Zanu-PF provincial Youth League chairperson, Cde Lens Fernando Ruwizhu, is one of the few youths to be accorded hero status, and Mashonaland Central province yesterday thanked President Mnangagwa for declaring him a provincial hero.
Cde Ruwizhu (39) died on Friday after a short illness.
He was described as a hardworking, loyal and committed youth throughout his political career.
Speaking at his burial at the Provincial Heroes' Acre in Bindura, Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Cde Kazembe Kazembe said Cde Ruwizhu was a peace-living cadre who worked in harmony with everyone in the party.
Cde Kazembe, who was representing Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Monica Mavhunga, urged people to be united and love each other because death was inevitable.
"The passing on of Ruwizhu has left a big gap in the province and country at large. He was accorded the hero status due to his unwavering contribution to the party and nation," said Cde Kazembe.
"We remember him as a son of the soil who was peace-loving and worked together in harmony with his seniors and youths in the party.
"Through his political career he exhibited a remarkable and unwavering commitment to the party principles of peace, hard work and trustworthy. The ball is in our hands to carry on the same spirit and pursue the good work he left behind."
Cde Kazembe took the opportunity to advise people in the province to follow the laid down Covid-19 guidelines in the wake of increasing infections since health delivery system will soon be overwhelmed if the cases continue to mount.
Cde Ruwizhi's father, Mr Petros Ruwizhu, said his son died in his arms. He said Cde Ruwizhu tested negative to Covid-19. He thanked the President for honouring his son with a hero status.
"Lens was a loving person who assisted all family members. He was focused and looked after his family, parents and relatives," he said. "He left several projects that he had started and young children."
Born on November 27, 1982, Cde Ruwizhu started his political career in 2000 as a member of the Youth League under Nehanda Branch of Chipadze district.
In 2010, he become the secretary for security in the Chipadze district Youth League executive and during the 2012 restructuring, he was elected district youth chairperson.
In 2014, he was appointed the deputy secretary for indigenisation and empowerment and was unanimously nominated because of his invaluable experience in youth empowerment programmes and networking in the mining sector.
He became the secretary of indigenisation in 2016 and was elected provincial youth chairperson with the coming in of the Second Republic.
ZANU PF acting deputy secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Tendai Chirau said the youth were "saddened by the untimely passing on" of Cde Ruwizhi.
"We join hands with the entire party leadership, membership and the nation in extending most heartfelt condolences to the Fernando family, relatives and revolutionary comrades in this darkest hour of grief.
"We mourn a rare breed of cadre who we can confidently describe as 'Zanu PF from start to end' and 'Zanu PF inside-out'," he said.
Cde Chirau, National Railways of Zimbabwe board chairperson Cde Martin Dinha, Shamva North MP Oscar Gorerino were among those who attended the burial.
Cde Ruwizhu is survived by wife Sinikiwe and six children.