‘Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu a dedicated cadre, unifier’

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga salutes after laying a batch of flowers on the casket bearing the body of Retired Brigadier-General Jimmy Mhandu at a funeral parade held at One Commando Regiment in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga salutes after laying a batch of flowers on the casket bearing the body of Retired Brigadier-General Jimmy Mhandu at a funeral parade held at One Commando Regiment in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)

Herald Reporters—
Liberation war hero Retired Brigadier-General Jimmy Mhandu, popularly known by his Chimurenga name, Patrick Nhamo, has been described as a humble and dedicated cadre who worked hard for the preservation of national sovereignty. Former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) cadre, Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu died last Thursday following a long battle with hypertension.

He will be buried this afternoon at Bindura Heroes’ Acre.

A church service will be held at Tendai Hall in Bindura at 10am. Addressing mourners at the funeral parade at One Commando Barracks in Harare yesterday, Commander of the Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga said Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu played an important role in the liberation war and continued to serve the country after independence.

“The late Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu was a gallant and illustrious son of the soil. His entire life was dedicated to the preservation of the national sovereignty of our motherland Zimbabwe.

“He 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 said.

General Chiwenga said Rtd Brig-Gen Mhandu went to the then Soviet Union for further 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 nominated to attend a military intelligence course in the then German Democratic Republic in 1977. After the completion of the course, he 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. He was the first black director of military police and was posted to headquarters,” he said. Meanwhile, Zanu-PF national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo described the late Rtd Brig Gen Mhandu as a distinguished soldier and a man of courage.

“He was a distinguished soldier, a man of courage, a friend of many and he was the true son of the soil,” he said. Cde Khaya Moyo said he worked together with the late Rtd Brig Gen Mhandu in Zambia.

Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa described Rtd Brig Gen as a fighter who anticipated the unification of the Zimbabwe National Army.

“The late Rtd Brig Gen Mhandu was a great fighter who anticipated for the unification, development and formation of the current Zimbabwe National Army. He had no political affiliation as proved when he united with the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) forces but he was trained by ZIPRA,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.

Commander 5 Infantry Brigade Brig Gen Morgan Urayayi Munawa said the late Rtd Brig Gen Mhandu was an upright man with direction and was well-disciplined during his life.

Rtd Brig Gen Mhandu was born on November 11 1947. He is survived by his wife, seven children and several grandchildren.

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