Paradzai Zimondi
Paradzai Zimondi.jpg
BornParadzai Zimondi
(1947-03-04)March 4, 1947
DiedJanuary 22, 2021(2021-01-22) (aged 73)
Cause of deathCovid-19

Paradzai Zimondi was the former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) commissioner-general. He died on 22 January 2021 from Covid-19.

Zimondi’s death came barely hours after the announcement of the death of Joel Biggie Matiza who also succumbed to COVID-19.


Zimondi was born in Uzumba District, Mashonaland East Province to Charles and Abigail Zimondi (née Karimazondo). He was the first born in a family of seven children, namely: Lovemore (late), Stanley, Netsai, Arthur, Kudzayi and Salome Spiwe.


Zimondi was born on 4 March 1947.[1]


He was married to Annie Flora Imagine Chairuka.[1]


He had three children, namely: Hilda (late), Rufaro and Abigail Upenyu.


He did his primary education at Makosa, Mvuma and Manyika schools and proceeded to Nyamuzuwe High School, Mutoko, for his secondary education.


Zimbababwe National Army

After independence in 1980, Zimondi was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army as a colonel and rose through the ranks to become Major-General.

He held various commanding posts in the army, including being Commander of Presidential Guard.[2]

In April 1981 he was appointed Deputy Commander 2 Infantry Brigade. In 1983, he was promoted to Commander Presidential Guard in 1983 and served in that post up to 1984. At the end of 1984, he was transferred to Army headquarters and appointed Colonel General Staff. At the height of the Mozambican Campaign in 1987, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and appointed Commander 1 Infantry Brigade, a post he held until 1990.

During his tenure as Commander 1 Infantry Brigade, he carried out major operations to safeguard Zimbabwe’s lifeline to the sea, the Beira Corridor (road, rail and the oil pipeline). He was instrumental in the Gorongoza 2 military operation in which 1 Infantry Brigade together with Zimbabwean Special Forces captured the RENAMO rebels’ headquarters and stronghold that was in the strategic Gorongoza mountain.


Zimonde retired from the top prisons post in November 2020 after 22 years of service which began in 1998 when he was 51. He joined the Zimbabwe Prison Services as a Deputy Commissioner in 1997 and in July the same year undertook a study of British, Danish and Swedish prison systems.

In 1998, he was appointed Acting Commissioner following the retirement of Langton Chigwida the previous year. Chigwida had been at the helm of the prison service since 1984.

Zimondi was appointed as a substantive commissioner on April 1, 1998.[2]

Awards and Medals

Zimondi was honoured and awarded the following medals:

  • Liberation Medal-for his gallantry and selfless dedication to the liberation of Zimbabwe.

  • Independence Medal-for his contribution towards the independence of Zimbabwe.

  • Ten Years’ Service-for his immense contribution to the integration, formation and development of the Zimbabwe National Army during the first ten years of its existence.

  • Long and Exemplary Medal-for his exemplary service for continuous fifteen years.

  • Mozambique Campaign Medal-for his contribution towards the restoration of peace and stability in Mozambique.

  • Grand Officer of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit- for his eminent achievement and distinguished service to Zimbabwe and humanity at large.

Second Chimurenga Contribution

He joined the liberation struggle and received military training at Mgagao Training Camp, Tanzania in 1974. His nom de guerre was Cde Tonderai Nyika.

Zimondi was posted to Chimoio, Mozambique, where he assumed the position of a trainer. He was later deployed to Gaza Province before being reassigned to Manica Province where he was appointed Field Operations Commander from 1977 taking over command from Happison Muchechetere.

As the Provincial Commander for Manica Province, Zimondi successfully commanded ZANLA combatants in battles that include the Ruda, Gandayi, attack on Umtali (Mutare), Mavhonde and Grand Reef battles.

The Mavhonde and Grand Reef battles are regarded as the major and decisive battles that broke the spine of the Rhodesian Forces.

The Grand Reef Battle was launched in retaliation to the Rhodesians’ attack of the Chimoio Refugee Camp. In recognition of his humble and exemplary leadership, command abilities, bravery and dedication to the liberation of Zimbabwe, Zimondi was appointed member of the ZANLA High Command, a grouping of senior soldiers whose mandate was to plan and direct the execution of the liberation struggle.


Zimondi died from Covid-19 on 22 January 2021.

Zimondi’s death came barely hours after the announcement of the death of Joel Biggie Matiza who also succumbed to COVID-19.


  1. 1.0 1.1 List of persons closely associated with Robert Mugabe..., NewZealand Immigration, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: January 22, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 Prisons boss Zimondi retires, The Herald, Published: July 15, 2020, Retrieved: January 22, 2021