You are here:Home>National Assembly Hansard>Vol. 35>NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 31 MARCH 2009 VOL. 35 NO. 27



Tuesday, 31st March, 2009

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O'clock p.m.


(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)



MR. SPEAKER: I would like to inform the House that hon. members have been invited to finger lunch on Wednesday, 1st April, 2009 starting at 1130 hours at ZIMOCO the corner of Third Street and George Silundika Avenue.


MR. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that all hon. members are invited to a half-day workshop on the role and function of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Thursday, 2nd April, 2009 from 0830 hours to 1200 hours at Rainbow Tours.


MR. SPEAKER: I would also like to inform the hon. members from the Harare Metropolitan Province that they are invited to a Public meeting organized by the Community Radio Harare at the New Ambassador Hotel on Thursday, 2nd April, 2009 from 1730 hours to 1900 hours



MR. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the hon. members that the Standing Rules and Orders Committee has appointed the following members to serve on the Parliamentary Legal Committee Hon. Senator Gutu; Hon. Mangwana; Hon. Mkandla; Hon. Mushonga; and Hon. Nyamupinga.



THE MINISTER OF FINANCE: I need to explain. Mr. Speaker Sir, you will recall that when the Acting Minister of Finance read out his Budget Statement on 29th January, hidden somewhere in between, there was a talk and exposé of a Supplementary Budget for 2008. In other words, he sought leave of this hon. House that the Supplementary Budget for 2008 in terms of Section 103 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which allows a Supplementary Budget where money has been expended outside the Budget.

So, the Bill that is the agenda item is a Bill, which authorizes those monies for 2008. It has nothing to do with the 2009 budget that we have already covered. So it is a Bill in respect of $51 quintillion. So this is what I want to explain that it has nothing to do with the 2009 but 2008 and this is money, which is not there, but they are already expended. This is ratifying the status quo that actualizes it. So with your permission, may the first Order of the Day be read.

First Order read: Committee of Supply: Additional Estimates of Expenditure (2008).

House in Committee.

Votes 1 to 29 and Schedule put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Additional Estimates of Expenditure reported without amendments.

Report adopted.

Bill ordered to be brought in by the Minister of Finance in accordance with the Additional Estimates of Expenditure adopted by the House.



THE MINISTER OF FINANCE: Mr. Speaker Sir, in respect of the report of the committee of supply adopted by the House, I bring a Bill to apply for a further sum of money for the service of the government for the year ending December 31, 2008 and the Appropriation Bill 2008 and additional estimates of expenditure 2009. I therefore move that the Bill be now read for the first time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.



MR. J.M. GUMBO: I move the motion standing in my name that this House expresses its profound sorrow on the untimely death of Retired General Zvinavashe on the 10th of March 2009;

Places on record its appreciation of the service which the late retired General rendered to his people, and the nation; and

Resolves that its deepest sympathy be conveyed to Mrs. Zvinavashe and family.

MR. HURUBA: I second.

MR. J.M. GUMBO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to join fellow Zimbabweans in mourning and paying condolences to the Zvinavashe family following the death of the esteemed commander. I would like to place on record our appreciation of the sterling service, which the late Cde. Zvinavashe rendered to Parliament, the Government of Zimbabwe and to the people of Zimbabwe.

