Brigadier General Charles Kaneta, who died on Saturday after collapsing at his farm in Nyanga, has been declared a national hero in honour of the immense contributions he made to his country before and after independence.
He died at the age of 64.
He collapsed at his farm on Saturday and was rushed to Hauna District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at around noon.
Brig-Gen Kaneta was the Director General Logistics at the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Headquarters.
In his condolence message last night, President Mnangagwa said he learnt with shock and sadness the death of Brig Gen Kaneta.
“It was with profound shock and sadness that I learnt of the untimely passing on of Brigadier General Charles Kaneta at his rural home in Honde last Saturday,” said President Mnangagwa.
“What makes his demise painful and difficult to accept is that he showed no signs of being unwell and was on a routine visit to his rural home.
“The passing on of Brigadier General Kaneta, whose Chimurenga name was Santana Tongai, is a great loss to our nation, and to our Defence Force whose crop of wartime field commanders is gradually being whittled down.”
Brig-Gen Kaneta joined the liberation struggle in 1975 in Mozambique at a young age.
He was a graduate of the Nanjing Military Academy in China, as well as a beneficiary of specialised military training in Syria.
President Mnangagwa said Brig-Gen Kaneta’s contribution to the liberation struggle “stands out in our annals of liberation history”.
“He was a tough and brilliant military instructor through whose hands passed many cadres, including senior party officials such as the late national hero Cde Herbert Ushewokunze, late Cde Crispen Mandizvidza and Dr Sidney Sekeramayi,” he said.
Following his attestation in 1981 into the integrated Zimbabwe National Army, Brig-Gen Kaneta had an illustrious military career, rising through the ranks to become a Brigadier General.
“He served our nation well. On behalf of the party, Zanu PF, Government, the people of Zimbabwe, my family and indeed on my behalf, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Kaneta family, especially to his wife, Amai Kaneta, and the children who have lost a loving husband and father respectively.
“May they take comfort from the knowledge that we are together during their darkest hour of grief and sorrow.
“In recognition of his immense contribution to the liberation of our nation and to our independence in the service of the Zimbabwe Defence Force, the party has seen it fit and proper to honour the late Brigadier General Charles Kaneta with national hero status.
“May his dear soul rest in eternal peace,” said President Mnangagwa.
Mourners are gathered at Number 7 Married Quarters Cranborne West, Harare.