By Fungai Lupande
Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Commissioner-General Major-General Paradzai Zimondi (Retired) on Saturday opened up about his personal relationship with Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (Retired), who is not only his colleague, but also a neighbour and father-in-law.
Major-Gen Zimondi (Rtd) was speaking at a ceremony at Hopedale Farm in Shamva to celebrate Air Chief Marshal Shiri’s (Rtd) appointment as a Politburo member in zanu-pf, as well as the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.
“He was my instructor together with Rex Tichafa at Mgagao Training Camp in Tanzania in 1975,” he said.
“I am his product and I learnt from the best.
“When I went to war between 1976 and 1977, Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) was an organised leader. He was teaching organised soldiers, that is why we won the war.
He is a good captain. After independence, he was here farming at Matepatepa, Ruya. I visited him and he always loved Mashonaland Central.
“The late General Solomon Mujuru asked me to go and see where Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) was and bring him back. I went to see him and asked why he had come to Mash Central, but did not tell him that Gen Mujuru had sent me.”
Comm-Gen Zimondi said during the visit, Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) later advised him that there was a vacant property next to his farm, which he later took up and became his neighbour.
“He took me around the farm and showed me Arcadia Dam,” he said. “He advised me that a farm next to him, which was owned by a white farmer known as David Butler was vacant.
“I contacted the late Governor for Mash Central, Cde Ephraim Masawi and I never went back. He was my neighbour since then.”
Comm-Gen Zimondi said the relationship between the two even became stronger after his younger brother advised him that he had seen a beautiful girl, who was Air Chief Marshal Shiri’s sister.
“I told him to marry her,” he said.
“He is my father-in-law, and she gave us beautiful children. I learnt farming from him and I have learnt a lot from him over the years. When the elders choose someone to lead, they are satisfied.
“He is capable; please support him. When Mash Central succeeds, the country shares the success too.” The Herald