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Army generals pay tribute to national hero Masuku

by Staff reporter
17 May 2020 at 09:22hrs | Views
THE late national hero, Brigadier-General Crispan Masuku has been described as a steadfast, humble and hardworking soldier who gave his life to the country.

The Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) general manager was laid to rest on Friday at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo. He was 61.

Speaking in Bulawayo yesterday, relatives and colleagues said Brig-Gen Masuku dedicated his whole life to serving the nation and his astuteness is highlighted by the fact that he rose through the ranks in the army.

Brigadier-General Solomon Siziba based at Zimbabwe National Army Headquarters in Harare said Brig-Gen Masuku had a high regard for academic learning and encouraged most soldiers to take up courses to improve their academic and professional standing. He said his interest in improving himself saw him attend several courses within the army.

"Masuku was an astute logistician who made great exploits during the tour of the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure that rations reached all parts of the war front despite the fact they were quite far apart. I also worked closely with him when we were both posted as defence attachees, with Masuku being sent to South Africa while I was deployed to Botswana, we co-operated greatly exchanging notes on the improvement of relations among Sadc countries on the economic and military fronts," said Brig-Gen Siziba.

He revealed that Brig-Gen Masuku was also an accomplished rancher at his farm contributing towards the rebuilding of the national herd.

Retired Major-General Mark Mbayiwa said he was close friends with the late Brig-Gen Masuku having met in 1976 as part of the Zapu Youth before they met again in Zambia after joining the armed struggle.

"I was staying in Pelandaba while he resided in Lobengula and we met in politics as youths before meeting in Zambia.

"He was a reserved man and although I am open, we managed to complement each other in our relationship with the different temperaments. We became close since then and we grew very close only to later discover that we were related.

"I later became his confidante and managed his lodge and supervised at his farm while he was not feeling well," said Rtd Major-Gen Mbayiwa.

Brig-Gen Masuku's younger brother Mr Ndumo Masuku thanked the Government for bestowing the national hero status on his brother, whom he believes deserves the honour due to the hard work and dedicated service he gave to the army and country.

"We have lost the head of the family and he was the eldest but he managed to train me well to take over and I believe I will be able to do so effectively. He was a man who loved his family and despite the fact he would be in Harare due to work for the better part of his life, he would make every effort to check up on each family member when he came down to Bulawayo.

"Despite the fact that we urged him on several occasions to rest due to health concerns he was committed to his work and soldiered on," said Mr Masuku.

Brigadier-General Donald Tshuma from ZNA headquarters in Harare said came into contact with Brig-Gen Masuku when they were training in Libya in 1977 although they were in different groups before being deployed to Mashonaland West Province.

"He was down to earth and very understanding. As a military officer, I would say he was a man-and-a-half and he had fatherly approach to those under him. To this day, I never saw him get into a misunderstanding or be at loggerheads with others," he said.

Wellington Sibanda said he met Bri-Gen Masuku in Zambia before going for training in the Soviet Union with the latter being in the anti-aircraft section while the former trained in infantry command.

He said although they separated after he resigned from the army in the early 80s but they kept in touch.

"He was very quiet but very active and energetic in battle and that is why I believe he managed to rise to the top in the army," said Sibanda.

Artillery Brigade deputy commander, Colonel Cleapas Moyo, who met Brig-Gen Masuku during the liberation struggle, said although reserved, the late Brig-Gen had sharp wit and could achieve whatever he set his mind to do.

He revealed that Brig-Gen Masuku's calm temperament made him a focused and resolute commander.

Retired Major-General Abednicho Sikhuni said Brig-Gen Masuku had the welfare of every soldier at heart and this came to the fore when he requested soldiers who wanted to leave the force and get their packages to come up with solid plans on their life outside the military.

"Many were lured by the packages on offer but Masuku would ask each and every soldier what were their plans after leaving as he did not want to see them ending up in poverty after exiting the force. It was a noble move as it made many think seriously about how they would live after life in the army," said Rtd Maj Sikhuni.

Brig-Gen Masuku was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General in 2012. When he returned from South Africa in October 2013, he was appointed Brigadier-General Quartermaster Staff at Army Headquarters Quartermaster Staff Branch until November 2015. Brig-Gen Masuku was then deployed to the Zimbabwe Defence Industries as the general manager, a position he held until his death.

Brig-Gen Masuku whose Chimurenga name was Kid Manzini was born on 16 July 1958 in Lupane, Matabeleland North and was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) on 1 January 1981. He is survived by wife Dr Nomathemba Ndiweni and three children Ngqabutho, Nqobile and Nomagugu Adelide.

Source - sundaynews
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