Chivi bids farewell to national hero Brig-Gen Vezha

Pallbearers carry a casket bearing the body of national hero Brigadier- General Shadreck Vezha at his homestead in Zangure Village, Chief Shindi, Masvingo where relatives and villagers paid their last respects yesterday.

HUNDREDS of people from all walks of life yesterday thronged the Vezha homestead in Zangure Village, Madzivire area in the Shindi communal lands, to bid farewell to national hero Brigadier-General Shadreck Vezha, who was making his last visit home before interment at the National Heroes Acre on Monday next week.

The senior military officer and freedom fighter died on Tuesday last week in a road traffic accident and was declared a national hero due to his contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe and the sterling service he extended to his motherland in the post-independence era. 

He was 63.

A sombre atmosphere engulfed the Vezha rural homestead as an AFZ helicopter carrying his body landed in his place of birth to enable relatives, friends and villagers to bid him farewell.

His body, that was in a white casket draped with the national flag, was accompanied to Zangure Village by his son Tafadzwa Vezha, the Senior Chaplin General at the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Headquarters, Colonel Dr Ashani Bwanali and other relatives and military officers. 

Before flying to his birthplace at Zangure village, Brigadier-General Vezha’s body first passed through his farm in Sherwood, Kwekwe to also allow other close family members to bid him farewell.

On hand to receive his body was the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira, the permanent secretary in his office Dr Addmore Pazvakavambwa and service chiefs. 

Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chair Cde Robson Mavhenyengwa was also present to welcome Brigadier-General Vezha’s body.

Speaking during a funeral service held at the Vezha homestead, his father Mr Gibson Chimbeva, thanked President Mnangagwa and his Government for conferring national hero status on his son, saying they felt honoured by such recognition.

“I am also happy even as I mourn my departed son that the Government has seen it fit that his body also comes to his birthplace to bid him farewell before going to his final resting place at the Heroes Acre,’’ he said.

The Brigadier-General’s mother, Mrs Jemina Chitotsa, also thanked President Mnangagwa for conferring national hero status on her son, noting that the Vezha family had lost a pillar of support.

Chivi South legislator Cde Felix Maburutse, who is young brother to Brigadier-General Vezha said his family had lost a hard worker and dependable character who was committed to the development of his nation.

Zangure village head Mr Ephius Zangure was full of praise for President Mnangagwa for honouring Brigadier General Vezha. 

“We are honoured and happy as the people of Zangure that we now have our own son who has been declared a national hero, this is the first time this has happened and this is all due to the love, sacrifices and commitment shown by Shadreck to his motherland.’’

Minister Chadzamira, who was the chief mourner, said the province had been robbed of a liberation war stalwart and hard worker who was committed to the development of Masvingo province and the nation at large. 

Minister Chadzamira thanked President Mnangagwa for according national hero status on Brigadier-General Vezha, saying the province was proud to have moulded exceptional individuals whose commitment to the development of the motherland was well known.

He said the only way for Masvingo province to pay homage to illustrious sons of the soil like Brigadier-General Vezha was to continue tirelessly working for the development of Zimbabwe and make sure the country is food-self sufficient and attains its Vision 2030 goals.

Minister Chadzamira challenged young people to emulate Brigadier-General Vezha’s record of outstanding service to his motherland before and after independence.

He chronicled his history from the time of his birth in Zangure village up to his death when he was a senior army officer, saying his elevation at work was evidence of his unflinching loyalty and dedication to his country.

In his address, Cde Mavhenyengwa said the ruling Zanu PF party was poorer without Brigadier-General Vezha and challenged the revolutionary party’s supporters to uphold discipline, taking a leaf from dedicated warriors like the late national hero.

A church service led by the Roman Catholic Church was held to give  Brigadier-General Vezha a perfect send-off after which Minister Chadzamira led mourners in body viewing.


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