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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Cde Mabuya given heros’ send-off

Story by Wellington Makonese

ONE of the pioneering cadres of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, Cde Kenny Constantine Mabuya, whose Chimurenga name was Cde Kenny Ridzai, received a hero’s send-off at the national shrine with friends, diplomats, service chiefs and government officials present.

Colleagues and friends described the late Kenny Mabuya as a shrewd military strategist who lived a life of sacrifice.

The Mabuya family said they feel gratified by the recognition of the liberation stalwart who lived a life of sacrifice.

“We called him Ridzai, as you might have known him. To us, he was just a loving father. He was there for all of us in need spreading unity. We are grateful for his contribution,” said the family representative, Ndaba Mabuya.

Colleagues who worked with the late described Cde Mabuya as a shrewd military strategist with rare attributes of dedication.

“I started knowing him in 1973 as a recruit in Zambia and he grew through ranks faster than most. He was fearless and I remember him most because he would carry his weapon on his back almost everywhere. He was a rare breed,” said ZANU PF Politburo member, Cde Stephanie Tendi Mkusha.

War veteran, Cde Happison Muchechetere said, “He is someone who was always happy and I remember three weeks ago joking about how much he has recovered. Rarely will you find someone so committed during the struggle.”

Born on January 12, 1952 in Filabusi Matabeleland South, Cde Mabuya received his education in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, where his political consciousness matured due to social injustices by the colonial regime.

He would abandon school to join the liberation struggle in 1969 and he was sent to Intumi Military Training Camp in Tanzania and returned to Zambia in 1972.

In 1973, Cde Ridzai was deployed to Mt Darwin and was tasked to lead a section to carry ambush operations.

He was assigned different roles from 1973 to 1977 before he was sent to China for further military training focusing on security studies before returning to advance the liberation fight.

Later in 1979, Cde Kenny Ridzai was appointed to lead an advance team to the Lancaster House Conference.

Post-independence, he was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army as an officer in 1981 and rose through the ranks to become Lieutenant Colonel in 1990 receiving several accolades for his exemplary and selfless dedication until his retirement on June 30, 1994.

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