President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday sent condolence messages to the Banana and Haritatos families, following the passing on of former President Cannan Banana’s widow, Janet Banana as well as Angela Haritatos, mother to Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Vangelis Haritatos.
In his condolence message to the Banana family, the President said, “It is with deep sorrow that I inform the nation of the passing on today, (Thursday) of our inaugural First Lady, Mrs Janet Mbuyazwe Banana, at Mater Dei Hospital. When I last visited her at the family home in Luveve, Bulawayo, to console her following the death of her son Michael, she was ailing and our thoughts and prayers were for her speedy recovery. Sadly we have lost her when we thought she would be well again.”
President Mnangagwa said Mrs Banana played crucial roles during the liberation struggle, exhibiting courage and bravery as she endured persistent harassment at the hands of Rhodesians for supporting her late husband, the First President of the Republic, Reverend Canaan Sodindo Banana in his activism. The President said the country is poorer without Mrs Banana.
Mrs Banana was 83.
Meanwhile President Mnangagwa expressed deep shock by the passing on of Mrs Haritatos. “It was only 18 days ago that our Deputy Minister lost his father, our liberation hero, Mr Peter Haritatos. While the loss alone of his father was a very painful and heart breaking experience for him and his family, losing their mother before they have recovered from their father’s demise, must be equally heart wrenching and devastating for our Deputy Minister and the Haritatos family,” he said.