UPDATED: Brig-Gen Murozvi a national hero • Burial set for tomorrow • Condolence messages pour in Brig-Gen Murozvi
Brig-Gen Murozvi

Brig-Gen Murozvi

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Brigadier-General James Jotham Murozvi — whose Chimurenga name was James Tichatonga — who died last Thursday, has been declared a national hero.

He will be buried at the National Heroes Acre tomorrow.

He was 60.

Brig-Gen Murozvi succumbed to diabetes and high blood pressure at West End Hospital.

He was principal director responsible for welfare in the Ministry of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-Political Detainees and Restrictees.

A military parade will be held in his honour at One Commando Barracks today.

Zanu-PF secretary for Administration, who is also Home Affairs Minister, Cde Ignatius Chombo, delivered the message on the deceased’s national hero status at his family home in The Grange, Harare, yesterday.

He said President Mugabe, in consultation with the Politburo, had seen it befitting that Brig-Gen Murozvi be accorded national hero status.

Cde Chombo said Brig-Gen Murozvi’s work during and after the liberation struggle spoke volumes about his commitment in liberating the country, hence the highest honour.

“His Excellency, the President and First secretary of Zanu-PF, Cde Robert Mugabe, has conferred a national hero status on the late Retired Brigadier-General James Jotham Murozvi,” he said.

Dr Chombo was accompanied by Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-Political Detainees and Restrictees Minister Tshinga Dube and his Secretary Brigadier-General (Retired) Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi and Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi.

Also present were service chiefs, among them Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda and acting Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Vice Marshal Sheba Shumbayaonda.

Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi described Brig-Gen Murozvi as the face of the ministry, saying he was instrumental in amalgamating war veterans and ex-detainees.

He said as principal director, he was involved in the payment of school fees for the children of war veterans, looked after nationalists and war veteran’s welfare when they fell sick.

“I first encountered him in the early 80s,” said Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi.

“l knew him as we all progressed up the ranks. Our relationship was cemented in May last year as we were working together to establish our new ministry. His role was critical in that he was in charge of the welfare department.

“Our ministry’s core function is to deliver welfare statutory benefits that are written in law to various categories of the veterans of the liberation struggle. He carried a huge responsibility on his shoulders. We have 34 000 war veterans, and close to 20 000 widows.

“We estimate that we have about 200 000 war collaborators and there are 20 000 non-combatant cadres, those who went to war but stayed in the refugee camps with no chance to get training and 20 000 war victims, we are looking after.”

Family spokesperson Dr Augustine Murozvi said they were devastated by the passing on of Brig Gen Murozvi whom he described as a person who believed in total commitment to national duty.

“He was our family pillar, a man who stood for the needs of his family and the country at large,” he said. “He was a man who believed in family unit and his life was an inspiration to all of us. He leaves a rich legacy of work ethic and love.

“We are in mourning and we are feeling excruciating pain, but we are grateful to the President and his entire leadership team for seeing it befitting to bestow the highest honour on our land to our brother and we are taking consolation in that.”

Brig Gen Murozvi was born on June 2, 1956 in Bikita district, Masvingo, being the second born in a family of five.

He attended primary education from Standard One to three at Marozva Primary School and later his Standard four to six at Pamushana Primary School, in his home district.

He later pursued his secondary education up to Form 4 at Nyatsime College in Harare.

After completing his Form 4, he enrolled for a teacher training programme in secondary education at a training college in Gweru.

In September 1975, he joined other young men and women in sneaking into Mozambique through the Mount Selinda area in the eastern border to join the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA).

While in Mozambique, Brig Gen Murozvi played an instrumental role in the Education Department, applying the rudimentary skills he had acquired in the aborted teacher training programme to educate the young children of school going age, who were crossing the border in their thousands daily.

In 1976, he was selected to undergo military training at Takawira 2 in Chimoio, Mozambique, where he exhibited great potential, determination, courage and aptitude in military matters.

This saw him being selected in early December 1976 to go for further training in Tanzania, at Nachingueya Training Camp, as part of the 5 000-strong Songa Mbeli (Advance) Group.

His group sailed to Tanzania from Mozambique on the famous navy ship called Mapinduzi.

He played a pivotal role in the liberation struggle in various capacities before returning home in 1980.

After independence, Brig Gen Murozvi rose through the ranks and held several positions in the army before being posted to the Ministry responsible for ex-freedom fighters.

Some of his academic qualifications were Degree in Politics and Administration at the University of Zimbabwe, Master of Arts International Studies and Diplomacy (UK), Standardisation Course (Zimbabwe Military Academy) in 1980, Intermediate Intelligence Course (School of Military Intelligence) in 1983, Intermediate Staff Course (Zimbabwe Staff College) in 1984.

Mourners are gathered at number 78 Drew Road, The Grange.

Brig Gen Murozvi is survived by his wife Rtd Group Captain Joice Murozvi, three children – Brian, Faith and Charity and two grand children.

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