By Columbus Mabika
A funeral parade to honour two pilots and a technician who died in a helicopter crash in Goromonzi last week will be held by the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) on Friday.
The pilots are Wing Commander Thomas Tinashe Manyowa and Flight Lieutenant Anita Mapiye while the aircraft technician is Flight Sergeant Tinodiwanashe Chikamhi.
The AFZ yesterday said Wing Commander Manyowa will be buried in Chinhoyi, while Flight Lieutenant Mapiye will be interred at Glen Forest Memorial Park in Harare, with Flight Sergeant Chikamhi will be buried at Mucheke Cemetery in Masvingo.
The helicopter crash also claimed the life of an 18-month-old toddler, Jade Fenyere, who was sleeping with her twin sister, Jada, when the Agusta Bell 412 (AB 412) helicopter crashed into their house.
Jade will be buried today in Bocha, Manicaland Province.
President Mnangagwa mourned the pilots, technician and Jade following the horrific crash, and wished a speedy recovery to Jade’s twin sister, Jada and her mother, who sustained injuries.
Commander AFZ, Air Marshal Elson Moyo over the weekend, paid tribute to the deceased pilots and technician.
He said one of the key factors for the successes scored by the AFZ in military and humanitarian assistance operations within and outside Zimbabwe, was training and the fact that the pilots and technicians died on a training mission was ample testimony of their determination to attain excellence in the execution of flying tasks in defence of Zimbabwe’s airspace and territorial integrity.
Air Marshal Moyo said AFZ was mourning the sad loss of the pilots and technician, it was also a moment to reflect and celebrate the achievements of the deceased officers and member as well as to draw valuable lessons from their exemplary service to the AFZ and the nation at large.