The country has lost a true politician, hero and liberator, freedom fighter, a man of extraordinary character, courage and dedication. Retired General Zvinavashe was born on September 27, 1943 in Gutu, Masvingo. Also known as Sheba Gava or Fox during the liberation struggle, General Zvinavashe left his job in 1967 to join the fight for the liberation struggle of his country. He was sent for military training at Chunya Camp in Tanzania in 1968 and was one of the guerillas involved in the first fares of the struggle. Mr. Speaker Sir, Retired General Zvinavashe became the first ever Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces which combined the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air force of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Speaker Sir, his military career after independence will largely be remembered for his initiation of the Mozambican campaign and the assistance to the United Nations in deploying peacekeepers to Somalia and Military observers in Rwanda, Lesotho and Uganda among others. It was also during this time that the ZDF deployed to the DRC under the SADC Operation Sovereign Legitimacy. Retired General Zvinavashe won the respect of his erstwhile enemies and his officers during his long military career, being regarded as an exceptionally able and professional commander. Upon his retirement in 2003, he became a full time farmer, businessman and politician.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the late Rtd. Gen. Zvinavashe was a quiet and unassuming man who was a firm believer in the virtues of education; which he himself was denied by the harsh social circumstances in the colonial period. To this end, he opened Tynwald Primary and Secondary Schools in 2001, which indeed benefitted the surrounding communities. The late Rtd. Gen. Zvinavashe sacrificed his life for the liberation of Zimbabwe and stressed the need to safeguard the gains of the struggle. Mr. Speaker Sir, it should be clear to us that the late Rtd. Gen. was no ordinary man. It is therefore befitting that he was accorded National Hero Status. Zimbabwe is poorer without the vision and leadership of the late Rtd Gen. Zvinavashe who remained humble despite his many achievements in the military, in politics and in business. Mr. Speaker, here is a man who, unbelievably, chose to shun elitism and self-aggrandizement, and opted to work for and be with the people.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I urge the people of Zimbabwe to learn from, and adopt the socio-economic and political values and traditions that Cde Zvinavashe has left us as reflected by his sterling work throughout his life. These values include, inter alia, perseverance, genuine patriotism, dedication, humility, tirelessness, fearlessness and undying faith and hope. He was a rare type of revolutionary; consistent in ideals and beliefs, a gallant son of Zimbabwe whose departure has left a vacuum in the conduct of both private and public affairs in this country.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to offer our condolences and our thoughts are with the Zvinavashe family at this difficult time.

I thank you.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Hon Members. Hon. Huruba, I have recognized you so that you can speak. I have not asked you to come forward. You can start debating now.

*MR HURUBA: Speech not recorded due to technical fault.

MR. CHITANDO: The man who we are talking about was a commander of commanders as was said by the Deputy Prime Minister. Cde Zvinavashe lived three distinctive lives.

1. He lived as a liberator of this country and we acknowledge it. Every Zimbabwean has no doubt that he played an important role in the liberation of Zimbabwe.

2. He lived as a soldier for the country and for everyone to be secure and have the peace which we have. So we can say Zvinavashe lived well.

3. Zvinavashe lived a life as a legislator. I will now expand on the three points above.

First of all as a legislator, he showed that there was dedication in him, sacrifice, hardship which he faced, commitment and courage. When he was in Mozambique, he faced a lot of hardships. I know that some of my colleagues who are in here were very young and might not know the hardships that I am talking about.

Zvinavashe had to endure these things for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe. When he became a soldier, he showed us loyalty, respect and patriotism. When you are a soldier you work according to orders and I do not want to get on to some of the unfortunate quotations which came when he was a soldier because he was acting on orders.

When he was now a legislator, that is when people saw who he truly was. We, the people of Masvingo started to see him as a peace loving father. When he came to the House of Senate and he contested in 2008 elections, he lost those elections and there was a call for a re-run at Gutu Mpandawana. Zvinavashe gave a speech which I want to quote;

"There is no need to fight for these results. We must accept the reality that we have lost the elections to the MDC. What is important for us is to live together in peace both winners and losers. We do not want violence in this area. We are all relatives". He went on to say "most of us lost these elections not because we are not popular in our constituencies; we lost these elections because of one man. People rejected us because we campaigned for him. People in Masvingo rejected him and we have become collateral damage."

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. A. MUTAMBARA): I rise tosalute a soldier of soldiers, a commander of commanders. Zvinavashe was a hero of heroes and a hero of Zimbabweans irrespective of political affiliation. I rise to pay respect to that man of this country. There are lessons that we learn from Zvinavashe, self sacrifice, self determination and self precedent. If you can learn from the history, in Zambia and Mozambique, he selected himself to go and fight for this country, he is a man who sacrificed for national interest, he was a man who was self determined to bring about change in our country. Let us learn from this man irrespective of our political affiliation. If he was alive today, he would want us to show unity of purpose, he would want us to show determination under hardships, self determination where we are masters of our destiny. He would have assisted with what to do to support STERP and to bring about a people driven constitution. As Zimbabweans, we must take charge of our lives and become masters of our destiny. Let us salute this soldier of soldiers and let us learn from him.

