VICE President Constantino Chiwenga has conveyed his condolonces following the death of three stalwarts of the liberation struggle this week, Cdes Abraham Dumezweni Nkiwane, Zimbabwe national Army Commander, Lieutenant General Edzai Chimonyo and veteran freedom fighter, Cde Micheal Chakabva popularly known as Cde Vhuu.
Vice President Chiwenga said the death of cde Nkiwane has robbed the nation of the few remaining pioneer veterans of the liberation struggle. He noted that 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 the late cde Nkiwane.
“The late national heroes 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). This was a percusor to his participation in Zimbabwean politics under the auspices of the Zimbabwe African people’s Union (ZAPU) in Lusaka, Zambia,” reads part of the Vice President’s Condolence message.
The Vice President noted that many ZAPU cadres and some of our political leaders today passed through cde Nkiwane’s hands as millitary 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 struggle and for advocating peace, unity, progress and economic development post independence,” said Vice President Chiwenga.
Vice President Chiwenga has also described the late ZNA Commander, Lt. Gen. Edzai Chimonyo as a distinguished liberator, commander and diplomat par-excellence. The Vice President noted that due to his acumen during and after training, the late national hero rose through the ranks of ZANLA from being an instructor to a member of general staff and subsequently a member of the high command.
“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 echo his astute leadership qualities, resourcefulness, loyalty and dedication in the service of his country, we will solely miss him,” said the Vice president.
Both Cde Nkiwane and Chimonyo have since been declared national heroes.
On Cde Vhuu, Vice President Chiwenga said he belonged to a pioneering generation of freedom fighters who started as activists in youth wings of the nationalist movement in the then Rhodesia.
“As with our President, a good many of these who included Cde Vhuu would join their families in neighbouring Zambia which had attained independence much earlier and where freedoms were assured. Indeed it was this crop of then Rhodesia immigrants who formed the backborne of early fighting units which pioneered our armed struggle,” said VP Chiwenga.
VP Chiwenga said the late Cde Vhuu received his military training in the late 1960s in Zambia, Tanzania and in socialist countries under the banner of ZAPU/ZPRA.
“A fearless fighter who became a living legend even for his Rhodesian enemies whom he routinely harassed and tormented,” said the Vice president.