Rutanhire declared national hero

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha addresses mourners at the funeral of national hero and Politburo member Cde George Rutanhire at Tizora Farm in Centenary yesterday

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha addresses mourners at the funeral of national hero and Politburo member Cde George Rutanhire at Tizora Farm in Centenary yesterday

Tendai Mugabe and Abigail Mawonde—
ZANU-PF Politburo member Cde George Rutanhire, who died at Karanda Mission Hospital on Saturday, has been declared a national hero. He was 68. Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo confirmed the decision last night. “Cde Rutanhire has been unanimously declared a national hero,” said Cde Chombo.

“We are discussing with the family to find a suitable day for burial. That is the only thing outstanding and the media will be advised in due course on burial dates.”

Zanu-PF yesterday described Cde Rutanhire as a reliable man who led from the front and never boasted about his role in the liberation struggle.

In a statement last night, Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the party was saddened by the loss of Cde Rutanhire, who headed the Chitepo Ideological School.

“The revolutionary Zanu-PF party has learnt with shock and dismay of the untimely death of Cde George Rutanhire who passed on at the weekend at Karanda Mission Hospital in Mt Darwin.

“Cde Rutanhire was a tested cadre and courageous leader of the liberation struggle in all respects.

“He never boasted about his role in the liberation struggle. He remained a man of enviable simplicity, humble, focused, hardworking, approachable, reliable and always led from the front,” he said.

Cde Khaya Moyo described Cde Rutanhire’s death as a loss to the family and the nation at large.

“His family is now without a beacon, Zimbabwe has been robbed of an astute war veteran and mankind is now poor by his unexpected departure.

“We will all miss this great personality. In wishing his family strength and staying power, may his soul anchor and rest in eternal peace,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.

Mashonaland Central, Cde Rutanhire’s home province, had written to Zanu-PF Cde Chombo recommending that he be declared a national hero.

The recommendation was bolstered by the Ministry of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees, which made a similar request.

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha, who was accompanied by members of the provincial Joint Operations Command, visited Cde Rutanhire’s Tizora Farm to pay his condolences.

In his remarks, Adv Dinha recounted Cde Rutanhire’s illustrious political career adding that he deserved the national hero status conferred on him.

“His contribution to this country is invaluable. Cde Rutanhire is a gallant son who fought for the liberation of this country. We all remember the great work that he did at Chibondo to ensure that some of our fallen heroes got decent burial. He was part of the team that authored the Mgagao Declaration that confirmed President Mugabe as leader of Zanu dismissing Ndabaningi Sithole as a sellout.”

Adv Dinha urged the Rutanhire family to take comfort from the great work that Cde Rutanhire did for his country.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for the Welfare of Veterans, Ex Detainees and War Collaborators Retired Brigadier General Walter Tapfumaneyi said: “Cde Rutanhire was a very senior member from the days of the liberation struggle. He has a very strong history… We were assisting him as a Ministry and we had plans of taking him outside the country to receive treatment but he was thinking otherwise. We learnt of his latest condition a bit late.”

Cde Rutanhire was born Peter Clever Musanhu on April 15, 1949 at St Alberts Hospital.

He started revolutionary politics at St Alberts Mission in 1965 and in 1966 he was involved in a student strike – boycotting lessons, protesting the attack of the seven revolutionary cadres in Chinhoyi.

He joined the liberation struggle in 1972 and received military training at Mgagao in Tanzania.

In 1973 he was recalled from the war front after he was shot on the leg and at one point he represented the party in Sweden where he met Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, Cde Mayor Urimbo, Sally Mugabe and Zanu representative in Sweden Cde Cloudious Chokwenda.

In 1975 Cde Rutanhire was called back to Mgagao by General Josiah Magama Tongogara to join others to reorganise the war after the death of Cde Herbert Chitepo.

In June the same year to September, he participated in the crafting of the Mgagao Declaration together with Cdes Rex Nhongo, Constantine Chiwenga, Perence Shiri, Mernad Muzariri and Paradzai Zimondi.

At independence in 1980 he was elected Member of Parliament for Mashonaland Central Province and in 1981 he was appointed Deputy Minister for Youth, Sport and Recreation.

