ZANU-PF founding member and former Defence and Home Affairs Minister Cde Enos Nkala and freedom fighter Air Commodore (Retired) Mike Karakadzai, who died this week, have been declared national heroes.Air Cdre Karakadzai died in a car crash on Tuesday on his way to Bulawayo, while Cde Nkala died the following day at a private clinic in Harare.
Speaking to journalists after the party's Politburo meeting in Harare last night, Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo said the burial of the two heroes was tentatively set for tomorrow.
"We were looking at the status of the two people who have died in the last few days.
"We were looking at the death of Cde Enos Nkala, one of those gallant fighters of the nationalist struggle and we also looked at Air Cdre Mike Karakadzai, general manager of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
"Both of them have been unanimously endorsed as qualifying for national hero status and will be buried at the national shrine.
"We still need to talk to the families, but the consensus is that perhaps they should be buried on Sunday morning largely because of the commitments that His Excellency has in the next few days. But we are still going to consult with the families."
Cde Gumbo said national hero status was bestowed upon the two in recognition of the role they played during the liberation struggle.
"They made a major contribution first of all to the liberation of Zimbabwe as well as developing the country," he said.
"For instance, in the case of Enos Nkala, he was the founder of the National Democratic Party as well as Zimbabwe African National Union in 1960 and 1963, respectively.
"They were incarcerated and harassed together with His Excellency (President Mugabe) in Sikombela, Harare and many other places, so it was felt that he deserved to be considered as a national hero.
"As for Air Cdre Karakadzai, he was a Zanla fighter in Mozambique and he came back and he was in the Air Force of Zimbabwe and later joined the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
"He did a superb job at NRZ. He died while he was re-organising the National Railways of Zimbabwe."
Cde Nkala was one of the founders of Zanu as the party was formed at his house, 4449 Highfield, Harare, in 1963.
He was the revolutionary party's first treasurer and held the post until his resignation from politics.
During the war, he served in the party's high command.
Cde Nkala was detained at Gonakudzingwa for 12 years with leaders such as Ndabaningi Sithole, Leopold Takawira, Edgar Tekere, Maurice Nyagumbo, all late, and President Mugabe.
At independence in 1980, Cde Nkala became the Minister of Finance until 1983 when he was moved to the Ministry of National Supplies.
In 1985, he became Minister of Home Affairs, and then moved over to Defence after the 1985 elections.
Cde Nkala resigned from Government in 1989 at the height of the Willowgate scandal, which involved the acquisition of several vehicles from Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries by individuals in Government.
The vehicles were then sold at exorbitant prices in a market that was starved of new vehicles.
Last year, Cde Nkala said he was bitter about the way he was forced to leave politics in 1989, insisting that he chose to resign rather than appear before the Wilson Sandura Commission because he was not wrong.
Since then, he was not active in politics until his death.
Mourners are gathered at House Number 62 Carrick Road, Borrowdale, Harare, while in Bulawayo they are gathered at Number 9 Eastwood Road, Woodlands.
Cde Nkala is survived by his wife, Thandiwe, eight children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
In his condolence message to the Nkala family, Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions secretary-general Mr Kennias Shamuyarira said the union was saddened by the death of Cde Nkala.
"To us as labour unions, we mourn, celebrate and take solace and comfort in that the works of Cde Nkala's quest for freedom, independence and sovereignty which he undertook for the entire part of his life have been realised and will forever be cherished by the workers and peasantry of Zimbabwe," he said.
Air Cdre Karakadzai, was born on March 7 1957 in Chipinge. At the age of 18 he had experienced the brutality of the settler regime and decided to abandon his studies at Mt Jersey Secondary School in Chipinge to take up arms to dislodge the racist colonial regime.
In July 1975, he crossed the border through Espungabeira to Machazi in Mozambique and was later transferred to Chibawawa Camp.
In March 1976, he left Chibawawa for Chimoio Camp where he received military training.
On completing the training, Rtd Air Cdre Karakadzai, then known by his Chimurenga name as Cde Hiplevel, was selected to undergo political education at Chitepo Ideological College in 1977.
After graduating, he was posted to Tete Province to carry out political education, mobilisation, political research and setting up Zanu structures in liberated and semi-liberated zones.
He was later appointed detachment commander for Nyahui (Rushinga District) detachment.
By 1978 the area had been declared a liberated zone and his role was to create Zanu political structures and consolidate the liberation of that area.
During his illustrious career in the AFZ, he held numerous positions which included base equipment officer in 1985, acting staff officer Grade 1 Equipment in 1988, and staff officer Grade 1 Equipment External in the same year.
In 1989, he was appointed acting director equipment before his substantive appointment for the post in 1991.
He distinguished himself in executing his duties and was promoted to director-general operations three years later. In 2000, he was appointed deputy secretary for defence policy and procurement.
Rtd Air Cdre Karakadzai is survived by wife Sylvia and five sons.