Byo hosts Mandela memorial service

BULAWAYO - A memorial service to honour the late former South African president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in Bulawayo has been postponed to today to pave way for a much bigger event in solidarity with the South Africans.

The event which is being organised by the Christian community was supposed to be held on Thursday at the Bulawayo City Hall but had to be pushed forward after city fathers offered to coordinate a bigger event for the liberation icon.

It has been slated for the Amphitheatre where the service is set to kick off at 9am.

Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo told journalists during a press briefing on Thursday the decision to postpone the event was reached after wide consultations with residents and stakeholders in the city.

For a city which years back granted a Freedom of the City honour to Mandela, they deemed it fit to give a befitting send off for a hero that he is.

“There are many groups organising the same thing so that is why we thought that as a council, why should we not coordinate and do a bigger event bringing everyone together,” Moyo said.

“There has been an overwhelming response from the city to honour not only the South African icon but a world icon that Tata Mandela was.

“As Zimbabweans, we identify with him and as a result, he can be considered as one of us,” he explained.

The mayor was recently in Harare for the memorial service at the South African Embassy where he handed over a letter of condolence as well as signing a book on behalf of Bulawayo residence.

Representing the church community, Reverend Useni Sibanda said the event was short of celebrating the life of a revered icon through song and prayer.

“We have organised senior church leaders from the city to come and do a service but in between the service we will be having solidarity speeches and messages from civic society members, business community, residents and cultural groups among others,” Sibanda said.

He said a condolence book is also going to be signed during the process, adding that an invitation has been extended to “everyone and those outside the Christian community like the Hindus and the Moslem to come and celebrate with us.”

Mandela succumbed to a lung infection last week at the age of 95 and is set to be buried on Sunday at his ancestral Qunu village in the Eastern Cape Province.

Comments (1)

Good idea Bulawayo - way to go.

skuzapo - 14 December 2013

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