Historic burial arrangements set for 3 National Heroes in Zimbabwe


ZIMBABWEANS will converge on the National Heroes Acre tomorrow for the historic burial of three national heroes — Cdes Nash Nyasha Dzimiri and Tsitsi Grace Jadagu, as well as Brigadier-General Shadreck Vezha — who were recently accorded the prestigious status by President Mnangagwa.

Transport has been mobilised from all provinces to afford people the opportunity to bid farewell to the national heroes.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Ambassador Raphael Faranisi said they were expecting a huge crowd.

“We have mobilised transport for all provinces so that all people can come for the triple burial. Transport will be provided at the usual pick-up points. I must emphasise that everything is now set in terms of logistics,” he said.

“We have also made sure that all choirs for the three families will be available since they will be from different denominations.”

In a statement last night, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage said Cde Dzimiri’s body will be taken to house number 1854, Mt Pleasant Heights, today for a church service.

At 2pm, it will leave the family homestead for Charles Gumbo Barracks, where it will lie in state ahead of burial tomorrow.

“Similarly, the body of the late national heroine, Cde Grace Tsitsi Jadagu, will be taken to her Chitungwiza home for a church service from 10am to 1pm. At 2pm, it will be taken back to Charles Gumbo Barracks, where it will lie in state before burial,” said the statement.

Brig-Gen Vezha’s body will remain at Charles Gumbo Barracks, where a church service will be held.

“It will lie in state there before burial at the National Heroes Acre.”

Cde Dzimiri died on April 16 after a short illness, while Brig-Gen Vezha perished in a road traffic accident on the same day in Kwekwe.

Cde Jadagu died on April 18 following a short illness.

Tomorrow will be the second time since independence that the country will be simultaneously burying three heroes at the national shrine.

The last triple burial saw Cdes Sibusiso Moyo, Biggie Matiza and Paradzai Zimondi being entombed at the National Heroes Acre in 2021 after succumbing to Covid-19.

Cde Dzimiri was born on June 24, 1958 in Shurugwi.

He joined the liberation struggle in 1976.

He survived Rhodesian raids that killed thousands of comrades at both Nyadzonya and Chimoio camps in 1976 and 1977, respectively.

He was later selected to undertake security and intelligence training at the famous Nanking Military Academy in China.

At independence, he was attested into the Air Force of Zimbabwe, before being transferred to the Zimbabwe National Army, which he left in 1981.

In 1983, while taking a walk in Harare, he had a chance meeting with President Mnangagwa, who was the then Minister of State Security.

He was subsequently recruited to join the intelligence service as a junior officer.

At the time of his death, he was the Central Intelligence Organisation director for investments.

Cde Jadagu was born on March 11, 1943 in Murewa.

She first trained as a police officer and later became a teacher.

During the liberation struggle, she was a war collaborator and after independence, she served as councillor for Ward 16 in Chitungwiza.

She was subsequently appointed special interest councillor in 2013 and senator in 2014.

Cde Jadagu started her political career when she was 17 years old in Mangwende village, where her uncle (father’s brother) was a chief and an active member of ZAPU.

During the time, her family, led by Chief Mangwende, had a conflict with the Rhodesian native commissioner over national politics.

The whole family was then forced out of the village, which resulted in them seeking refuge in Old Highfield.

That is when she became a youth member of ZAPU, together with the late Cdes Sabina Mugabe, Tsitsi Munyati, Ruth Chinamano and many others.

The national heroine also served in various senior posts in ZANU PF, including Women’s League Political Commissar in 1983, Central Committee member and National Consultative Assembly member.

Brig-Gen Vezha was born on August 10, 1961 in Chivi district.

After writing his O-Level examinations, he joined the liberation struggle as a Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) combatant and was trained at the front.

During the ceasefire in 1979, he was based at Dzapasi Assembly Point Base 2, where he underwent further military training.

In early January 1980, he was nominated to travel to North Korea for further military training at Kim Chong Ju Military Academy and Kim Il Sung Military University until 1982.

On completion of military training in North Korea, he returned home and was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on August 1, 1982.

He rose through the ranks to become Brigadier-General in 2018.

Currently, there are 170 heroes buried at the national shrine, but 32 others who were accorded national hero status are buried elsewhere.

There have been four double burials conducted at the national shrine since 2016.

National heroines Cdes Victoria Chitepo and Vivian Mwashita were buried at the same time in 2016.

Then in 2017, national heroes Cdes Maud Muzenda and George Rutanhire were also buried simultaneously, as was the case with Cdes Ellen Gwarazimba and Cde Morton Paul Malianga in January 2021.

Last year, on Heroes Day, the country also witnessed the double burial of Ambassador Johannes Tomana and Brigadier-General Milton Siziba.

Breaking News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Breaking News by email.