MR. MATUTU : I also would want to add my voice to this very important motion especially as one who comes from Masvingo. When we are speaking about Zvinavashe, we speak of an honest man, a man who lived an honest life, worked as a soldier, as a legislator, as a farmer and also as a losing candidate.

He was a man of conscience. I can not speak for his exploits during the war because I was too young. I will speak of what I actually witnessed, what he did especially after the war and when he came to this House. I happened to be in the Lands and Agriculture Committee with him, that is when I actually learnt that he was a very honest man. He spoke against multiple farm ownership. He spoke about the looting of farm implements and advocated for a transparent audit of the farm mechanisation inputs. He also talked about an audit inspection for the farm ownership. It is quite correct even up to today that this man did not have more than one farm. He has been farming in Masvingo near Mbungo Estate which has been his traditional home. He has dedicated his life to farming. This is the kind of man who most of you should not admire because many of you have more than one farm.

It is some of us and my colleagues on this side who should admire a man, who has been very honest, worked on one farm and committed himself to the farm. So we loved him for being honest. The second reason why we loved him is that it is not a secret that in 2002 he made it very clear that if MDC came into power, he would not salute but from the quotation made by Hon Chitando, he had changed his mind. He also spoke against violence especially to those who came from Masvingo, who have not known violence. Many people were killed, many houses destroyed, livestock stolen and women raped. Most of the crimes were these I have mentioned. There was one man who stood against violence. This man is Retired General Zvinavashe. Some people celebrated his death, but this man I am talking about here made a sacrifice fighting for the nation and he condemned this kind of thing. We wish that he were still alive. Take into account how he sacrificed his life and we have benefited a lot from his experience especially from his noble mind. He indeed had a liberating mind. This is the kind of a man to admire.

I am saying to General Chiwenga, admire this man. I am saying to General Bonyongwe admire this man. Not in terms of words, but in terms of his conduct when it comes to matters of good governance. We want to admire this man. I would want also to say to the Zvinavashe family this is a big loss not only to the Zvinavashe family, not to Masvingo province but to the whole world. He had advocated for peace in Zimbabwe as a nation. Therefore, we admire him as a man of peace. I am also sad that he lost his life immediately after we had lost another great son of Masvingo Josaya Tungamirayi. Whilst we do not want to talk about the regions and provinces, we would want to say to the people of Zimbabwe admire what these men Zvinavashe and Tungamirayi did. These were great sons of Zimbabwe not farm invaders.

Mr. Speaker, if Zvinavashe were alive today, what is happening will not be happening where people are actually invading farms. This is not the kind of thing that Zvinavashe wanted. I have no one to go and plead with but I would want to say to Zvinavashe in his grave that can you actually show these young people light that they may know how to live with neighbours and they may know how to live in peace with everybody at large.

Lastly, let me say at times people will ask whether to declare the person a national hero or not, and people would continue to defend whether that person should be a hero or not, but I think this is the kind of a person who will be accepted across the political divide that he deserves a place at the Heroes Acre if there was no other special place than this one because at that Heroes Acre some people there are thieves. Even if he turns out to be ghost, today we will continue to love him because he was a good man.

So I say those from ZANU PF those from MDC and those from Mavambo and any other party should learn to admire a man who had sacrificed his life. I do not agree that his death was untimely because death has no time. Actually, this was the correct time for him to die to reflect to the people that he had died with his hands clean, he had no blood in his hands. He had declared war against violence, he declared war against rape, declared war against assault and declared war against any crime which was politically motivated. This is what will give him peace to himself in his deathbed and we have no reason to fear for his family. They shall not be hassled by any ghost of any person he would have murdered.

