National hero Major-General (Retired) Sydney Bhebhe will be remembered for his contribution to the liberation struggle, standing firm for justice and defending Zimbabwe’s interests, Commander Defence Forces, General Phillip Valerio Sibanda has said.
He made the remarks while leading the funeral parade of Major General (Rtd) Bhebhe at the Charles Gumbo Barracks in Harare yesterday.
Other colleagues and relatives described the national hero as a God- fearing soldier. A service will be held in his honour at the Gospel of God Church on Sunday, where he was an evangelist. He will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Monday.
Major-General (Rtd) Bhebhe was born to clergy parents, and was married to a cleric.
“As we bid you farewell to you Sydney, we will remember you for your immense contribution to the liberation struggle, standing firm for justice and defending Zimbabwe’s interests,” said General Sibanda.
“Thank you for your contribution to our liberation and development of our country after independence.
“As we pay our last respects to Major-General Bhebhe, we must not forget the sacrifices that he and other heroes and heroines made for us to be free today.
“It remains a challenge to us all to defend the values that they stood and fought for. We must always remember that to be who we are today it is because somebody shed their sweat or blood as Major General (Rtd) Bhebhe and many others did.
“Let us never take these sacrifices for granted,” said General Sibanda.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Senior Chaplain General, Colonel, Reverend Ashani Bwanali described his former boss as a God-fearing soldier.
Colonel Bwanali said testimonies of Major-General (Rtd) Bhebhe from colleagues, church members and family are indicative of his strong belief in the Lord.
“Major General Sydney Bhebhe was very humble. What struck me most about his personality is besides his military prowess and accolades, he also had a very strong passion for God.
“He was an evangelist at his church, and he was brought up in a family of ministers. His wife is also an accomplished minister, to us it’s a plus to the kingdom of God. Besides what we know of him from being in the military, we also appreciate the great work he did for the Lord Jesus Christ.
“We want to encourage many more to keep on seeking the presence of the Lord.
“These are the men that we look up to. generals who fear the Lord, a nation that fears the Lord, and so we say go well soldier of the cross,” said Colonel Bwanali.
Major General Emmanuel Matatu said his former colleague was an astute administrator with a logical mind. Sydney Bhebhe was a hard worker, he had his own intellect, most of his things were well thought out and he was a good researcher.
“He would read and whatever he did, it was very logical and well thought through. I enjoyed working with him, he was a good team player.
“We worked together at army headquarters during the formative years of the Zimbabwe National Army.
“He was very strong in the area of administration. He was an excellent administrator and basically he grew up in the administration field,” said Major General Matatu.
Miss Moreblessing Bhebhe, the daughter of the national hero, described her father as a loving and caring man.
“My father was a gentle and caring man, he is the most generous man I have ever met, he was not selective. Whoever came to him, my dad was willing to offer a hand of support, a hand of help.
“He was empathetic and compassionate about people and those are the most important lessons that I have learnt from him.”
Mr Joseph Ngoma, uncle to the Major General (Rtd) Bhebhe said his nephew had strong Christian values, and his death is a big loss to the family.
“He was a father, a son and someone who was a team player and willing to work with others for the good of the family. “He was very loving, humble and was the pillar of the family.
“He had Christian values of goodness, kindness. He had love for peace, and would always counsel families for peace to prevail all the times,” said Mr Ngoma.