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President Mohadi mourns hero Mabuya

by Staff reporter
29 Jan 2024 at 05:48hrs | Views
ACTING President Kembo Mohadi has joined President Mnangagwa and the nation at large in mourning Colonel (Retired) Kenny Ridzai Mabuya, who will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Wednesday.

Col Mabuya died at West End Hospital last Tuesday after a short illness.

He was 72.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the country's liberation and after independence, Col Mabuya has been declared a national hero.

Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri conveyed the message to the Mabuya family last Friday while addressing mourners in Tynwald South, Harare.

Yesterday, Acting President Mohadi said: "The news of Col Mabuya's passing on came as a shock to me. Although he had not come out of the coma, we thought he would recover.

"I had visited him at West End Hospital, but could not talk as he was in a coma. But we were convinced that he would recover."

A liberation war stalwart, Col Mabuya's Chimurenga name was Kenny Ridzai.

Last Friday, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the ruling party considered a number of attributes before conferring national hero status on Col Mabuya.

She said Col Mabuya joined the struggle at "a very tender age, when he was in Form 2 when his family relocated to Zambia".

"He decided at that very early stage to join Zanu. He approached Zanu-PF in Zambia and was received by (Josiah) Tongogara. After three months he was sent to undergo training in Tanzania for two years."

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri added that Col Mabuya sacrificed his life to liberate Zimbabwe and the country now enjoys independence as a result of his and other fighters' efforts.

Col Mabuya has been described as a humble, patriotic and principled person who persevered and "remained resolute to the values of the struggle".

"He was also humble. We will miss him, but we are celebrating his legacy and that he will inspire the youths," said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

Happison Muchechetere, who worked with Col Mabuya during the liberation struggle, said the retired senior army officer "never had open quarrels with anybody".

"He would speak softly, even when he is angry you would never know it," he said.

Born on January 12, 1952 in Filabusi District, Matebeleland South, Col Mabuya was the second born in a family of five, comprising two boys and three girls.

In 1954, the family relocated to Zambia where he did his primary and secondary education up to Form 2 at Kamwala in Lusaka.

Col Mabuya and his brother became politically conscious, but while the brother joined the ZAPU military wing, ZIPRA, he wanted his younger brother to complete school.

Kenny Ridzai decided to join the ZANU military wing as a way of avoiding his brother in ZIPRA since he knew that the brother would send him back to school. He then joined the liberation struggle while in Form 2.

Having been shortlisted at the ZANU offices, Col Mabuya left Lusaka for Itumbi Training Camp in Tanzania through Mbeya, together with other recruits.

They commenced training in December 1969, with initial military training coming in January 1970 under the tutorship of Chimedza and some Chinese military instructors.

Kenny Ridzai belonged to that crop of military strategists whose training centred mostly on mass mobilisation tactics, which were critical for the commencement of full throttle guerilla warfare based on the water and fish concept and their training took two years.

After independence he was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on May 5, 1981.

He rose through the ranks to become Lieutenant Colonel and retired in June 1994 after holding several positions.

He was awarded several medals for his continued dedication, selfless and exemplary service to the nation.

The awards include the Liberation Medal for his contribution towards the independence of Zimbabwe, Independence Medal for his contribution towards the Independence of Zimbabwe, and 10-Year Service Medal.

He is survived by several children and grandchildren.

Mourners are gathered at 6924 Davidson Park, Tynwald South, Harare.

Source - The Herald
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