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Nyikayaramba declared “National Hero”

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique and Retired Lieutenant-General (Retired) Douglas Nyikayaramba, who succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Tuesday has been declared a national hero.

Zimbabwe's ambassador to Mozambique and Retired Lieutenant-General (Retired) Douglas Nyikayaramba, who succumbed to Covid-19 (Picture by Zimpapers Images)
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique and Retired Lieutenant-General (Retired) Douglas Nyikayaramba, who succumbed to Covid-19 (Picture by Zimpapers Images)

Nyikayaramba, who passed on at St Anne’s Hospital was described by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in his condolence message, as “a strong revolutionary cadre who continued to serve his country after independence with “utmost loyalty, dedication and commitment”.

The 60-year-old will be buried at a date yet to be advised.

Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Zanu-PF national chairperson, was dispatched to the Nyikayaramba family home in Nyambira, Mashonaland West yesterday evening by President Mnangagwa to deliver the special message.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said President Mnangagwa and the party saw it fit to honour Nyikayaramba as a national hero for the contributions he made during the liberation struggle and after independence.

“The party led by the President looked at the illustrious journey he travelled which it feels young people should emulate. It was therefore unanimously felt that he deserved the highest honour, that of national hero, so I have to convey the message that the President saw it befitting to declare him as national hero,” said Minister Muchinguri.

She chronicled the road travelled by Nyikayaramba from the time he left school to join the liberation struggle and the role he played after the liberation struggle.

She said Ambassador Nyikayaramba was appointed to represent Zimbabwe in Mozambique because of his knowledge of critical national issues.

“He was a decorated soldier who defended the country’s interests hence the President and the party felt he deserves the highest honour,” said Minister Muchinguri.

“We now have new threats such as Covid-19 which we need to be wary of. While we are happy that the number of the infections are going down we cannot be complacent,” Minister Muchinguri said.

Zimbabwe's ambassador to Mozambique and Retired Lieutenant-General (Retired) Douglas Nyikayaramba, (left) who succumbed to Covid-19 complications
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique and Retired Lieutenant-General (Retired) Douglas Nyikayaramba, (left) who succumbed to Covid-19 complications

Family spokesperson Mr Frazer Zvina Nyikayaramba said the family had been honoured by the decision to grant their son the highest honour bestowed on the country’s luminaries.

“We are happy with the honour bestowed on my younger brother. We humbly request that you convey our gratitude to President Mnangagwa,” said Frazer, who is elder brother to the late national hero.

He described his brother as a unifier in the family.

On the other hand, the late Lieutenant-General’s (Rtd) son Kelvin described his father as someone who was ever determined to satisfy the needs of every family member.

A devout member of the Johane Masowe Apostolic church, Nyikayaramba was described by his fellow church members as a down-to-earth-man.

A member of the church Mebiloshenzi Chipango said Ambassador Nyikayaramba was a humble man who never threw his weight around even as an army general. “He would sit down just like everyone else. You would never know that he had that high rank in the army, “ he said.

The late, Nyikayaramba, whose nom de guerre, during the armed liberation struggle was Blessing Muhondo was born on 09 January 1960 in Mutoko District, Mashonaland East Province in a family of eleven.

He did his primary education at Kowo Primary School before proceeding for secondary education at Nyamuzuwe High School in Mutoko District in 1974. He later wrote O-levels at Marlborough High School.

Nyikayaramba grew up in a village environment where all the injustices of the colonial regime were manifested and that made him conscious of the political injustices prevalent during those times.

In the face of such injustices which made life unbearable, the late General became an active youth in the Nehanda Sector and was instrumental in organising clothing and cash from students at Nyamuzuwe High School for the comrades who were operating in the area. He later joined the liberation struggle in Nyamuzuwe in 1977, and trained in Mozambique at Tembwe Base Two.

On completion he was appointed Company Political Commissar. He later went for further training in Tanzania.

Nyikayaramba leaves behind a wife Elina, nine children and nine grandchildren. The Herald

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