President Mugabe yesterday expressed his condolences to Palestine and the Halimeh family following the death of the country's former envoy to Zimbabwe Mr Ali Halimeh. Mr Halimeh (69), who was Palestine's ambassador to South Africa, died on Sunday at a Pretoria hospital from an undisclosed ailment. In his condolence message, President Mugabe lauded Cde Halimeh for his role in the struggle and search for Palestinian statehood.
"A simple and down to earth man, Cde Halimeh raised awareness on the Palestinian plight and cause through his grassroots ambassadorial approach which saw him engaging a cross-section of Zimbabweans," said President Mugabe.
"To this day, the question of Palestine remains well grasped and well supported in Zimbabwe. He leaves behind a legacy of commitment and loyalty to his people's revolution, but a commitment that would soon take a toll on his health."
The President noted that by the time Cde Halimeh left Zimbabwe in 2006 for his new posting in South Africa, the diplomat's health was failing by the day culminating in his demise last Saturday.
"On behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, my wife and on my own behalf, I wish to express deep condolences to the Palestinian People's Liberation Organisation on this very sad loss," said President Mugabe.
"In their collective grief, let them be consoled by the fact and fervency of Ali's commitment to their just cause which is sure to triumph one day.
"May that day come soon so Ali, and indeed Yasser Arafat, can rejoice and feel fully paid for their lifelong effort. May his soul rest in eternal peace."
Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo also consoled Palestine and the Halimeh family.
In a statement on Monday, Cde Khaya Moyo described Mr Halimeh as a revolutionary who served his country well.
"His Excellency, Ambassador Ali Halimeh was not only a brother to me but a revolutionary par excellence.
"We knew each other for over 30 years and shared common and mutual ideals in pursuance of human freedom, total independence and sovereignty of our respective countries," he said.
"He served as the Palestinian Ambassador to Zimbabwe for 16 years, crowning his tour of duty as Dean of Diplomatic Corps," he said.
"Ali was endowed with unquestionable liberation war credentials, a man of compound courage, a visionary, always principled, focused and above all a man of destiny.
"He always led from the front. Palestine has lost a great son, the PLO is without a tested cadre of the revolution and humanity is poorer by his absence. We have lost a great patriot," Cde Khaya Moyo added.
Ambassador Halimeh served in Zimbabwe between 1985 and 1999.