By Nyemudzai Kakore
War veterans are the ideological school of the nation, custodians of the revolution and the bedrock upon which Zanu-PF shall continue to rely, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga said yesterday.
Addressing mourners at a funeral parade for national hero Brigadier-General James Jotham Murozvi at One Commando Barracks, Gen Chiwenga said the ruling party would continue to build itself on the role of the war veterans.
He said the death of Brig-Gen Murozvi left a void difficult to fill, as he was a veteran who committed his life to serving the people of Zimbabwe.
Brig-Gen Murozvi succumbed to diabetes and high blood pressure last at West End Hospital last Thursday.
He will be buried at the National Heroes Acre today.
“Your (Brig-Gen Murozvi) blood has indeed watered the Zimbabwe Flag as we used to sing during the war of liberation,” said Gen Chiwenga. “You have fought your fight.
“Ours is to continue it, pursuing with vigour, our role as the veterans of the liberation struggle, of being the ideological school of the nation, custodians of the revolution and the bedrock upon which our party, Zanu-PF, shall continue to build itself for as long as we survive.” Gen Chiwenga described Brig Gen Murozvi was a “dedicated and loyal cadre, a principled leader and illustrious son of the soil”.
“Clearly, the late Brigadier General was no ordinary cadre, but a true revolutionary and comrade,” he said. “He remained focused and steadfast in the protracted fight against neo-colonial regime change machinations by Britain and her allies.”
Gen Chiwenga said the honour that Zimbabweans could give Brig Gen Murozvi was to defend and uphold what he stood for, which was to remain vigilant in defending the country’s territorial gains.
He said Brig Gen Murozvi was a man of few words who was intelligent, but never bragged about his achievements.
“An unassuming, introvert and inimitably humble Comrade, the late General was also a great team player,” said Gen Chiwenga. “He was that kind of person who could easily blend into any situation, settle down completely unnoticed, yet being extremely intelligent.
“He was highly analytical and at the same time capable of seeing way deeper and beyond all those with whom he shared any situation. He can be described as the typical textbook intelligence operative.”
Addressing the same funeral parade, Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa, urged people from all walks of life to throng the National Heroes Acre to bid farewell to Brig Gen Murozvi.
She said Harare would have10 buses, Masvingo (where Brig Gen Murozvi came from) will have five , while all other provinces would have one bus each to ferry mourners to and from the national shrine.
“We have lost not only a soldier, but a national liberator,” Minister Chikukwa said. “We expect people to come out in their numbers and bid farewell to the gallant son of the soil.
“People should be at the usual pick up points and we urge those with private vehicles to assist people who intend to be at the national shrine. We are urging those that will be at work to ask for permission to come in their numbers and bury their national hero.”
Government ministers, among them Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-Political Detainees and Restrictees Minister Rtd Col Tshinga Dube, attended the funeral parade.
Brig Gen Murozvi’s body lay in state yesterday at his residence at The Grange in Harare ahead of burial at the national shrine today.
The body will first be taken to Stodart Hall in Mbare at around 8am where President Mugabe will lead mourners in body viewing.
After body viewing, the funeral cortege will head for the National Heroes Acre for burial.
Brig Gen Murozvi was principal director responsible for welfare in the Ministry of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-Political Detainees and Restrictees.
He was born on June 2, 1956 in Bikita district, Masvingo, being the second born in a family of five.
He played a pivotal role in the liberation struggle in various capacities before returning home in 1980.
After independence, Brig Gen Murozvi rose through the ranks and held several positions in the army before being posted to the Ministry responsible for ex-freedom fighters.
Mourners are gathered at number 78 Drew Road, The Grange.
Brig Gen Murozvi is survived by his wife Rtd Group Captain Joice Murozvi, three children Brian, Faith and Charity and two grandchildren.