Let us protect our currency — President

President Mnangagwa

The nation should emulate the dedication and patriotism shown by fallen national heroes through embracing the Zimbabwe Gold currency, which was recently introduced by the central bank, as it is a symbol of the country’s national identity and dignity, President Mnangagwa has said.

He said this yesterday while addressing thousands of mourners who thronged the National Heroes Acre for a triple burial of two national heroes and a heroine.

The three are Brigadier General Shadreck Vezha, a decorated General Officer in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces who died in a traffic accident, Cde Nyasha Nash Dzimiri, a veteran of the liberation struggle and an intelligence director in the President’s Department who was diabetic, and Cde Grace Tsitsi Jadagu, a dedicated Zanu PF cadre, war collaborator and former legislator and councillor who died after a short illness.

“I commend all Zimbabweans for the manner we have adopted and are protecting the use of our own currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG). Congratulations, Makorokoto. This is our national currency and part of the symbols of our national identity and dignity,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa said in the face of neo-imperialist machinations, everyone had a duty across their respective sectors and individually, to defend the country and work hard for a more prosperous future for all.

“Our focus remains on the attainment of Vision 2030 and to build Zimbabwe, brick by brick, stone upon stone. The national development philosophy ‘nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatigwa nevene vayo/llizwe lakhiwa, Iibuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo’; remains our guiding compass. We must never lose focus of our economic development thrust, to modernise and industrialise our country. As we strive to achieve our national economic developmental goals, we are bound to encounter challenges. Let us pull in one direction, as a united and peace-loving people. The burden to develop our own country falls with us,” said President Mnangagwa.

Caskets bearing the bodies of the three national heroes displayed in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before burial at the national shrine yesterday.— Pictures: Believe Nyakudjara

He said the Second Republic deliberately implemented bold policy decisions to ensure that women and the youth occupy strategic positions in the governance architecture of the country.

“Against this background, I urge women and the youth in leadership positions across all levels, in both the public and private sectors to champion transformative initiatives to propel and help drive socio-economic and political advancement. I challenge you to avail yourself for accelerating our national development agenda, for the betterment of our communities and the nation as a whole,” he said.

“Let us never forget that it is through the selfless consistent and persistent sacrifices of heroes such as the late Brigadier General Vezha, Cde Dzimiri and Cde Jadagu as well as many other departed and living cadres that Zimbabwe continues to enjoy independence, freedom and sovereignty.”

The Head of State and Government urged Zimbabweans to emulate the trio for their dedication to the country.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Zimbabwe, our party Zanu PF, my family and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest heartfelt condolences to the Vezha, Dzimiri and Jadagu families at this loss. The exemplary manner in which the departed national heroes executed their given mandates shall serve as a beacon for future generations to come,” said President Mnangagwa.

He implored members of the security forces to be part of the country modernisation and industralisation riding on the Heritage Based Education 5.0 which focusses on production of goods and services.

“Equally, I urge the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Intelligence and Security Training establishments, to be part of the mainstream research, science, innovation and technology development ecosystem underpinned by the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 model. The provision of knowledge and skills to address both emerging and traditional security threats and for the production of quality goods and services as well as for technological advancement remain key priority areas,” he said.

“Over the weekend, I was pleased to host, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Kenya, Dr Ruto for a State visit, during which he officially opened the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. This was held under the theme, “Innovation; a catalyst to Industrialisation and Trade”. This highlights the centrality we must accord science, technology and innovation as we develop every facet of our country.”

He urged members of the security forces to remain vigilant and effective on issues related to national security.

Born on 10 August 1961 in Chivi District, Masvingo Province, Brig Gen Vezha did his primary education at Chihaya, Runesu and Chitanga schools from 1968 to 1975 and attended secondary education at Lundi High School from 1976 to 1979, After completing ‘Ordinary’ Level, the late Brigadier General joined the liberation struggle.

He proceeded to North Korea in 1980 for further military training at Kim Chong Ju Military Academy and later Kim IL Sung Military University until 1982. He was attested in the Zimbabwe National Army on the 1st of August 1982 and rose through the ranks, becoming a Lieutenant in 1984 and rising through the ranks until 2018, when he was promoted to Brigadier General, the rank he held at the time of his death.

Brig Gen Vezha attended several military courses within our jurisdiction and abroad. Apart from these military courses, he also attained academic qualifications in Defence and Security Studies as well as in Defence and Security Management and Business Intelligence.

As a result of his hard work, discipline, loyalty, trustworthiness and dependability, the late General Officer held several appointments which included: Platoon Commander, General Staff Officer Grade 3 (Staff Duties), Company Second in Command, Personal Staff Officer to Chief of Staff General Staff, Directing Staff at the Zimbabwe Staff College, Brigade Major, Chief Instructor Zimbabwe School of Infantry, Commanding Officer 5.1 Infantry Battalion and Personal Staff Officer to Commander Zimbabwe National Army.

