Former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Commissioner-General, Major-General Paradzai Zimondi (Retired) has died.
He died last night due to Covid-19-related complications at the age of 74.
Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Aplonia Munzverengwi, confirmed the death to The Herald last night.
“Yes I can confirm that he has died. He died this evening (last night). It’s really sad,” she said.
“We are devastated as Mashonaland East province because in the last four consecutive days, we have lost the GMB manager, the provincial information officer Mukonde who will be buried in Mashonaland West tomorrow (today), former Minister Aeneas Chigwedere then Minister Matiza and now vaZimondi.
“I am at a loss for words. This is saddening.”
General Zimondi retired as ZPCS Comm-Gen in November last year after 22 years of service, which began in 1998 when he was 51.
Maj-Gen Zimondi was born on 4 March 1947.
He joined the Zimbabwe Prison Services as a Deputy Commissioner in 1997 and in July of the same year, undertook a study of British, Danish and Swedish prison systems.
In 1998, he was appointed Acting Commissioner following the retirement of Mr Langton Chigwida the previous year.
Mr Chigwida had been at the helm of the prison service since 1984.
Maj-Gen Zimondi was appointed as substantive commissioner on April 1, 1998.
He joined the liberation struggle and received military training at Mgagao Training Camp, Tanzania, in 1974 and was posted to Chimoio, Mozambique, where he assumed the position of a trainer.
At Mgagao, the late Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri, was Maj-Gen Zimondi’s trainer, together with Rex Tichafa in 1975.
After independence in 1980, Maj-Gen Zimondi was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army as a colonel and rose through the ranks to become major-general.
He held various commanding posts in the army, including being Commander of Presidential Guard.
Maj-Gen Zimondi helped to set up a formidable prisons service in the country through improving the delivery of health systems in prisons across the country. He also participated in Operation Restore Legacy which ousted late former President Robert Mugabe.