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Chirenda laid to rest at National Heroes Acre

by Staff Reporter
09 Jan 2014 at 13:52hrs | Views
The late veteran nationalist and freedom fighter, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Harold Chirenda, who died on New year's Day, and was declared a national hero, has been laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre.

Thousands of Zimbabweans from all walks of life thronged the national shrine to pay their last respects to Chirenda, whose Chimurenga name was Elliot Masengo.

Addressing mourners at the burial, Acting President Joice Mujuru described Retired Lieutenant Colonel Chirenda as a courageous and dedicated freedom fighter who contributed immensely to the liberation of Zimbabwe.

She consoled the Chirenda family on behalf of government saying the whole nation joins them in mourning this great veteran of the liberation struggle.

"Today marks yet another dark day for us as Zimbabweans, as we lay to rest Chirenda whose was known the struggle as Elliot Masengo. On behalf of Zanu PF, President Mugabe who is away, government and the nation at large, and on my own behalf, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Chirenda family on this sad loss," said Mujuru.

Mujuru said alongside 90 others between 1964-65, Chirenda left the country for military training in Algeria.

She said Chirenda fought alongside other veterans, some who never saw the birth of independent Zimbabwe, such as Alfred Nikita Mangena and Lookout Masuku, among many others.

Acting President Mujuru said among Chirenda's students at Morogoro training camp in Tanzania, is her late husband, Retired General Solomon Mujuru.

She described the late national hero as a courageous fighter who was part of the ZIPRA high command, adding that while in Zambia, he commanded many combatants, amongst them Dr Obert Mpofu, the current Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.

"In him, we see the courage and dedication to see the birth of a new African country called Zimbabwe from colonial bondage," said Mujuru.

Acting President Mujuru underscored the need for Zimbabwe's liberation history to be documented for future generations to learn how the country came about.

Mujuru said the late Chirenda was actively involved in the land reform programme, supporting it fully.

She said the fact that after independence, Chirenda remained in the army until retirement in 1995 shows that he was dedicated to the security and sovereignty of the nation.

The Acting President also took the opportunity to rally Zimbabweans into embracing the country's new economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET).

She outlined the four clusters of ZIM ASSET namely food security and nutrition, social services, infrastructure and amenities and value addition.

"ZIM ASSET is a call to you and me to put shoulder to will to ensure our economy recovers. Iwe neni tinebasa, mina lawe silomsebenzi (we all have work to do)," Mujuru said.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Harold Chirenda was declared a national hero after deliberations by the Zanu PF Politburo in Harare on Tuesday.

He was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 and served until his retirement in 1995.

Chirenda was born on August 1st, 1944. He is survived by his wife, Florence, nine children and 18 grandchildren.

Source - zbc