Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said the late Mrs Janet Banana -- widow to the late former President Canaan Banana -- was a pillar of strength, a source of inspiration and family cohesion as a mother and First Lady.
He made the remarks in his condolence message to the Banana family following the death of Mrs Banana who succumbed to kidney-related complications at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo last week.
Mrs Banana will be accorded a State-assisted funeral.
"I join the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa and the nation at large in conveying my deepest condolences to the Banana family.
VP Chiwenga joined President Mnangagwa in mourning the country's founding First Lady.
"The nation has lost yet another gallant daughter who stood by her husband during the difficult colonial period and arduous struggle for independence.
"Mrs Banana was a pillar of strength, a source of inspiration and family cohesion as a mother and First Lady," said VP Chiwenga.
"We stand by and commiserate with the Banana family in this time of grief and beseech the Almighty to give the family strength in this difficult time. May her dear soul rest in eternal peace."
Mrs Banana was a champion of local empowerment in 1982 she said the country cannot always expect foreign assistance to achieve economic liberation.
In 1988 she said Zimbabwe's future lies in a type of education that equips the students with skills and prepares them for self-help projects, she spoke after touring Mupfure Self-Help College.