HARARE – Government has been at pains to explain processes around the burial of the late former Health minister Timothy Stamps as some flags are still flying half-mast since he was declared a national hero on November 28.
Usually after a person is declared a national hero all flags fly at half-mast but go back to full mast after the burial ceremony at the Hero’s Acre.
After Stamps was declared a national hero having succumbed to a lung infection on November 26, his family decided to cremate him, according to his wishes, and not take him to the Heroes Acre.
The family told the Daily News earlier that their late father’s ashes would be kept by the family.
“We will have a normal Presbyterian memorial service for him and the ashes will be kept by the family.
“His wish was also to remain in Zimbabwe so that is what is going to happen. What I know is that there is not going to be any event at the Heroes Acre,” Kenyon Stamps son to the late Stamps said the day before the service.
Also unlike other “burials” where the president’s availability is a major factor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa who had been scheduled to read an obituary of the late Stamps at the memorial was, however, represented by Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa.
Home Affairs and Culture permanent secretary Melusi Matshiya in a statement yesterday said all flags that were still honouring Stamps should be flown at full-mast as what needed to be done had been done.
“It has come to the attention of the ministry of Home Affairs and Culture that some institutions are still flying their flags at half-mast following the passing on of…Timothy Stamps who was subsequently declared a national hero by…Mnangagwa.
“At the request of the late national hero’s family…Stamps was not interred at the National Heroes Acre.
“All flags therefore should have resumed flying at full mast the day after the memorial service held for the national hero at Celebration Centre on Wednesday December 6, 2017,” Matshiya said.
Stamps is not the only national hero to be cremated.
Kantibhai Gordanbhai Patel who was a Hindu was also cremated but unlike Stamps some of his ashes were interred at the Heroes Acre.
Stamps was an advisor for many programmes including national disability issues.
He also formed a trust, Timothy Stamps Trust for Chronic Conditions and arranged funding for projects for the trust.
He also formed a women’s soccer team.