National hero Brigadier-General Ruphus Chigudu will be buried today at the National Heroes Acre, with President Mnangagwa presiding over the event.
Attendance by the public will be limited owing to Covid-19 health regulations.
Brig-Gen Chigudu died on September 24 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals aged 64 and was declared a national hero last Thursday.
In an interview yesterday, Secretary for Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Mr Aaron Nhepera said all the preparatory work for the burial was complete.
“Today we have been doing final touches such as finalising the programme. I can assure you that we are through with all the necessary preparations for the burial of our departed national hero. He will be buried tomorrow morning,” said Mr Nhepera.
The funeral would follow the usual programme where the body will leave Charles Gumbo Barracks (formerly One Commando Barracks) around 7am and will be taken to Stodart Hall in Mbare for body viewing.
“From Stodart Hall, the body will proceed to the national shrine for the main event where he will be buried. Like what we have earlier on said, there will be limited attendance because of Covid-19 regulations,” said Mr Nhepera.
On Saturday, Zanu PF acting Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the party applauded the conferment of national hero status on Brig Gen Chigudu.
“Zanu PF joins His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa in mourning the passing of Brigadier General Ruphus Chigudu. We applaud the decision taken by the party to confer him the status of national hero,” said Cde Chinamasa.
Brig-Gen Chigudu was born on December 11, 1955 and joined the liberation struggle under Zanla forces in 1975 in Mozambique.
He later joined the Zimbabwe National Army during the integration exercise after independence where he rose through the ranks to become Brig-Gen.
Brig-Gen Chigudu, whose Chimurenga name was Promise Chombo, grew up at Chigudu Village in Chiendambuya communal area under Chief Makoni.
He attended Chigudu Primary School between 1962 and 1969, completing Sub A up to Standard 6. He later attended Bernard Mizeki College between 1970 and 1973.
In 1972, he was arrested in Marondera for demonstrating against the Rhodesian regime following the death of a senior nationalist in detention. Upon completing O level, he moved to Bulawayo where he worked as a plant operator at Rhodox Private Limited in 1974.
He later quit his job after being left disgruntled by his employer’s racist policies.
In 1976, he left Bulawayo with a group of friends for Salisbury en-route to Mozambique to join the liberation struggle.
In Mozambique, he was referred to Chimoio before being redirected to Doroi. He was later transferred to Chindunduma School where he was responsible for teaching young cadres.
In February 1977, he was transferred to Tete where he underwent basic military training at Tembwe Base.
In July of the same year, he was deployed to Tete Province, Chaminuka sector, where he operated under the command of Cde Muchinerepi Mabhunu who was the detachment commander.
Through his acts of gallantry and ability, he rose to the rank of platoon commander.
In December 1977 he was withdrawn from the front and tasked to lead a contingent of 150 men to Maputo en-route to Romania to train in field artillery.
In February 1978, he received his field artillery training at Cincu Training Camp and stayed on until 1979 as an instructor.
In 1980, he was moved to Sibiu Artillery School where he underwent a field artillery young officers’ course up to February 1981.
On his return, he was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on April 1, 1981.
He was promoted to the rank of Brig-Gen on June 11 this year.
He is survived by his wife Vimbai and three children.