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Take pride in your country: President.

Zimbabwe will remain for Zimbabweans and outsiders intending to contribute towards developing the economy should do so without dictating the path for citizens, who have the rights to do that themselves.

Addressing mourners at the burial of his nephew Mr Nicholas Mafidhi Mnangagwa in Chirumanzu resettlement area yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should always be united and vigilant, taking pride in their nationality.

Mr Nicholas Mnangagwa (63), who was the eldest son to President Mnangagwa’s elder sister, Emma, died on Sunday afternoon at Mvuma District Hospital after a long illness.

“We are here gathered for the burial of my nephew. He grew up under my upkeep since he was a toddler. He grew up to be a good man who would want to see the family united. He was a pillar to the family. This is what is expected of us as Zimbabweans, to remain united, to work as a unity, as we build our nation, as Zimbabweans.”

President Mnangagwa, who saluted the huge crowds of mourners who turned up to help the Mnangagwa family bury their relative, said the same should be done in nation building.

Zimbabwe was for Zimbabweans and can only be built by Zimbabweans.

“We must be proud of our country as Zimbabweans. Let’s work together in building our nation. Let’s strive to be Africans, to be Zimbabwean,” he said.

Zimbabweans should never aspire to be Britons or other nationals, but work together to build their own country.

“I was inspired recently when we were attending the United Nations General Assembly, when Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister was asked why they chose war with Ukraine? He didn’t mince his words. He said we are Russians, that’s who we are.

“He said Russians will never be Americans nor British and the passion for his country really inspired me. This is the mind-set that I have always held that I am Zimbabwean: I should never aspire to be a foreigner.

“France is for the French, Japan for the Japanese, South Africa for the South Africans and Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans. Let’s be proud of that,” he said.

Zimbabweans should also learn to pray in vernacular languages as this will send a strong message, even to foreigners, that Africans and indeed Zimbabweans, are not inferior, said President Mnangagwa.

“The Britons pray in English, the Chinese pray in their language as well; so why should we pray in English when we have our own language. I challenge all Zimbabwean pastors to start praying in their languages, be it isiNdebele or Shona. Let’s pray in our own languages. This will also please God,” he said.

President Mnangagwa described his late nephew as a humble and hardworking man, who will be dearly missed by the entire Mnangagwa clan.

The President said he was given the mandate to take care of Mr Nicholas Mnangagwa, when he was still a toddler. “I was told by my father to be the boy’s guardian when my father was still alive. I was to take good care of him to the extent that many in the family did not regard him as our nephew but a son.

“He was very humble and hardworking and we are in grief at the loss. He was one of the few in our family whom I trusted. He was an honest and straightforward man who loved farming,” said the President.

The Mnangagwa family, said the President, was famed for farming owing to the late Mr Nicholas Mnangagwa’s hard work. “My father first bought a tractor in 1959 and it’s this man whom we are burying today who was the tractor driver. He would teach everyone how to drive and till land with a tractor, very hard working,” said the President.

The family tried its best to save Mr Nicholas Mnangagwa’s life to no avail.

“After we tried our local health Institutions, we also tried outside but here we are today. We could not save the life. When it’s God’s time there is nothing we can do. It was God’s time and he is gone,” he said.

In his eulogy, Family of God Church founder Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe, who is an uncle to the Mnangagwa family, described the late Mr Nicholas Mnangagwa as a humble and good man.

“He was a good man and we have lost a pillar to the extended family. The huge numbers here are also testimony that this man was a good man, a family man,” he said.

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