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Unknown hero's burial today

by Staff reporter
02 Jun 2022 at 06:45hrs | Views
National hero, Major-General Godfrey Chanakira, who died at West End Clinic in Harare last Thursday of a heart ailment, will be buried at the National Heroes Acre today.

At the time of his death, Maj-Gen Chanakira, whose Chimurenga name was Garikai Musavengana, was Permanent Secretary in the office of Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga. Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr Exavier Chisoko, confirmed the burial programme yesterday.

"The burial will be held tomorrow at the National Heroes Acre. Mourners should be seated by 0900 hours," said Mr Chisoko.
Yesterday, the Office of the President and Cabinet joined several others that include President Mnangagwa, Vice-President Chiwenga and his colleagues in the army in sending condolence messages to the Chanakira family.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, said the late national hero was a distinguished liberator-turned civil servant.

"The Chief Secretary, Deputy Chief Secretaries, Heads of Departments, Chief Directors and staff in the Office of the President and Cabinet join His Excellency the President, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, the Defence Forces, the nation and the entire Civil Service in mourning the tragic passing on of Major-General (Rtd) Godfrey Chanakira, a distinguished liberator-turned civil servant," said Dr Sibanda.

"The shocking news of the death of Major-General Chanakira came when we least expected such an occurrence, given that the late Permanent Secretary in Honourable Vice-President Chiwenga's Office defied ill-health and served his nation until the moment he breathed his last. The Lord called him to glory at the end of a tough and energy-sapping assignment out in the provinces among communities."

He said Maj-Gen Chanakira could not live to present a report he had prepared, which turned out to be the last in his course of duty to the nation he served with unflinching loyalty since joining the liberation struggle in 1975.

"Fate has robbed us of an exemplary and dedicated cadre who never looked back upon retiring from the military and joining the Office at the inception of the Second Republic as Permanent Secretary in the Office of Honourable Vice President, Dr Chiwenga.

"The conferment of national hero status is a befitting tribute to a cadre who devoted his entire adult life to impeccable service to the people of Zimbabwe," said Dr Sibanda.

"Those among us who were privileged to work with the late Major-General will always remember how he exhibited leadership acumen and exceptional mentorship to subordinates under the Utilities and Infrastructure Pillar of the National Development Strategy and towards the attainment of Vision 2030."

He said Maj-Gen Chanakira chaired the Programme Steering Committee of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phases One and Two, which collaborated with the Department of Roads as well as with Local Authorities in undertaking massive road repair and upgrading works across all provinces.

"On the Urban and Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrading programme, he spurred the District Development Fund and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority in bringing relief to communities ravaged by cyclones and other weather-induced calamities," said Dr Sibanda.

The late national hero assisted in the mapping of dysfunctional and irregular settlements, the construction of alternative accommodation for households settled on wetlands, the completion of the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle legacy settlements, and the provision of decent workspaces for co-operatives and small and medium enterprises.

"All these endeavours were intended to fulfil the Second Republic's promises on the upliftment of the livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe and ‘leave no one and no place behind', and we shall miss Major-General Chanakira's untiring devotion to duty and beyond the call of duty which he delivered with unparalleled humility," Dr Sibanda said.

"To the Chanakira family, we wish to express our deepest condolences at this difficult time when they have to bid farewell to a hardworking, loving and caring husband and father whose generosity and role as a unifier knew no boundaries of clan, ethnicity, creed or religion.

"May the family derive solace from the assurance that we share their grief and shall always cherish the values of genuine freedom, patriotism and Hunhu/Ubuntu which the departed General fought for and championed among workmates and superiors in an independent Zimbabwe.

"Once again, we wish to assure the leadership of the Second Republic that we shall remain steadfast in pursuing to finality the programmes and projects which Major-General Chanakira so passionately drove under the mantra ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo'."

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, described Maj-Gen Chanakira as a rare breed of professional soldier and hardworking civil servant.

"He was very much involved in discussions on the compensation of white farmers. I am happy that the party has conferred him with national hero status," said Mutsvangwa who is also Zanu-PF spokesperson.

Speaking at a funeral parade held at the Charles Gumbo Barracks (formerly 1 Commando) in Harare on Tuesday, colleagues of Maj-Gen Chanakira described him as someone who loved his country.

They include Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Valerio Sibanda, Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Lieutenant-General David Sigauke, Air Vice Marshal Biltim Chingono, who stood in for Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Elson Moyo and Major-General Kasirai Tazira.

In his condolence message, President Mnangagwa said Maj-Gen Chanakira leaves behind an enviable history of supreme sacrifice and national commitment to serving his country and fellow Zimbabweans.

He said his service spanned many decades, starting from the time he joined the armed liberation struggle for Zimbabwe's freedom and independence in 1975, followed by a professional career in the army where he rose through the ranks from private in 1980 to Major-General in 2017.

Source - The Chronicle