MR MWONZORA: Thank you Mr Speaker, I want to describe General Zvinavashe in the words of Shakespeare. Zvinavashe was a paragon of virtue, epitome of justice, truth and order. He exuded a lot of self-sacrifice and obligation. Most people do not understand what the war of liberation was about. You can even find an ignorant person amongst the fighters themselves. Such people do not know why they went to Mozambique, do not know what they fought for, they do not know what they fought to achieve. It is my duty to explain what the liberation war was about.

The war of the liberation would want amongst other things, to remove racial discrimination, to remove dictatorship of the minority, to bring about democracy. It was in order to achieve universal suffrage, one-person one vote. The war of liberation was also to achieve equality and freedom. Now to the fighters of the war, we say thank you for fighting for us, but please remember this, freeing people is not liberating them. Liberating people is making people have the freedom to choose and the freedom to make choices. When you liberate people, you give them the freedom to reject you one day. I was very touched by the quotation by Hon. Chitando on General Zvinavashe because if he had not said that I think he would have left a sour taste by that infamous press conference where Zvinavashe and the crew, where they said that they were not going to salute anyone. You are there to salute the people. You are there to salute the choice of the people. It is not up to you, it is up to the people.

I am glad that Zvinavashe spoke against looting. We see it everyday, we see people taking the farms and will end up with more than one farm. In our MDC Manifesto we have the principle of one person, one farm and it was recorded in our records that after independence the first party to seriously talk about the land was the MDC. One-person one farm. Some people saw the political value to the issue of land, highjacked it, and used that to commit acts of murder amongst other crimes. Lastly, allow me to refer to a song, which the ZANLA used to sing. I was a mujiba -[AN HON.MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] - in 1978, I am the person who carried the letter. I was there at the battle of chin'ai. Cde Batahana was there, so was I. I was there when Luwambe was attacked. I delivered the letter to the Cdes Kwelapito and Batahana.

Allow me Mr. Speaker Sir, to quote this song? The song goes like thisKune nzira dzemasoja dzekuzvibata nadzo. Teererai mitemo yose muhondo yechimurenga. Musanetse vasungwa vamunenge mabata. Tisaite chehupombwe muhondo yechimurenga. Dzorerai zvese-zvese zvatorwa kumuvengi. Aya ndiwo mashoko ava Mau vachitidzidzisa.

Those are the seven points of attention. These are the things that were forgotten by some of our people in June. True fighters do not harass their own people. True liberators understand the sanctity of human life; understand the sanctimonious nature of life.

Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to send my sincere condolences to the Zvinavashe family. May I appeal to my brothers who are in the armed forces that they must salute those that the people chose.

MR. HLONGWANE: I rise to add my voice to the condolence message to the Zvinavashe family. Zvinavashe was a very courageous man. We should celebrate his life of courage, commitment and common sense. He is the kind of man who spoke his mind. It is a very good thing that for us to celebrate that, we must be able to say what we want to say when we feel we must say it.

What I find very sad is that his passing on came after the passing on of another hero, the Prime Minister's late wife. When we debated on the Prime Minister's late wife, there was grief and expression by fellow Members of Parliament from all sides. What I find unfortunate in this debate is the making of the bellicose statement and attempts of scoring political points riding on the back of the passing on of another hero. I want to remind my fellow comrades that the fact that the late Gen. Zvinavashe was celebrated on being courageous and spoke his mind, and I find it unnecessary that members will take occasion to try and score political points by accusing some of us who are here of dishonesty and to try to separate the history of Zvinavashe from the history of ZANU PF.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (ENG. MUDZURI): I would also want to add my voice to the motion under debate. Gen. Zvinavashe departed us when we needed him most. We needed him to advise us. We have already experienced his contribution. We needed his advice on how to live peacefully and how to maintain and sustain tranquility in this country.

He was unique yes because he had rich experience. He lived in the Smith regime in Rhodesia. He lived in the old Zimbabwe and he was just a month in the new Zimbabwe. What he experienced is what we will have. I think we should now say what legacy has he left? He liberated this country. He fought a bad government and system. The Smith regime was a bad system.

What is encouraging to me is his consistent courage in fighting bad systems. I know he fought lawlessness, he fought against state terrorism and this he did it because of his selflessness. His sacrifice is worthy recognizing. That is why we are saying we need to emulate. We need his courage. It is not easy to attack the system which he brought into existence when it is taking a detour out of the correct road that he would have fought for. It is not easy and a lot of courage is needed.

