President ED Mnangagwa in deep pain as top soldier dies unexpectedly

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

THE death of Retired Major-General Godfrey Chanakira has robbed Zimbabwe of a humble, courageous and honest man who was dedicated to serving his country, President Mnangagwa said in a statement last night.

Rtd Maj-Gen Chanakira died on Thursday at West End Hospital in Harare.

Late Major-General (Rtd) Godfrey Chanakira

He had been admitted due to a heart condition.

President Mnangagwa said Rtd Maj-Gen Chanakira’s life was characterised not only by his simplicity, humility and an affectionate smile, but also by exceptional courage, bravery, seriousness and performance regardless of the task at hand.

“Those of us who knew him well are in deep pain for losing him so unexpectedly,” he said.

“It was only last week that he was out in the field on Government business and he never showed any signs of unwellness.”

President Mnangagwa said Rtd Maj-Gen Chanakira would be remembered for the great sacrifices he made for his beloved country alongside other war veterans, past and present, during the period of the armed liberation struggle, for his exemplary service in the Zimbabwe National Army, and for his action-oriented leadership in the civil service.

“The decorated soldier will be sorely missed by all of us for his different roles in the attainment of our country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for being such a great patriot,” he said.

Rtd Maj-Gen Chanakira, whose Chimurenga name was Cde Garikai Musavengana, was a Permanent Secretary in the Office of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga at the time of his death.

President Mnangagwa said Rtd Maj-Gen Chanakira has left behind an enviable history of supreme sacrifice and national commitment to serving his country and fellow Zimbabweans, which spans many decades starting from the time he joined the armed liberation struggle for freedom and independence in 1975.

This was followed by a professional career in the army where he rose through the ranks from Private in 1980 to Major-General in 2017, and in the civil service where he ended up as Permanent Secretary.

“On behalf of the party Zanu PF, Government, the people of Zimbabwe, my family, and indeed on my behalf, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Chanakira family, especially to his wife and the children, who have lost a beloved husband, father and pillar of strength.

“May they take comfort from the knowledge that we are together during their darkest hour of grief,” President Mnangagwa said.

— Herald

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