SAD NEWS: Top liberation war hero Cde Mathe dies

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A Zimbabwean war veteran from Victoria Falls, Cde Phenias Mathe, has been declared a liberation war hero after his death at the age of 73.

Cde Mathe was a freedom fighter with the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) during the liberation struggle. He was buried at Chinotimba cemetery in Victoria Falls with full military honours, including a 12-gun salute. Many residents from different backgrounds attended the funeral and sang revolutionary songs led by ZANU-PF members and youths.

The chief mourner, Hwange District Development Coordinator Simon Muleya, said Zimbabwe gained independence because of people like Cde Mathe who sacrificed for their country. He urged youths to emulate such leaders who put Zimbabwe first.

ZANU-PF candidate for Hwange West, Philani Moyo, described Cde Mathe as a peaceful man who fought for a free and harmonious Zimbabwe. He called for peace and unity during the elections, without any harassment or violence.

Cde Mathe was born in 1951 in Lukuze village. He only attended school up to Standard 1 before joining the workforce. In 1977, he and others left their community to join the liberation struggle. He received military training in Angola as a member of ZIPRA. After the war, he helped carry ZIPRA weapons from Zambia to Zimbabwe.

After independence, Cde Mathe joined the Zimbabwe National Army but later retired. He worked as a mechanic for various organizations. He is survived by a wife, five children and 19 grandchildren. He had been in poor health since 2016 before his death.

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