In 1981 he was elected member of Central Committee and in 1985 he was elected Government chief whip.

He participated in the talks that led to the signing of the Unity Accord between Zanu PF and Zapu in 1987.

In 2010 Cde Rutanhire was appointed Politburo member, a position that he held until his death.

Cde Rutanhire is survived by his three wives Susan Rutanhire, Safire Kutyauripo and Sofia Ishemunyoro and eight children.

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  • Kusvikazvanaka

    Vamwe vakakwidzwa mundane nokuti vakosora…Rutanhire akafira mungoro

  • yowe

    kuHeroes Acre kwakuita kunge nzvimbo yekutandarira..sad times

    • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

      The generation of heroes aimed for burial at that shrine are reaching their twilight so we should expect to visit that site more frequently now. Regai vazorore vakaita basa hombe rekusunungura nyika. Pakuzotonga ndipo pakavanzvenga.

      • yowe

        Very true they all lost the plot

  • Knox Moyo Chirandu

    A TRUE HERO INDEED. When i was in school i used to read about Rutanhire and all along i thought he was dead. I discovered later that he was alive when he started to bury the fallen comrades. He was then appointed a politburo member later on. With the role he played during the war i wonder why he had been side lined all along. He was the natural candidate for the political commissar post in ZANU PF. Rest in Peace Son of the Soil.

  • eliah

    For this cadre it was given liberation war credentials aside, we know his main story. RIP Cde.

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    So you agree that most have corruptly amassed wealth?

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    Ko nhai Herald zviri kutaurwa about Amai Grace Mugabe ndezvechokwadi here kana kuti indeke? Manyarariro enyu kuita seguva kudaro kuti kwakanaka?

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Zviri kutaurwa naniko,nhaiwe? How many incidents in this world that escape the media that involve the privilege of diplomatic immunity that you don`t hear reported? What happened to Margaret Thatcher`s businessman-son who committed a crime in SA some years back? Was he tried and jailed in SA? Did Smith and his General Walls not commit atrocities against humanity in this country , but died in SA untouched legally? What did the Boer AFRICOM lawyers say or do about it? Why do you still use ENKELDOORN instead of Chivhu if you still live in Zimbabwe?

      • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

        Mibvunzo yakawanda-wanda ndeyeyiko iwe. We would expect the Herald to give us an official perspective of the saga rather than relying on the misinformation and sensationalism on social media and tabloids. In any case Dr Grace herself chastised Charamba for effecting a media blackout on certain people hence this would be a good opportunity for the Herald to redeem itself

        • yowe

          Hahaha wamupedza…Dr instructed Herald to be more proactive in coverimg herlife …Heads will roll at Herald for this media blackout

          • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

            So you support lack of reporting freedom for journalists?

          • yowe

            Our president Doctor Amai must be covered by the Herald who are you to support journalists who do not tell the nation about our Amai’s every move.You are an agent of the West iwe

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Why are you evading my relevant questions? Mibvunzo inoita kuti debate rive sharpened. Imi kungoti nanga nanga ne one side ndiyo debate here iroro. Why do you think everything reported should be believed as Matthew Chap 5? Journalists should exercise their discretion when reporting. All over the world do journalists report the same stories? Why should they report the same stories in Zimbabwe? More questions for you. I guess you are so daft to attempt my questions. KKKKkkkiii!

          • Rasta!

            Aiwa, marashika Cde. Nyaya iyi yakataura nemapepa nyika yose asi Herald kana pwii. It is rank hypocrisy.

        • Rasta!

          Exactly, what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.

  • Knox Moyo Chirandu

    my true hero

  • Taneta

    Cant wait for them kuti vapere and their takakusunungurai bull.

  • Nyongolo

    Your biggest challenge is not on disagreeing that most are corrupt but your reluctance in dealing with corruption and your refusal of finding a solution to curb corruption.You can not add HIV positive blood to an HIV patient and start believing they will heal.

  • Rasta!

    Then why do you support your corrupt comrades? You seem a reasonable man Cde but you need to do more to reign in your comrades who have lost their way.