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Chiwenga mourns Chimonyo, Nkiwane

by Staff reporter
10 Jul 2021 at 10:53hrs | Views
Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has consoled families of national heroes, Zimbabwe National Army Commander, Lieutenant-General Edzai Absalom Chanyuka Chimonyo and Abraham Dumezweni Nkiwane.

He also expressed his sympathies on the death of war veteran, Vhuu, one of the pioneering generation of freedom fighters. VP Chiwenga, himself a veteran of the liberation struggle, highlighted the important role played by the three departed heroes during the independence war.

He said he was deeply saddened and shocked by the death of Lt-Gen Chimonyo on Thursday. "The late national hero was a distinguished liberator, commander and diplomat par excellence," said VP Chiwenga.  

"His Chimurenga name was Edzai Mabhunu and he trained at Mgagao, Tanzania, in 1975. He was deployed to Gaza Province in 1976 as a sectoral commander.

"Due to his acumen during and after training, he rose through the ranks of ZANLA from being an instructor to a member of the General Staff and subsequently a member of the High Command.

"In 1978, he was deployed as ZANU's deputy chief representative and military attaché in Zambia until the attainment of independence in 1980.  

"He held various appointments in the Zimbabwe National Army until 2008 when he was appointed Ambassador to Tanzania. In 2017, he was recalled to take over as the commander of the Zimbabwe National Army."  

The various posts and responsibilities that were assigned to the late General Chimonyo echoed his astute leadership qualities, resourcefulness, loyalty and dedication to serve his country.

VP Chiwenga said the death of Nkiwane had robbed the nation of yet another of the few remaining pioneers of the armed liberation struggle. He said many youths who later skipped the country's borders to join the liberation struggle were inspired and later nurtured by political role model nationalists such as Nkiwane.

"The late national hero's political activism cuts across geographical boundaries into Zambia where he worked closely with the late founding father of the Zambian nation, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, under the United National Independence Party (UNIP)," said VP Chiwenga.

"This was a precursor to his participation in Zimbabwean politics under the auspices of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) in Lusaka, Zambia.

"Many ZAPU cadres and some of our political leaders today who are veterans of the liberation struggle passed through his hands as military recruits destined for various training bases in Zambia, Tanzania and beyond.

"He will be remembered in posterity for the role he played in the nascent days of our armed liberation struggle and for advocating peace, unity, progress and economic development post-independence."  

VP Chiwenga acknowledged the great role played by Vhuu in the armed struggle.

"As with our President, a good many of these who included Vhuu would join their families in neighbouring Zambia which had attained independence much earlier," he said.

"Indeed, it was this crop of the then Rhodesian immigrants who formed the backbone of early fighting units which pioneered our armed struggle.

"Vhuu was one such patriot and received his military training in the late 1960s in Zambia, Tanzania and in socialist countries under the banner of ZAPU/ZIPRA.

"Vhuu, alongside eight other fighters, would later join ZANLA, the armed wing of the then ZANU, in Zambia."

Source - the herald

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