Ben Mucheche Declared National Hero
The late veteran nationalist and prominent businessman, Ben Mucheche has been declared a national hero.
The late Mucheche died of heart failure at his farm in Beatrice on 14 June.
He was 96.
The conferment of national hero status was announced on Sunday night by ZANU PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister, at the Mucheche family home.
“We have been sent by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa to convey his deepest condolences to the Mucheche family. He wanted us to tell you that Cde Mucheche was not only your son but a son of the whole nation who was hard-working, trustworthy and full of love for everyone.
After considering his contribution to the struggle, the President saw it fit to declare him a National Hero.”
His son, Ben Mucheche Junior, thanked the Government for recognising their father’s hard work and contribution to the country.
Mr Mucheche Jnr described his father as a hardworking man and one of the finest businesspeople who was always eager to help where he was needed.
Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri chronicled the work done by Cde Mucheche as he played his part to uplift the lives of black people during the liberation war and after.
“He was eager to make sure that black people’s lives were made easier during the war and he did this selflessly, regardless of the risk on his person. He was dedicated to helping the black people gain freedom as well as financial independence. We worked with him before and after independence and he would assist with transport and movement of information,” she added.
Mucheche was the founder of the Indigenous Business Development Centre and owned the now-defunct Mucheche bus company.
A teacher by profession, Mucheche was the first person to establish a taxi rank at Machipisa Shopping Centre in Highfield, Harare, in 1956.
He provided transport to ferry nationalists to meetings and also helped to transport food, clothes and telephones for communication during the liberation struggle.
In 1963, he gave his vehicle for use by the leadership of ZAPU. The vehicle was seized by the Rhodesian government after the party was banned and sold at an auction.
Mucheche was at one time detained by the police for transporting recruited freedom fighters to Mozambique but he resisted arrest.
After independence, Mucheche offered his premises in Southerton to house all vehicles belonging to ZANU PF since the party had no garage to keep them.
He was the first black person to sit on the Reserve Bank board between 1975 and 1986.
Mucheche led the African Business Organisation, now the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), from 1973 to 1986.
He was also the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Rural Transport Organisation between 1976 and 2002.
He is survived by four wives, 24 children, 27 grandchildren and 57 great-grandchildren.