So we are inspired by that. He has left a landmark in the education system like what has been said. He fought for the provision of education to those who were deprived of it. And after independence, like what has been said, he actually provided that education by building the two schools that have been mentioned. It means he actually practiced what he was teaching, what he fought for and the ideals and the values of the liberation struggle.

I do not think he actually would be happy if you were going to spend years and years with the education system collapsed and in the dilapidated situation in which we had in our education system. We had 8 or so months without education.

He also left a legacy in the farming area. We have heard from Hon. Matutu and the rest that he had a productive farm. He actually fought for the land, he got it and used it. I am saying this because the greatest reward or recognition that we can give to such a gallant son of Zimbabwe is leaving what he fought for, is putting into practice the ideals that he fought for. If we just honour him by saying you are now at the Heroes Acre and we do just the opposite of what he fought for, definitely we are doing an injustice to what he did.

In legislation it was during his tenure that the Constitution Amendment Nos. 17 and 18 was passed. It was so important because it led to the decent elections of the 29th March 2008 of which we should recognize him for that.

I know being a soldier of such a high rank, losing an election and humbly accepting is very unique. That was definitely not going to be the case if we had to substitute him with someone in here. This means, he was first human before he became a soldier. I do not know what form of rehabilitation he had to undergo to become such an enfoldment of peace, democracy and good-man-ship. We wish him to rest in peace. How are we going to contribute to what he fought for? I think we need to observe the use of democracy, rule of law and peace. We need to recognize that a lot of courage and self-sacrifice is needed when you have to do something for the nation.

I am convinced that he was not afraid to die because he had done something for Zimbabwe, for the people of this country so he was ready to die. If God would ask him, what did you do when you were on earth? Definitely he is going to say I did a lot of things to your people. The question is if I were to die today what would I say I did for the people of Zimbabwe? What are you going to say you would have done for the people of Zimbabwe? Those are the challenging questions.

MR. BHASIKITI: My voice today is the voice of a war collaborator who was an essential instrument in the war of liberation in assisting and ensuring efficiency in operations, which we recognize General Zvinavashe as a key witness of the war collaboration. I was vindicated by his death because his death was speaking for himself. We did not need to invite members from all walks of life to attend his funeral, they just conveged. That is for the first time I saw on the Heroes Acre the Prime Minister and his Deputies who are rare faces to such occasions. What it explains is that we should not get leaders to explain what a national hero looks like or what it takes to be a war liberation hero.

In most cases, we have difficulty in making decision as how to recognize, acknowledge or confirm a status to many of our beloved friends. Just mere friendship compels us to make a statement which shows that you are friends to him, but those who are national heroes should just live a life, which will explain themselves. Taneta zvekugambidzira gambidzira vanhu, kuti tongosesedza, kungosesekedzawo ipapo tichiti zvifambe.

In terms of liberation struggle, how he rose through ranks to a disciplinarian it is because of his discipline in the army and the way he disciplined his soldiers. This he explained himself when he became a soldier in the new Zimbabwe after 1980 and he excelled through the ranks. The bottom line is, you see someone who is in command and recognizing his hero status. Someone who places his life for the rest of the people that is what it is. It is not an easy task. It is the excellence of doing things that he puts his mind to do, and doing it the best way.

I am reminded of a scripture which says when you do what ever you do, do it as unto Christ. That is what he was doing. The number one medal he was accorded by the SADC for leading the SADC forces successfully. It is through the operations where our neighbors were in trouble and he went to rescue them, that is a hero's life seen from all directions. He was a soldier and a liberator. Politically, this is the area that he has done through liberation, but the man did not want to be a politician. There were so many politicians who came to beg him to be a leader in a political party, but he denied because he had convinced himself that he had achieved a lot for the nation and the region. He accepted to be a legislator or a Senator but not a politician. He did not belong to Masvingo, he belonged to Zimbabwe, SADC and Africa. This is the man we are sending our condolences to. He is just a great man.

