UPDATES: Costa Mano; PHOTOGRAPHY: Wilson Kakurira; PICTURE EDITING: Joseph Murisi
1030: The official proceedings have ended here and that concludes our updates.
1023: President Mnangagwa is now being accompanied by Commander Defence Forces General Constantino Chiwenga to the Saluting Dais where he will take his last salute.
1020: Amai Tongogara is now on the podium and says today is the biggest day of her life. She speaks of her gratitude at having the barracks renamed in honour of her late husband.
“As Zimbabweans, we hold our heads high in pride of our nation, its government and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces who guard this history,”
She says a momentous occasion like this cannot happen overnight and has been in the pipeline for a long time.
She finishes her address.
1015: “In concluding my remarks I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the nation, the Tongogara family and other families as well as my apologies for the delay in recognising our heroes,”
He ends by calling for unity in enabling the regeneration of Zimbabwe.
1012: His Excellency asks the children to stand up and says “as you can see the names show that they were given by a man at war,”
1011: President Mnangagwa says there’s no doubt that the name Tongogara is associated with Zimbabwe’s liberation. He displayed true resistance against the Rhodesian forces and showed commitment to the liberation cause.
1008: “It not possible to exhaust all the good works the late general did. The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is now introducing public lectures through which they’ll share the history of the country’s road to liberation so as to avoid the pitfalls of yesterday,”
1007: “The renaming of our institutions goes a long way in preserving our nation’s history that we will bequeath to future generations. We should never ever forget the role played by the rest of the late gallant sons and daughters in liberating the country and as such the renaming of these containments should not appear as if it’s erasing the exploits of other cadres who are too many to mention,”
1001: President Mnangagwa says Cde Tongarara was one of the greatest military strategists who went for his initial training in 1965 before going for further training in 1967 in China. He was heavily involved in the recruitment of ZANLA cadres in Zambia.
0949: President Mnangagwa is now on the podium.
0940: President Mnangagwa has unveiled the plaque.
0937: Minister Mohadi has now invited President Mnangagwa to unveil the plaque. Cde Tongogara’s widow Amai Angeline Tongogara and children who include Hondo, Conrad, Tichafa, Bvumai, Granger and Nyaradzo are in attendance.
0932: He says he is humbled by an occasion which was long overdue and that breaks from the shackles that tied the country to it’s colonial past. Minister Mohadi says Cde Tongogara was his commander and friend whom he met and worked with in Zambia when Cde Mohadi joined the struggle in 1971. He says Cde Tongarara was above party politics who didn’t know of Zanu or Zapu. Cde Mohadi says this is one of the most important days of his life and feels humbled to be part of the Tongogara family. He says he felt he had been in the wilderness and is now home. He says it is his singular privilege and honour, which he has never been given before, to invite President Mnangagwa to come unveil the plaque.
0929: Minister of Defence, Security and War Veterans Kembo Mohadi is now on the podium.
0915: Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba spoke of the immense role played by the Cde Tongogara in the liberation of the country.
0900: Army barracks countrywide will officially be renamed today, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa presiding over the main event at King George VI Barracks in Harare, which has since been renamed after late national Hero Cde Josiah Magama Tongogara. All other army barracks will now bear the names of national heroes.