PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has described the death of Roman Catholic cleric Father Emmanuel Ribeiro, the man who saved him from the gallows during the liberation struggle, as a great loss to the nation as he distinctively served Zimbabwe and the freedom cause during his long and illustrious life.
A man of many talents, Fr Ribeiro was a novelist, a music composer, and a passionate researcher into the liberation struggle history.
He died yesterday in Harare at St Anne’s Hospital after a short illness. He was 86.
From serving in many rural parishes during the colonial era, Fr Ribeiro later on dedicated his life to catering to the spiritual needs of many freedom fighters, both those who were serving long prison terms and those who were unjustly condemned to death by the country’s erstwhile colonisers.
“Above all, I tender my sincere condolences to the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Harare, His Grace Archbishop Robert Ndlovuand the entire membership of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe. We keenly feel and share your pain and grief, praying that the Good Lord rests Fr Emmanuel Ribeiro’s soul eternally,” said the President.