Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Liberation war hero Retired Brigadier-General Jimmy Mhandu, popularly known by his Chimurenga name, Cde Patrick Nhamo, will be buried this afternoon at Glen Forest Memorial Park in Harare. He was supposed to have been buried yesterday at Bindura Heroes’ Acre, but the process was delayed to allow for the return of his children and other relatives from abroad.
The former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) cadre died last Thursday following a long battle with hypertension. The Mhandu family yesterday said it expected the late Rtd Brig- Gen Mhandu to be accorded national hero status considering his contributions during the liberation struggle and to the nation after the war.
Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu’s brother, Mr Freddy Musonza, said the late hero worked hard for the independence of Zimbabwe and preservation of its sovereignty. “He was influential in recruiting people to go and fight during the liberation struggle and also played a major role in educating people, especially children of maids and gardeners,” he said.
Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu’s uncle, Mr Robert Mhlophe, said national hero status was befitting for his relative. “We were inspired by his works. He worked wholeheartedly for the nation and we thought (that) he was going to be buried at the National Heroes Acre, where his fellow comrades are,” he said.
Family spokesman and brother Rtd Lieutenant-Colonel Cairo Mhandu announced that the burial had been shifted to Harare.
“We decided to shift to Harare for convenience. My brother should have been buried at Harare Provincial Heroes Acre at Warren Hills, but the family decided to bury him at Glen Forest because of the deplorable conditions at Warren Hills,” he said. Son to the late hero, Mr Everisto Mhandu, said: “He assisted many people and unified the family. He treated all the children the same and never discriminated against people,” he said.