JUST IN: Minister Joel Biggie Matiza and Major-General Paradzai Zimondi declared national heroes

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Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza and former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner General Major-General (Retired) Paradzai Zimondi have been declared national heroes.

Minister Matiza (60), who was also the Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland East province and Maj-Gen Zimondi (74) died on Friday from Covid-19 related complications.

Joel Biggie Matiza

Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister and Zanu PF National Chairman Cde Oppah Muchinguri delivered the declarations to the families of the two national heroes today.

Cde Matiza’s Biography

  • Was born on August 17, 1960 in Murehwa and served as Murehwa South House of Assembly member and his previous portfolios in Government include being Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province.
  • At the time of his death, he was a Zanu PF Central Committee member and previously served in Government as Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
  • He joined the liberation struggle in 1977 as a Zimbabwe African People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) cadre.
  • He attended local schools before going to Nigeria for his tertiary education, graduating with a BSc Hons degree in Architecture and an MSc degree in Architecture from Ahmadu Bello University.
  • He graduated with a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from the Binary University of Management and Entrepreneurship, Malaysia, in collaboration with Chinhoyi University of Technology on December 15 last year.
  • During his tenure in Government under President Mnangagwa’s administration, Minister Matiza pushed for the rehabilitation of roads in the country using local resources and entrusted local companies to undertake the work.
  • During his tenure, the Government embarked on massive road rehabilitation projects of varying magnitudes in every constituency.
  • President Mnangagwa commissioned the completed stretches of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway under Phase One of the rehabilitation programme which involves upgrading and widening of the road.
  • This is one of the major infrastructure development projects post-independence which is expected to stretch all the way to Chirundu on the border with Zambia.

Major-General Zimondi’s Biography

Major-General Paradzai Zimondi (Retired)
  • He was born on 4 March 1947 and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

— Herald


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