LATEST: National hero Cde Chombo’s burial date set

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National hero, Brigadier General Ruphus Chigudu, will be buried at the National Heroes Acre tomorrow — where attendance by the public will be limited due to Covid-19 health regulations.

His Chimurenga name was Cde Promise Chombo.

Brigadier-General Ruphus Chigudu (pictured when he was a Colonel)

President Mnangagwa will lead the graveside eulogies for the national hero, who died on September 24 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals aged 64.

He was declared a national hero on Thursday.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage permanent secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera told The Sunday Mail yesterday that the burial would take place tomorrow morning.

“The body will leave Charles Gumbo Barracks (formerly One Commando Barracks) around 7am and will be taken to Stodart Hall for the traditional body viewing rites.

“From there it will be transported to the national shrine where the remains will be interred. There will be limited attendance because of Covid-19,” said Mr Nhepera.

In a statement yesterday, Zanu PF acting secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the party applauds the conferment of national hero status on Brig Gen Chigudu.

“ZANU PF joins His Excellency Cde E.D. Mnangagwa in mourning the passing of Brigadier General Ruphus Chigudu who died on Thursday, 24 September 2020,” said Cde Chinamasa.

“Brigadier General Chigudu was born on December 11, 1955 and joined the liberation struggle under Zanla forces in 1975 in Mozambique.

“He later joined the ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army) during the integration exercise in 1980. He rose through the ranks to become Brigadier General and is survived by his wife (Vimbai) and three children. We applaud the decision taken by the party to confer him the status of national hero.”

Brig-Gen Chigudu grew up at Chigudu village in Chiendambuya communal area under Chief Makoni.

He attended Chigudu Primary School between 1962 and 1969, completing Sub A up to Standard 6. He later attended Bernard Mizeki College between 1970 and 1973.

In 1972, he was arrested in Marondera for demonstrating against the Rhodesian government following the death of a senior nationalist in detention.

Upon completing his Ordinary Level studies, he moved to Bulawayo, where he worked as a plant operator at Rhodox Private Limited in 1974. He later quit his job after being left disgruntled by his employer’s racist policies.

In 1976, he left Bulawayo with a group of friends for Salisbury en-route to Mozambique to join the liberation struggle. In Mozambique, he was referred to Chimoio before being redirected to Doroi.

He was later transferred to Chindunduma School where he was responsible for teaching young cadres.

In February 1977, he was transferred to Tete where he underwent basic military training at Tembwe Base.

In July of the same year, he was deployed to Tete Province, Chaminuka sector, where he operated under the command of Cde Muchinerepi Mabhunu who was the detachment commander.

Through his acts of gallantry, he rose to the rank of platoon commander.

In December 1977 he was withdrawn from the front and tasked to lead a contingent of 150 men to Maputo en-route to Romania to train in field artillery.

In February 1978, he received his field artillery training at Cincu Training Camp and stayed on until 1979 as an instructor. In 1980, he was moved to Sibiu Artillery School where he underwent a field artillery young officers’ course up to February 1981.

On return, he was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on April 1, 1981. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General on June 11 this year.

— SundayMail


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