Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Brig-Gen Bandama is national hero

By Felex Share

HARARE – Commander of 3 Infantry Brigade in Mutare Brigadier-General Eliah Bandama, who died last Friday at West End Hospital in Harare, has been declared a national hero.

Brigadier General Eliah Bandama
Brigadier General Eliah Bandama

He was 56. Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa confirmed the conferment of national hero status on Brig-Gen Bandama yesterday.

“He has been declared a national hero and we will consult with the family tomorrow (today) morning on the burial arrangements,” he said.

“That is when we will tell you the burial date.”

Brig-Gen Bandama’s body was lying in state at One Commando Barracks in Harare after it was taken to his farm in Chipinge over the weekend.

Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial chairman Ambassador John Mvundura described the conferment of national hero status as befitting, saying Brig-Gen Bandama contributed immensely to the liberation of the country.

“His contributions were not only in the army, but in the liberation and development of the country. I was with him at Chibawawa in the 1970s before he was taken for military training.

“At independence when others thought they had finished the war, he chose the route of protecting what he had fought for, that is, he continued working in defence of the country in the army.”

Ambassador Mvundura said Brig-Gen Bandama played a pivotal role in the Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo campaigns for peace.

“At the same time, he rose through the ranks in the army on merit as he went through normal procedures because of his contributions,” he said.

“We worked well with him in the party and although he was polite, he was very strong when it came to decision-making. We thank the party (Zanu-PF) for recognising these contributions.”

Brig-Gen Bandama, whose Chimurenga name was Spins Nhamoyesango, was born on December 1, 1958 in Chipinge.

Before completing his secondary education at Chikore Mission, he left the then Rhodesia for Mozambique en-route to Zambia and Tanzania in 1975.

He had earlier on been jailed in Chipinge and Mutare following clashes with racist school authorities.

While in Mozambique, Brig-Gen Bandama was arrested together with colleagues on suspicion of being British South Africa Police agents.

They were transferred to Posto Machazi as prisoners where they met other Zimbabweans, with their numbers there increasing until there were 6 000 of them.

They were addressed by President Mugabe and after that Brig-Gen Bandama was able to enter several military training camps.

At Chomupani Camp in 1977, Brig-Gen Bandama sustained injuries on his knee and thighs from multiple shots by Rhodesian helicopter gunships.

He was later chosen to undergo further military training in China and at ceasefire, Brig-Gen Bandama was among the first group selected to form the Zimbabwe National Army.

In 2005, Brig-Gen Bandama was appointed commandant of the Zimbabwe Military Academy before he was posted to Army Headquarters three years later as Colonel (Staff General Branch).

In 2010, he was promoted to Brig-Gen and appointed commander 4 Infantry Brigade after which he was moved to 3 Infantry Brigade in the same capacity.

Brig-Gen Bandama is survived by his wife Florence and four children. The Herald