Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
President Mnangagwa has sent his condolence message to the family of Zanu-PF Midlands provincial deputy chairperson Cde Goodwill Shiri, who was accorded the provincial hero status and buried on Sunday at Gweru Provincial Heroes Acre.
Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu led senior party and Government officials at the burial of Cde Shiri (61).
Dr Mpofu said President Mnangagwa had other commitments, but because he valued the contribution made by Cde Shiri to the country before and after Independence, he had sent him to come and pay his last respects.
“It is with great pain and sorrow that I have learnt of the passing away of Cde Goodwill Shiri, the vice chairman of Midlands Province,” said President Mnangagwa in a condolence message read by Dr Mpofu.
“On behalf of Zanu-PF and on my own behalf, I wish to convey our heartfelt and deepest condolences to the Shiri family. His passing away has robbed the family of a husband, son, father and breadwinner.”
President Mnangagwa said Cde Shiri served the party loyally in the Zanu-PF Youth League, rising to the position of secretary for Commissariat at national level.
“Along the way, he was victimised and punished in spite of him being innocent,” he said.
“Cde Shiri continued to serve his party with distinction. He understood the principle of the supremacy of the party.
“To that extent, Cde Shiri never questioned when the party directed him to cede the national Central Committee position he held to assume the lower level position of vice chairman at provincial level.
“To Cde Shiri, the party came first, not positions.
“As we mourn his untimely departure, let us continue to be inspired by Cde Shiri’s example of dedication, loyalty, sacrifice, clarity of mind and action.
“May his legacy give confidence to many in the party and in particular those in the Youth League.”
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial chairperson Engineer Daniel McKenzie Ncube said Cde Shiri was a dedicated and a true Zanu-PF cadre.
“He was uncompromising when it came to the party and President Mnangagwa,” he said.
“He cried all the way from Gwanda to Gweru when President Mnangagwa was poisoned. That’s how loyal and committed he was to him and the party.
“When it came to Zimbabwe, he was uncompromising.
“Yes, he might have been born and grew up in Mberengwa, but he did not belong to Mberengwa alone, but to the whole of Midlands Province.
“He went to war and was prepared to die for the people of Zimbabwe. He was a true friend and true fighter before and after Independence.”
Cde Albert Hungwe Shiri, father to Cde Shiri, said his son worked for the family and also for Zanu-PF with love and dedication.
“Zanu-PF saw it fit to accord him with this hero status and we are grateful to the Government for this gesture. Zanu-PF,” he said.
Cde Shiri was killed in a road accident on Monday evening after a bus, which was trying to avoid stray donkeys, landed on top of his car near Gwenoro Turn-off along the Gweru-Bulawayo Road.
Cde Shiri joined the liberation struggle in 1978.
He was trained at Mavhombe Base in Mozambique by the likes of Cde George Rutanhire.
Cde Shiri was deployed to Rushinga District during the liberation struggle.
At Independence, he joined the Ministry of Youths, Sports and Culture until 1989. He was transferred to the Ministry of Political Affairs in 1990.
In 1999, Cde Shiri was elected Zanu-PF Youths League national political commissar.
In 2004, he was elected into the Central Committee under Midlands Province. He retained the same position in 2014.
In 2017, Cde Shiri was co-opted into the Midlands Provincial Executive as vice chairman, a position he held until his untimely death.
Cde Shiri is survived by his wife Sithembile and three daughters.