It is a dishonorable thing or a dishonorable member to stand up …..

MR. SPEAKER : Order, order, order, hon. member, all hon. members are honorable.

MR BHASIKITI : Yes, this was an hon. member and it is just good that we put a cap on it. The Vice President has said so many good words about him, which I do not think we should continuously repeat because some of us were quoting hon. Senator Zvinavashe for things which he did not say. I want to say this was an Hon. hero of the nation.

MS. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. As Zimbabwe we gave birth to a liberator and also a great son of the soil, umntwana wemhlabati, mwana wevhu va Zvinavashe. Comrade Zvinavashe was the ambassador of Zimbabwe, of Africa and we turned that into a global village. He never wished peace and practiced war. Whenever he wished peace, he practiced peace and whenever there was war, he practiced war because he did liberate us.Hanzi nechishona chakanaka, chakanaka mukaka haurungwe. As hon members in this House, in the shona culture, tinofanira kuisa maoko pamwechete totenda mwana wevhu, siyabonga.

We would like to thank Cde Zvinavashe for a job well done because today we are able to be evaluators on ourselves in the process of a new Zimbabwe. When he worked as liberator, he was fighting for a new Zimbabwe and like my hon. member said, he only tasted new Zimbabwe for a month. Cde Zvinavashe, may your soul rest in peace. As Zimbabweans we have problems where we give credits where they do not belong. I used to work for the Cold Storage Company and one of our slogans was nyama inonaka inotaura yoga, inyama emnandi ikhuluma yodwa,and va Zvinavashekumira pano tichihukura kungozadzikisa zvaanga achiita. So, let us not give credit where it does not belong. We stand at funerals and praise Cdes who do not deserve those credits.

I will give you an example of one funeral where this man died and his father stood up and said, mwari maita zvenyu, mwana uyu arere apa anga ari mbavha. Vanhu vazorora. Again as Africans and as people all over the world, we never praised Cdes when they are still alive. We always praise them when they are dead. I think we should start from today that whoever dies, we must move a motion here to respect that beauty that was done by the hon. member in this House so that tomorrow we do not praise what we do not know. Those that are not doing good, let us condemn each other. Mr. Speaker, I thank you.

MR. DZIRUTWE: I feel honoured by this debate about the late Zvinavashe. I have got two points which I want to share with the hon. members in this House. I happen to have a keen interest in what was going on in the army at the retirement of General Mujuru as Army Commander. There was speculation about who was to be in control after General Mujuru and at the Institution, people have been jostling for power from aspiring Generals. When it was announced that Zvinavashe was going to be in control, there was a huge relief because he was a man of peace, he never went around campaigning for the position.

I must say the Head of State made a good choice and the army continued smoothly with him in charge. Apparently he did not go looking for friends or enemies like what the previous speaker said, nyama inonaka, inonaka yega. People who knew goodness got the job done. He did not go despising other Generals for saying they are good people or bad people or saying the army was a bad army. I need to say when the job was done, I am not trying to disparage anyone but a little bit change of the word. I am particularly referring to the early years up to the end of the reign of the fox and even up to now we are still trying to un-turn the worst.

The other thing that nobody mentioned was on Land Reform. I want to take particular note on the issue about people who should compensate the white farmer. The General said the one who benefited from the farm is the one who should compensate the farmer. To me, that was the Son of man who understands politics. People need to do what they need to do. The man was so fair. He left a legacy that we should all abide by. So I would like to sit down on the note that my condolences go to the family of General Zvinavashe and the people of Zimbabwe. Ndatenda.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise with a heavy heart and I have been informed by the Chief Whip Hon. Gumbo that we would want to wind this motion today. I was not ready to deliver my statement in relation to my colleague Fox Corner. As it goes I am not standing in the way of you Mr. Speaker requiring that you need to submit a statement to the family of General Zvinavashe. So I have decided to say a bit about General Zvinavashe. I seek the indulgence of the House to allow me to relate a bit of history about General Zvinavashe from the time I knew him. Mr. Speaker Sir, the man I know better was his brother Stephen Zvinavashe who joined me in prison in 1966. He had left separately to go for military training in 1962, 1963 and 1964 in Egypt and China and his brother went to Ghana in 1966. Hon Zvinavashe after completing his primary education and I think the lower secondary, decided to follow his brother to Zambia. When he came to Zambia he then joined the ZANU side of the two parties, there was ZANU and ZAPU. He went to Kenya to complete the training in 1968. By that time, some of us had already 4 to 5 years in prison at Khami. When he completed his training in Chunya he was assigned to the BBZ Border that is the Botswana Border where he was receiving recruits who came to Botswana, after that Zambia and to Tanzania for further training. When his brother joined us in 1967 in prison, we were very close friends. We did not know that that time will come in future where we will be free persons because day and night we were suffering for more than 10 years in single cells.

