Perrance Shiri
BornBigboy Samson Chikerema
(1955-01-11) January 11, 1955 (age 66)
  • Minister

Perrance Shiri is a Zimbabwean politician and a retired four-star general in the Air Force of Zimbabwe. He is the current Minister of Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. Shiri retired from the Air Force of Zimbabwe where he was the Commander to pursue a career in politics. He was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshall on retirement.


He was born Bigboy Samson Chikerema on 11 January 1955.[1] Perrance Shiri was his liberation war name. In October 2013, Shiri's son, Titus Takudzwa Chikerema, died aged 21 after a short illness.[2]

Military Career

In 1986, Shiri was granted a place at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.In 1992, Shiri was appointed as the commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, taking over from Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai.

Assassination Attempt

Shiri was shot in the arm on 13 December 2008 and was admitted at an undisclosed hospital in Harare. He was reportedly ambushed on the way to his farm, which was seized from a white farmer in 2000. Then Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi, claimed the attack on Shiri had been an attempt to destabilise the country.[3]

Involvement in


Shiri was named in the UN security Council Report Plundering of DR Congo natural resources: Final report of the Panel of Experts (S/2002/1146), paragraph 27, as being involved in military procurement and organizing air support for the pro-Kinshasa armed groups fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was also part of the inner circle of ZDF diamond traders who turned Harare into a significant illicit diamond-trading centre. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Diamond Mines

In 2008 some Zimbabwean lawyers and opposition politicians from Mutare claimed that Shiri was the prime mover behind the military assaults on illegal diggers in the diamond mines in the east of Zimbabwe.[4]

Food Shortages

In 2002, in response to the subsequent food shortage, it was reported that Robert Mugabe dispatched Shiri to South Africa to purchase maize. This undertaking was reportedly backed by a credit note for the equivalent of Pound sterling £ 17 million from the Libyan leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi Colonel Gaddafi.

Farm Invasions

In the late 1990s and early 2000s Shiri was reported to have organized farm invasions by war veterans.[5]


Shiri was the first commander of the 5th Brigade, a special unit in the army of Zimbabwe known to have caused deaths mostly in Matabeleland and Midlands Province that have come to be known as Gukurahundi. From 1983 to 1984, the Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade, under Shiri's command, was reported to be responsible thousands of civilians were killed and thousands tortured.


  1. EU Sanctions, MDC Warns Amendment Sabotage, Change Zimbabwe, published: February 3, 2009, retrieved: September 23, 2016,
  2. Air Marshall Shiri’s son dies, Herald, published: October 22, 2013, retrieved: March 2, 2018
  3. Daniel Howden, 'Assassination attempt' on Mugabe henchman, Independent, published: December 17, 2008, retrieved: March 1, 2018
  4. McGreal, Chris (2008-12-11). "Bodies pile up as Mugabe wages war on diamond miners". Retrieved 2009-01-10.
  5. [ "Panorama reveals what British Government knew about Mugabe's worst crimes"] Check |url= value (help). 2002-03-10. Retrieved 2007-03-31.