By Freeman Razemba and Walter Nyamukondiwa
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday conferred provincial hero status on the late Central Intelligence Office Deputy Director (Special Projects – Non-Traditional Threats) Nickson Chirinda who died in a car accident over the weekend.
In a statement, Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services principal director Mr Regis Chikowore said funeral arrangements would be announced in due course.
“The Acting Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Ray Ndhlukula, has announced the conferment of provincial hero status by His Excellency the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, on the late Cde Nickson Chirinda, a Deputy Director in the President’s Department.
“Cde Chirinda died on Saturday night following a road traffic accident near Chinhoyi. He has been granted a State-assisted funeral and funeral arrangements will be announced in due course,” he said.
Earlier, ZANU-PF Mashonaland West province had requested national hero status for Chirinda saying he had contributed significantly to the country before and after Independence.
In an interview, provincial chairman Ziyambi Ziyambi said the formal request had been forwarded to the party head office.
Chirinda died on the spot when his Toyota Landcruiser rammed into the trailer of a haulage truck at the 117km peg along the Harare-Chirundu highway on Saturday night.
“It is a great loss for us as Mashonaland West province following the death of Cde Chirinda. As a province, we have looked at his history and contribution. We see that Cde Chirinda was a major farmer in the province and he is a former combatant who fought in the war,” said Ziyambi.
“He worked in Government for a long time and as Mashonaland West province we have requested the party to accord him a status that befits his contribution which is national hero status.”
Mashonaland West Minister of State Webster Shamu expressed his condolences to the Chirinda family saying they should get solace in the knowledge that their grief was shared by everyone.
“His death has robbed the people of Mashonaland West and Zimbabwe of a revolutionary stalwart at a time when we needed him the most as having entered a new era ushered in by Operation Restore Legacy where hard work and a shared vision are propelling us towards economic recovery,” he said.
“Family members should find solace in that their grief is shared by all of us and that we have them in all our prayers.”
Shamu implored Chinhoyi Municipality to work closely with the police to establish the cause and circumstances of the accident. Chirinda is survived by four children – two boys and two girls. Mourners are gathered at Number 30 Angel King Road in Mzari suburb, Chinhoyi.
A proficient farmer at his Rainfield Farm just after Lions Den, Chirinda specialised in wheat and maize farming. The Herald