But then at some stage we were able to meet in a pit where we were breaking the stones and will discuss there. Steven Musungwa Zvinavashe told me that he had a young brother called Vitalis who had followed him to war and I had a young brother also called Steven. So we agreed that whoever of the two of us survived would look after Vitalis. If he was that one survived and if I am the one who survived and he perished would look after Steven. We had a blood bond. Then as time went on the struggle went on and unfolded but for the purpose of this House Zvinavashe whom we call Fox Corner performed so well and rose through the ranks very easily. We called him Fox Corner because those who know Zambia in Lusaka just after Maseru there is a dust road that goes to the right, Vitalis overturned there and that is where the name Fox Corner comes from. He is called Fox because in military terms he was very brilliant because of his tactics.

I will not dwell in most of the exploits that he has gone through. In both the three zones we had Tete, Manica and Gaza during the armed struggle, that lots of other colleagues and I was looking at the structure of command and he was the last and the rest have perished. The only survivor now is from the ZANLA Command. The only survivor of that team is Rex whom we call Gen. Mujuru. I belonged to the new generation and I think the only one person I know is Dumiso who is at ZAPU he found me in Egypt. Zvinavashe was the man who did not discriminate anybody. He was loved by all the Comrades because of the quality of thinking, quality of vision, commitment and perseverance. He was made the Chief to the Military Intelligence and Security and he was my deputy throughout.

When Lancaster came in 1979, we went to Lancaster, we moved around the city to find which commanders we could leave behind in charge of the war. On my side Zvinavashe was one and the other person you can know is Gwenzi now called Gen. Sibanda, the Commander of ZIPRA. We left them in charge of war and towards conclusion of discussions at Lancaster - I would just want to mention where we had serious attacks at Mavondo by the Rhodesians and most of our gallant colleagues perished and Zvinavashe was at Monte Casino. This Comrade is a gallant fighter, a fearless fighter, when you are with him you had a veteran besides you. I remember many instances when we went into attacks and when the event is over, we would find him cheerful. Even the soldiers would still see Zvinavashe as giving courage to the comrades who would have survived.

It is true that Zvinavashe was a very strict soldier. Even in his strictness he was the fairest commander I have come across in the fields. Mr. Speaker Sir, this man we are talking about, when we concluded the Lancaster we came back from Mozambique - yes with our Gen. Tongogara and I remember that night when we had our last supper and informed the Comrades that this was now the decision at Lancaster but of course he did not reach the front, he had an accident. General Zvinavashe was there and the late Air Marshal Tungamirai was in the same car as well as Minister Muchinguri which rolled and killed Comrade Tongogara. We then sat down as the leadership and said we do not trust the Rhodesian army. Most of you will know that we had assembly points doted all over the place at that time where we were supposed to assemble all soldiers from both sides ZIPRA and ZANLA. We decided that we could not bring all our troops into the country because we did not trust this agreement. Among the commanders that we had, after deliberations, we settled on General Zvinavashe (Fox) to remain in command of a brigade of over 6000 troops. He was well equipped in all divisions; infantry, communication and mechanised under his command. We also had Rex coming into the country with the first commandos and I also came in leading the political side. After elections and everything had been done and we realised things were moving the way we wanted we then asked him to come into the country and he joined the Zimbabwe National Army. After he had left, I took over as General Commander.

