President Mnangagwa has conferred a Liberation War Hero status on the late decorated senior officer Colonel Panganai Kahuni.
Col Kahuni (61) died in Gweru on Sunday.
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Obert Mpofu announced the conferment of the status yesterday.
“His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa has conferred a Liberation War Hero status to the late Cde Panganai Kahuni,” he said.
Col Kahuni was supposed to be buried at Gweru Provincial Heroes Acre but will now be buried at his rural home in Murehwa.
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial chairperson Engineer Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said the province has been robbed of a dedicated true patriot.
“The death of Dr Kahuni has robbed us of a valiant soldier and a true patriot. He deeply loved his country and was uncompromising when it came to the ethos and values of the liberation. An unapologetic defender of the Second Republic under Cde E D Mnangagwa,” he said.
Eng Mackenzie Ncube said Col Kahuni was a political giant who will be solely missed in the Midlands Province.
Known by his Chimurenga name “Lion Chadzonga”, Col Kahuni was born on April 11, 1960, in Murehwa.
He attended Manyika Primary School from 1966 to 1972 before proceeding to Uzumba Secondary School.
He joined the liberation struggle in December 1976 when he crossed the border into Mozambique where he received initial military training at Chimoio.
After training, he was deployed to the front where he was part of group that launched a successful attack on Ruda Camp in Honde Valley.
He was later deployed to Zimunya area in Manicaland where he operated for a few months before proceeding to Nachingweya in Tanzania for regular military training in 1977.
While in Tanzania, he was selected to do a leadership and instructors course in 1978 after which he was appointed an instructor for the training of the Sasa Maliza group, which was the largest group to be trained as a Zanla special force for deployment.
Col Kahuni was later deployed to Manicaland Province where he operated until ceasefire when he moved to Dzapasi Assembly Point in Buhera.
He was attested into the ZNA as a private in 1980 and was selected to undergo cadet training at the Zimbabwe Military Academy in 1981.
Upon completion, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and he received the Commander Zimbabwe National Army Award for the best academic student.
During his long and illustrious career, the late senior officer attended and passed several military courses, among them the Platoon Commander’s course at the Zimbabwe Military Academy in 1993.
Col Kahuni was at one time the Deputy Commandant at the Sadc Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre where he was responsible for training and administration.
He had vast experience in management, peacekeeping, peace-building, conflict resolution, combat operations, strategic research and analysis as well as training in various military aspects.
His achievements at the international level include working in conflict environments under the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions.
Col Kahuni held Diplomas in Management and Defence and Security Studies as well as an MBA degree from the Midlands State University and a Ph D degree in Ethics obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.