By Zvamaida Murwira
Ambassador Douglas Nyikayaramba, who succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Tuesday, will be buried tomorrow at the National Heroes Acre at a funeral to be presided over by President Mnangagwa.
Ambassador Nyikayaramba, who retired from the military in 2019 to join the diplomatic service was declared a national hero on Wednesday after the governing party unanimously agreed that the liberation war hero, whose Chimurenga name was Blessing Mohondo, deserved the highest honour.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe confirmed the development yesterday, saying the burial will be held under strict Covid-19 conditions as recommended by the World Health Organisation.
“We met with family members this afternoon to discuss the burial and related aspects. We subsequently agreed that burial will be held on Saturday. His Excellency, the President will preside over the burial,” said Minister Kazembe.
“The burial will be held under strict conditions where few people will be allowed at the national shrine in terms of the World Health Organisation. Those who are supposed to attend will be notified and one should not attend if he or she has not been notified. This is in line with the spirit to observe WHO protocols regarding burial, consistent with the desire to contain Covid-19.”
A devout member of the Johanne Masowe Vadzidzi VaJesu vekwaMajinesta Apostolic sect, Amb Nyikayaramba was also a decorated soldier who won several accolades during his time in the army where he rose through the ranks to the rank of lieutenant general upon retirement.
In his condolence message, President Mnangagwa described him as “a strong revolutionary cadre who continued to serve his country after independence with utmost loyalty, dedication and commitment”.
“In the passing on of Lieutenant General Nyikayaramba, Zimbabwe has lost a veteran of the armed liberation struggle, a strong revolutionary cadre who continued to serve his country after independence with utmost loyalty, dedication and commitment to promoting and safeguarding the country’s territorial and national interests.
“His track record in the military speaks volumes about the strong leadership qualities he had which resulted in his meteoric rise to the rank of lieutenant general, the position he held when he retired from the army in 2019. His military achievements are a matter of record and too numerous to mention. The honours, titles and decorations that were bestowed on him in the course of his military service crown it all,” the President said.
Lt Gen Nyikayaramba (Retired) was among the first group of ZANLA cadres, who underwent a regular officer cadet training at Nachingweya in Tanzania, under the tutelage of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces.
Addressing mourners at his family home in Nyabira on Wednesday, Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Zanu PF national chairperson, described Amb Nyikayaramba as someone who was resolute and unwavering in defending the ethos of the liberation struggle.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri had gone to deliver the message conferring national hero status to Amb Nyikayaramba at his family home in Nyabira, Mashonaland West Province.
She said President Mnangagwa and the party saw it fit to honour Amb Nyikayaramba as a national hero for his contribution to the country during and after the liberation struggle.
She chronicled the road travelled by Amb Nyikayaramba from the time he left school to join the liberation struggle and the role he played after the liberation struggle.
Amb Nyikayaramba was born on January 9, 1960, in Mutoko District, Mashonaland East Province, in a family of 11.
He leaves behind a wife Elina, nine children and nine grandchildren. The Herald.