong pillar of support to both her husband and children. We shall not forget her as the mother of our nation. She carried herself with simplicity and dignity. Our country is all the poorer with her passing on.

"On behalf of the party, Zanu-PF, Government, the First Lady (Auxillia Mnangagwa), my family, and indeed on my behalf, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Banana family, especially to the children who remain, and have lost a loving mother. May I assure them of our support during this their darkest hour of grief. I have directed that the late former First Lady be accorded a State-assisted funeral."

Banana family representative, Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, said burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

"The family is yet to meet for those arrangements," she said. The former First Lady always valued education and in 1991, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe.

Upon graduation, she said her academic qualifications could be "more useful" to her country. By the time of graduation, she was a grandmother of one. Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa said it was painful for the Haritatos family to lose a loving mother exactly 18 days after the death of their father and liberation hero, Peter Haritatos.

Mrs Haritatos Said President Mnangagwa: "While the loss alone of his father was a very painful and heart-breaking experience for him and his family, losing their mother before they have recovered from their father's demise, must be equally heart wrenching and devastating for our Deputy Minister and the Haritatos family. On behalf of the party, Zanu-PF, Government, my family, and indeed, on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Haritatos family, especially to the Honourable Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos, for the loss of their dear mother, Angela," said President Mnangagwa.

Source - the herald

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