UPDATES: Paidamoyo Chipunza and Simiso Mlevu
PHOTOGRAPHY: Innocent Makawa and Wilson Kakurira
EDITOR: Costa Mano
1409: The National Anthem is now being sung marking the end to proceedings here at the national shrine. That concludes our updates. Thank you for joining us.
1355: President Mugabe is now leading the laying of wreaths.
1344: President Mugabe, Murozvi family members and service chiefs have arrived at the grave. The body is now being interred as the gun salute rings.
1331: Dr Chombo thanks President Mugabe for his consoling address and invites him to accompany the deceased to his final resting place.The body of Brig-Gen Murozvi is now being carried to its final resting place at the National Heroes Acre.
1323: President Mugabe concludes his remarks by bidding farewell to the late Brig-Gen Murozvi.
“Fare well dear soldier,” he says.
1321: President Mugabe says Brig-Gen Murozvi joins his departed colleagues who fought for a common cause.
“All comrades lying here fought for the revolutionary cause. Them, like their colleague who is joining them today, never prevaricated.”
1315: He says Brig-Gen was the holder of several medals that included the Liberation, Independence, Ten Year Service, 15 Years, Mozambqiue campaign and the DRC campaign medals.
1307: President Mugabe says when the ceasefire agreement was reached Brig-Gen Murozvi was among those that remained in their areas of operation during war as they were skeptical of the sincerity of the Rhodesians.
” He later became active in the Zimbabwe National Army, starting at a Lieutenant and rising through the ranks to become a Brigadier General.”
President Mugabe says during the struggle, Cde James Tichatonga participated in operations butterfly and cobweb in Mozambique. Talking of Brigadier Murozvi’s affinity for education, President Mugabe says he acquired four academic degrees.
1302: The President chronicles the journey travelled by Brig-Gen Murozvi.
He says he played a very important role in Mozambique as a member of the education committee. He ably and consciously applied skills he had acquired at a teacher training college. After receiving specialised military training, Cde Murozvi was deployed where he distinguished himself as a hard worker in the Manica Province in Mozambique.
“Some of the commanders that he worked with during the country’s struggle for Independence testify of his commitment. Some of those commanders are Major General Paradzai Zimondi,”
1259: “When he was appointed, he never complained or made noise. He was different from those who thought being a war veteran is license to do what I want. He was not like that. He knew that the party leads the people.”
1255: “In my view, Cde James was full of respect. We seconded him to the Ministry of the Welfare of War Veterans after noting that he was a learned man and his education was well complemented by discipline.”
1248: President Mugabe says the late Brig-Gen Murozvi dedicated his life to the struggle and left home to join the fight.
“He went even though there was never any certainty that one will come back.”
1247: “To the Cdes here present, we heard the history of Cde James Tichatonga. Some, we knew and some of the things we didn’t.”
1246: “May I, on behalf of the Government, pay condolences to the Murozvi family. To the Murozvi family, we are pained as you are, for the late James served us all well.”
1244: “His death which has shocked all of us, has robbed the nation, the party, army, the Murozvi family and civil service of a committed man.”
1240: President Mugabe is now on the podium.
1238: Dr Chombo makes salutations and recognises the presence of senior government officials, service chiefs, CJ Malaba, the deceased’s family and mourners in general. He also takes time to invite President Mugabe to address mourners gathered here at the national shrine. As President moves to the podium, mourners rise and he advises them to take their seats.
1233: Dr Muzvuru also pays tribute to service chiefs and military staff for working well with James whose Chimurenga name was Cde James Tichatonga. He has finished his address.
1232: “On behalf of departed James’ family, I would like to pay tribute to you President Sir, for this gesture.”
1231: Brig-Gen Murozvi has been described as a man who had a passion for education.
“When his tenure as a defence attachee ended in London, he brought home five tonnes of text books and donated to schools in Bikita.”
1229: Dr Muzvuru says James’ home was more like a transit camp for relatives who came to look for opportunities in the city.
“He was always willing to help those in need and was good friends with his four year old grand child, who was the last to see him before he collapsed.”
1228: The Director of Ceremonies has invited Murozvi family representative, Dr Augustine Muzvuru to give remarks.
Dr Muzvuru says James remained so humble despite all his achievements in life. He was a loving family man. He loved his wife, Joice, dearly.
“When they got married soon after independence, the wife’s highest qualification was a mere Junior certificate. James encouraged her to pursue education.
Today, she is a proud holder of a Masters Degree in Economics.
1206: The casket is now being placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
1202: The body of Brig-Gen Murozvi has arrived at the national shrine. President Mugabe has also arrived.
1135: VP Mnangagwa has arrived at the national shrine and joins CJ Malaba and Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe in the VVIP tent.
1122: The Minister of Home Affairs who is the Director of State Ceremonies, Dr Chombo has arrived at National Heroes Acre. His arrival, most likely signals that official proceedings are about resume here.
1115: Service chiefs and senior Government officials who attended the service at Stodart Hall have arrived at the national shrine.
1053: Revolutionary songs like ‘Nora’, being played here at he national shrine force mourners to the dance floor.
1049: President Mugabe has arrived at Stodart Hall and will now lead the body viewing ceremony.
1035: Vice President Emmerson Mangagwa has arrived at Stodart Hall.
1031: Chief Justice Luke Malaba has also joined mourners gathered at the national shrine.
1029: Senior Government officials have started arriving here at National Heroes Acre. Among them is Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Joseph Made as well as Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora.
1017: Service chiefs have arrived at Stodart Hall.
1006: Meanwhile, people have started trickling into the National Heroes Acre.
0946: State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi arrives.
0943: Minister of Defence Dr Sydney Sekeramayi has arrived.
0936: Minister of Home Affairs Dr Ignatius Chombo has arrived.
0930: The number of mourners continues to swell outside the community centre.
0920: The body of Brigadier-General Murozvi has arrived at Stodart Hall.
0900: A huge crowd has gathered outside Stodart Hall in Mbare to bid farewell to national hero, Brigadier-General James Jotham Murozvi — whose Chimurenga name was James Tichatonga — who died last Thursday.