Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Hundreds of people, including senior Government officials, yesterday thronged the Tongogara homestead in Zaloba on the outskirts of Gweru for the burial of Cde Conrad Josiah Tongogara.
Cde Tongogara, who was the first born son to the late Zanla Commander, Cde Josiah Magama Tongogara, died on Monday following a long battle with cancer.
He was now into farming after retiring from the army with the rank of a sergeant.
Army generals, senior Government officials, including Defence and War Veteran Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri attended the burial.
Mr Christopher Tongogara, who spoke on behalf of the family, described the late Cde Tongogara as a devoted family man.
“He will be missed for his role in the family. We always knew that we could count on him because he would mobilise all his siblings when the need arose,” he said.
He said his death came as a blow to the Tongogara clan.
“It’s God’s decision, there is nothing we can do but it’s a blow to the family,” he said.
Chief mourner, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri, described the late Cde Tongogara as a son of the revolution.
She narrated how the young Tongogara was exposed to unbearable sights of the liberation struggle.
“It is with heavy hearts that we gather today for such a sad event,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“These children were exposed to the war at a very tender age and it is no surprise that he grew up to resemble his father.”
Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Larry Mavima, delivered the condolence message of behalf of Zanu PF.
“I knew Cde Nanga, as he was commonly called, as a quiet and soft person who was hardworking and always devoted to his work. The party is with you during this trying time,” he said.
The late Cde Tongogara was born on March 23, 1963 in Lusaka, Zambia.
From childhood, he resembled his father, later joining the army in 1987.
He succumbed to cancer on Monday and is survived by wife Stella Benhura and five children.