Zvinavashe was one of a few to be appointed straight to the position of Brigadier. He was in command of the third brigade. He did not only distinguish himself as a guerrilla fighter and strategist but also as a conventional commander in the new dispensation of Zimbabwe commanding the third Brigade in Mutare. He also took part in the Mozambique campaign. As Minister of Justice, I had the opportunity to work with him when we campaigned in the DRC. The DRC had the most difficult terrain I have ever known in the jungles of the Congo along the River Congo. He was a man who drove and inspired the soldiers. So this is the man I have said to Hon. Gumbo you can not conclude without me mentioning a bit about him.

He had many attributes to be admired. Yes he received all the honours conceivable in the military structural career anyone can have. When it comes to the question of illness, it has no rank because it can claim the lives of the poor, the rich, the valiant and the cowards. Life will still be claimed when the time comes. Everything possible was done and we sent him to Cuba for medical treatment since 1999. He went again and again but the cancer that he had was spreading and nothing could be done about it. The other thing that he did in the civil area was in the education sector.

He has left behind a legacy, which generations upon

Generations will benefit. I have no doubt that when his actual

history is written, it will be a source of inspiration to the young

people who came after us because he is a man who gave his life

for his country, who was ready to lay his life and yet he had the

ability like anybody else to keep quiet and work for himself and

his family. He said no, he chose to put his energies towards

liberating our people.

Mr Speaker, I have all the praise for the gallant son of

Zimbabwe, Vitalis Forks Corner Zvinavashe Musungwa.





(MRS NYONI): I was not aware that this debate will end

today, I thought I would speak tomorrow. It would not be fair

for me not to say anything because I was her Deputy in the

Politburo of my Party. I learnt a lot from Cde Zvinavashe's


Cde Zvinavashe was a man who was very straight forward.

He said his mind. He was very strong, he wanted things to be

done properly and he wanted things done in an orderly manner.

I agree with those people who say that he was not just a liberator

or a soldier, he was also an educationist. For 10 years I lived in

Snake Park. I would drive past his school almost everyday. I

had children of my relatives that went to that school. He

insisted that the kids should be properly dressed and properly

equipped. His school is one of the best in terms of buildings and

discipline. He had a sense not only of beauty but also of saving

the environment. He made sure that his buildings did not spread

all over, he had double storey buildings so that there is enough

land for other uses.

I want to say that we had a leader in Zvinavashe who went

out to serve the communities as well because he made sure that

in his school, the pass rate was good and that the children were

taught discipline. I want to say to the Zvinavashe family thank

you very much for supporting this gallant leader of Zimbabwe

and also to thank him for his contribution not only to the Party,

but also to the nation that I as her Deputy learnt a lot from him.

I would like his soul to rest in peace.


*MS CHINOMONA: Speech not recorded due to


technical fault.


MR. J.M. GUMBO: Mr. Speaker Sir, 13 members in this hon. House have made contributions in this condolence message, which we put on our Order Paper today. My task now is now to thank the hon. members including the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Mnangagwa and all other members and the unpredictable Hon. Matutu who made his mind known to the House.

A special mention also must go to Hon. Khumalo. I must really say that I was very much flabbergasted by her speech. It was very constructive and I think we must have many JOMICS; but because at times when we have speeches from people like Hon. Khumalo speaking, it really educates a lot of people to understand that we now have the time to work together. We must realize that we must work together and make contributions,which are constructive to our national issues.

All members have spoken their minds and have contributed very well and all that remains for me is to say thank you very much colleagues for the contributions that you have made on the late Hon. Zvinanvashe. A special thanks also must go to Hon. Mnangagwa for actually enriching this House with the knowledge about the hon. Zvinavashe.

What is left for me Mr. Speaker is to say this House adopts the motion and that the words of condolence be sent to the Zvinavashe family and that the motion be removed from the Order Paper.

Motion put and agreed to.

Motion accordingly adopted.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS , the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Four O'clock p.m.

Last modified on Thursday, 14 November 2013 09:50
National Assembly Hansard Vol. 35 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 31 MARCH 2009 VOL. 35 NO. 27