He was a Senior Personal Staff Officer to the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces from 2017 up to the time of his untimely death.

For exemplary service to the nation, the late Brigadier General Vezha was awarded the medals for Liberation and Independence; Ten Years’ Service, Long and Exemplary Service; as well as the Mozambique Campaign, the Democratic Republic of Congo Campaign medals; the United Nations Angola Verification Mission Ill Medal (UN), Syrian Observer Mission Medal and the Grant Officer of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award.

On the other hand, the late Cde Dzimiri, whose Chimurenga name is ‘Tambaoga Mwanangu’ was born on 24 June 1958 in Shurugwi District, Midlands Province, he attended Kwarire and Matamba primary schools between 1966 and 1967, while from 1971 to 1972, enrolled at Hanke Mission. He later attended Lower Gweru College (now Lower Gweru Adventist High School) for secondary education between 1973 and 1976.

Outraged by the racial segregation in the then Rhodesia, Cde Dzimiri left the country for Mozambique in 1976 to join the liberation struggle. Upon crossing into Mozambique, Cde Dzimiri stayed at Nyadzonia camp and received political orientation that was to become the compass for his future political journey, In August 1976 he survived the callous, racist and brutal attack by the Rhodesian Security Forces at Nyadzonia Camp.

Following the Nyadzonia massacre, the late Cde Dzimiri was selected to undergo training in Security and Intelligence at the Nanking Military Academy in the People’s Republic of China.

The Nanking Military Academy is one of the renowned military institutions where many liberation war cadres including President Mnangagwa and the late ZANLA Chief of Defence, General Josiah Magama Tongogara, were trained.

Cde Dzimiri was deployed in Gaza Province where he operated until February 1977 and was later withdrawn from the front after sustaining life-threatening injuries. In June 1977, Cde Dzimiri was again sent to the People’s Republic of China for further training in Intelligence, before returning to Mozambique and was appointed Military Instructor at Chaminuka Security and Intelligence Camp in Chimoio. He was amongst the survivors of the 1977 Chimoio massacre.

Thereafter, Cde Dzimiri was re-assigned to the Protection Unit as a Senior Protection Officer (Chief Aide) to the ZANLA Chief of Defence, General Magama Tongogara.

From April to September 1978, Cde Dzimiri worked as an Intelligence and Security Instructor where he trained several cadres who later served in the then Prime Minister’s Department at Independence. In December 1979, he was selected to train in the Republic of Yugoslavia in Advanced Military Science at the Higher Military Academy of Yugoslav National Army.

After the ceasefire in 1980, Cde Dzimiri was the Second in Command at Buffalo Range Assembly Point where he played a critical role during the integration of ZANLA combatants into the Zimbabwe National Army.

He was briefly attested into the Air Force of Zimbabwe before being re-assigned to the then Ministry of Social Services. He also worked at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Following attainment of independence in 1980, the Central Intelligence Organisation was reformed under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, then the Minister of State Security into a truly Zimbabwean strategic and key security national institution, moving away from the notorious Rhodesian Special Branch.

In this regard, reliable, effective, astute and unflinchingly patriotic loyal Intelligence Officers were needed and it was in 1983 that President Mnangagwa attested Cde Dzimiri into the President’s Department.

He rose through the ranks, sharing his wealth of experience and grooming young intelligence officers into the Department.

He was eventually promoted to the rank of Divisional Intelligence Officer in 1996 and in 2001, Cde Dzimiri was transferred to the Internal Branch and appointed Principal Intelligence Officer for Mashonaland East Province where he coordinated the historic land reform under Chief Svosve.

He was later promoted to become Assistant director where he was redeployed to Counter Intelligence Branch before he was posted to Cuba as a Liaison Officer in 2007. Upon his return he was appointed Director in the President’s Department in 2019, a position he held up to the time of his death.

The late National Heroine Cde Jadagu was born on 11 March 1943 and went to Murehwa Mission in 1959 for her education. She trained as a police officer and later enrolled for primary school teachers’ training at Nyadire Mission in 1960.

She started her political career at the age of 17 in Mangwende Village, in Murewa. During that time, her family, led by Chief Mangwende, had a conflict with the Rhodesian Native Commissioner over national politics. Eventually, the whole family was forced out of the village which resulted in them seeking refuge in Old Highfield.

It was during this period that Cde Jadagu became a member of the Youth wing of ZAPU together with other comrades such as the late Sabina Mugabe, Tsitsi Munyati, and Ruth Chinamano, among others.

After Independence, the late Cde Jagadu served as a Councillor for Chitungwiza Ward 16 and was later appointed Special Interest Councillor in 2013. She was appointed Senator in 2014 and became a member of the Peace and Security Committee which played an oversight role on the welfare of defence and security services.

Yesterday’s triple burial was attended by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Chief Justice, Justice Luke Malaba, Government Ministers, Zanu PF Politburo Members, legislators, Service Chiefs, diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, Harare mayor Councillor Jacob Mafume and senior Government officials, among others.


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