Thousands of mourners yesterday thronged the National Heroes Acre in Harare for the burial of national hero Major-General Trust Mugoba.
President Mnangagwa said in his eulogy that Maj-Gen MUgoba was a selfless individual who dedicated his life to the liberation of the country and Africa.
Maj-Gen Mugoba died at the Avenues Clinic last Friday.
Proceedings started in the morning at Stodart Hall in Mbare where scores of people gathered to bid farewell to the gallant son of the soil.
By 8am, mourners from different walks of life had started gathering at the iconic hall to celebrate a cadre who dedicated his life to serve, not only his family, but the nation, earning him the nickname “Heart Condition” because of his unconditional love.
Mbare residents lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the procession, as Zanu-PF supporters sang different revolutionary and gospel songs, while waving flags and dancing.
Dignitaries also started arriving at Stodart Hall around 8am.
First to arrive were Cabinet Ministers, who received wild cheers from youths and Mbare Chimurenga Choir.
The gun carriage with the body of the national hero arrived accompanied by relatives and friends.
Service chiefs led by the Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Philip Valerio Sibanda arrived and waited for the arrival of President Mnangagwa around 9am.
Home Affairs and Cultural Affairs Minister Cain Mathema led the body viewing ceremony and as soon as the President arrived and consoled family members, body viewing began.
The President led the body viewing followed by the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa, Ministers and service chiefs.
At the National Heroes Acre, various choral groups sang revolutionary songs and danced.
Several placards were on display with various messages that include; “No to violence and illegal sanctions”, “Sanctions: ordinary people suffering the most”, “Unity, Peace and Development” and “Go well our Chief of Staff”.
Proceedings began with Bishop Chemist Pfimbi reading from the Bible.
Mrs Grace Mabika, the Mugoba family representative, was invited by master of ceremony Minister Mathema to make her remarks.
Mrs Mabika is sister to the late Maj-Gen Mugoba.
She said her brother was appreciated by people from all occupations, and was a unifying figure.
Maj-Gen Mugoba, Mrs Mabika revealed, declined a scholarship to study medicine in the UK after independence as he put the interests of the country and his family ahead of his personal ambitions.
President Mnangagwa then took to the podium.
He said the death of Maj-Gen Mugoba on Friday came as a double blow to the nation.
“A sombre mood engulfed the nation on Friday 6 September 2019, as we received the sad news of his untimely death, hours after receiving equally disturbing news of the passing on of our founding Father and revolutionary icon, the late former President His Excellency, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe,” said President Mnangagwa.
“It is a heavy double blow that has been dealt to our nation.”
President Mnangagwa narrated Maj-Gen Mugoba’s history during and after the liberation struggle, saying he exhibited exceptional leadership qualities.
Maj-Gen Mugoba (60) whose Chimurenga name was Joseph Zulu, was a former Chief-of-Staff in the Zimbabwe National Army and at the time of his death he had been seconded to the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as the Chief of Staff Africa Stand-by Force.
President Mnangagwa described the late national hero as a selfless individual who had dedicated his life for the liberation of the country and the African cause.
“It is that record which has earned him a place in our hearts, indeed which has inspired our decision to lay him to rest at this shrine of honour, the National Heroes Acre,” he said.
The late Maj-Gen Mugoba was born on November 2, 1959 in the Midlands Province, Nuanetsi District and did his primary education in Mberengwa and Chivhu.
He received military training at Takawira Training Camp in Mozambique and advanced training at Nachingweya in Tanzania.
The late national hero survived the Chimoio bombing by the Rhodesian Army in 1977.
“At independence, the gallant freedom fighter was attested into the ZNA in August 1981 at the rank of Lieutenant,” said President Mnangagwa. “He served in various capacities and ranks.”
President Mnangagwa said when Renamo became a security threat and destabilising factor in Mozambique and the country’s eastern border, Maj-Gen Mugoba was posted to the Parachute Group as its commander and led the capture of the Renamo base at Gorongoza, in Mozambique.
Maj-Gen Mugoba was promoted to the rank of Major General in 2008 where he assumed the post of Chief of Staff Administration and Quartermaster Staff at the ZNA headquarters and in January 2012 he was appointed Chief of Staff Administration Staff.
In 2015, he was appointed Chief of Staff General Staff and in September of the same year he was appointed General Officer Commanding a Sadc Special Forces Exercise, which was held in Kariba, were 10 Sadc countries participated.
A month later he also led Exercise Amani Africa II, which was a continental exercise held in South Africa.
The later, Maj-Gen Mugoba was awarded the Independence, Liberation, Service, Long and Exemplary Service, Mozambique Campaign, DRC Campaign medals and the Grand Officer of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award.
Maj Gen Mugoba is survived by his wife Peddie, nine children and three grandchildren.