Liberation war hero, Retired Brigadier General Jimmy Mhandu, popularly known by his Chimurenga name, Patrick Nhamo, was buried yesterday at Glen Forest Memorial Park in Harare.
The former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) cadre, Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu, died last Thursday after a long battle with hypertension.
He was 69.
Scores of people gathered at the cemetery to bid farewell to the hero who was described as humble, straight forward and patriotic.
Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs, Cde Miriam Chikukwa, Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, senior Zanu-PF members, services chiefs, members of the uniformed forces, war veterans and members of the Salvation Army church among other officials, attended the burial.
Addressing mourners, Cde Chikukwa said Rtd Brig Gen Mhandu wrote his own history through his works during the liberation struggle and after independence.
“Zimbabwe has lost a man who had a vision and contributed towards independence. It is through his contribution towards the independence of Zimbabwe that now some of us are ministers.
“His life was a true testimony of a hero. He continued to serve the nation after retiring from the army through farming,” she said.
Cde Chikukwa said the late Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu left a rich history that formed a perpetual legacy to the present and future generations of this country.
“During the liberation struggle, he abandoned his job as a teacher to fight against the white regime. The zeal to see this country freed from colonial bondage forced him to cross the border to Botswana and later joined others in Zambia for initial military training.
“He came back to Zimbabwe and was deployed to Salisbury now Harare where he played a pivotal role in identifying targets for sabotage, gathering information and recruitment of new cadres. He was also influential in the education of domestic workers and their children,” she said.
After the completion of the course, Rtd Brig Gen Mhandu was appointed the former ZIPRA high command and played an important role in the unification of military intelligence and national intelligence for ZIPRA to form the national security. He was appointed deputy chief national intelligence. He was attested in the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 as a colonel and rose through the ranks to Brig Gen. He was the first black director of military police and was posted to headquarters. He is survived by his wife, seven children and several grandchildren.