Edzai Chimonyo

Revision as of 18:36, 12 July 2021 by Tayananiswa (talk | contribs) (→‎References)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Lieutenant-General, Ambassador
Edzai Chimonyo
Edzai-Chimonyo.jpg
Image Credit Herald
Died8 July 2021
Avenues Clinic
Cause of deathCancer
Occupation


Edzai Absolom Chanyuka Chimonyo was a Zimbabwean military general and former commander of the Zimbabwe National Army. He assumed his position on the 18th of December 2017 when he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He took over from General Philip Valerio Sibanda, who was promoted to be the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (CDF)

Background

Before he was appointed as the Commander of the ZNA, Chimonyo was on secondment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Tanzania.

Second Chimurenga Contribution

Chimonyo participated in the liberation struggle.[1] His nom de guerre during the liberation struggle, which he joined in 1975, was Edzai Mabhunu. Edzai Chimonyo trained in both Mozambique and Tanzania. He later became a key instructor. [2]

ZNA

He joined the Zimbabwe National Army where he led units of the ZNA to countries like Mozambique, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.[2]

Appointment as ZNA Commander

In March 2018, at a ceremony held at One Commando, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda, officially handed over command of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) to Commander Lieutenant-General Edzayi Chimonyo. Vice President, Retired General Constantino Chiwenga witnessed the ceremony and indicated :

I, therefore, call upon you to maintain the same vigour, dedication and allegiance in your new assignment as Commander ZDF. To the incoming Commander ZNA, your promotion and appointment was based on distinction and merit as you have shown great visionary leadership as a distinguished liberation fighter, decorated military commander and shrewd ambassador. As you assume a higher and more challenging assignment, I have no doubt that you take a leading role in further developing the ZNA into a reputable, competent, professional and highly disciplined force. [3]

Role In Gukurahundi

According to a Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace report, Chimonyo deputised the late former Airforce of Zimbabwe commander Perrance Shiri as commander of the 5th Brigade which spearheaded the Gukurahundi massacres in which thousands of people died in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

He was later to take over from current Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga as commander of the Bulawayo-based 1 Brigade.[4]

Health Problems

In December 2020 it was reported that Chimonyo had been airlifted to India. He was reportedly suffering from lung complications.[5]

Death

On 8 July 2021, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba announced Edzai Chimonyo's death on Twitter. He revealed that Chimonyo succumbed to cancer at Avenues Clinic. He tweeted:

"DEVASTATED TO ANNOUNCE THE PASSING ON OF GENERAL CHIMONYO EARLY THIS MORNING AFTER A LONG FIGHT AGAINST CANCER. GO WELL FREEDOM FIGHTER, COMMANDER AND AMBASSADOR!"[6]

References

  1. Columbus Mabika, JUST IN: Army Commander Edzai Chimonyo Dies, The Herald, Published: July 8, 2021, Retrieved: July 8, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fungai Kwaramba, ‘General’s death a blow to the nation’, The Herald, Published: July 9, 2021, Retrieved: July 9, 2021
  3. Sibanda Hands Over Reins To New Zimbabwe National Army Commander, PindulaNews, Published: 14 March 2018 , Retrieved: 15 March 2017
  4. Chimonyo: Gukurahundi follows him to the grave, The Independent, Published: July 9, 2021, Retrieved: July 10, 2019
  5. ZNA Commander Flown To India For Medical Treatment, Pindula News, Published: December 13, 2020, Retrieved: December 13, 2020
  6. Jamwanda, Twitter, Published: July 7, 2021, Retrieved: July 7, 2021