Zimbabwe Defence Industries general manager Brigadier-General Crispan Masuku who died on Wednesday at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) will be buried today at Lady Stanley Cemetery.
He was 61.
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) yesterday held a military parade in his honour at Headquarters 1 Infantry Brigade, Mzilikazi Barracks in Bulawayo.
ZNA Chief of Staff Quartermaster Staff, Major-General Hlanganani Dube, who was chief mourner, presided over the military parade standing in for the ZNA Commander Lieutenant-General Edzai Chimonyo.
Maj-Gen Dube delivered Lt-Gen Chimonyo’s message describing Brig-Gen Masuku as a gallant fighter, who resisted the settler regime’s oppressive ways by joining the liberation war as a teen.
“The late general officer was motivated by the oppressive regime that was in place which was characterised by discrimination and harassment of black people. The late general officer managed to brave the Rhodesian Security Forces that were deployed to monitor the border and managed to cross to Botswana heading for Zambia to join the liberation struggle,” he said.
“During his stay in Zambia they also resisted various diseases and chemical warfare that was used by the enemy in an effort to annihilate the combatants that were fighting the regime. The late general officer was one of the survivors of that warfare.
“Whilst at Freedom Camp he and other cadres were subjected to gruesome Rhodesian air bombardment in August 1979 in which several of Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) freedom fighters perished as the Rhodesians tried to derail the liberation struggle. After the bombardment the group was moved to Mulungushi Camp where they were again bombed two days after arrival. Thereafter, the group was moved back to Freedom Camp in October 1979 before proceeding for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).”
He said both Mulungushi and Freedom camps have become memorial site in remembrance of those who lost their lives.
Brig-Gen Masuku did his primary education at Mzola Five and Tshongogwe primary schools in Lupane District before proceeding to do his secondary education at Ihlathi Secondary School in Bulawayo.
He joined the liberation struggle in March 1977 via Botswana on his way to Zambia, exposing him to near fatal incidents in the fight for the country’s liberation.
After the ceasefire demobilisation programme at Gwayi River Mine, he joined the ZNA on January 1, 1981, as a lieutenant.
Brig Gen Masuku was appointed Officer Commanding 18 Infantry Battalion on June 24, 1981, before being appointed to Battery Commander 1 Air Defence Regiment on March 8, 1982.
He was posted to 402 Infantry Battalion as Officer Commanding on August 30, 1982 before being reassigned to Battalion Battle School, now All Arms Battle School, where he served as training officer from October 2, 1984, to August 1, 1987.
He served at Headquarters 2 Infantry Brigade as Quartermaster Staff Officer (Grade Two) between 1987 and 1991, before being reassigned to Ordinance Directorate as Ordinance Staff Officer (Grade Two) (Manning and Training) where he served until 1994.
In May 1994, he was appointed Ordinance Staff Officer (Grade Two) (Material) while still at Ordinance Directorate. In 1995, the late general officer was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
On November 29, 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and assigned to Army Headquarters Quartermaster Staff Branch as a Staff Officer (Grade One) (Equipment Management).
In 2003, while still at Army Headquarters, Brig Gen Masuku was appointed Colonel Quartermaster Staff leading to his reassignment to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Headquarters as Director Logistics where he served until 2013 when he was redeployed to South Africa as a Defence Attaché.
He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General in 2012
When he returned from South Africa in October 2013, he was appointed Brigadier-General Quartermaster Staff at Army Headquarters Quartermaster Staff Branch until November 2015.
Brig-Gen Masuku was then deployed to the Zimbabwe Defence Industries as the general manager, a position he held until his death.
He is survived by his wife Nomathemba Ndiweni and three children; Ngqabutho, Nqobile and Nomagugu Adelide.
Mourners are gathered at House Number 7, Masfield Road, Malindela, Bulawayo.