Accord Brig-Gen Bandama national hero status — ZDF

13 Jul, 2014 - 00:07 0 Views
Accord Brig-Gen Bandama national hero status — ZDF

The Sunday Mail


Brig-Gen Bandama

Ray Bande in Mutare
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Zanu-PF Manicaland have formally requested Government to accord the late Brigadier-General Eliah Bandama national hero status for his immense contributions to the Second Chimurenga and his role in integration of armed forces post-independence.

Brig-Gen Bandama died at West End Clinic in Harare on Thursday after battling high blood pressure and leukemia.

Senior military officers, Government and ZANU-PF officials were at the funeral parade.

In an interview after the senior army officer’s funeral parade at 3 Infantry Brigade Headquarters here yesterday, ZDF Commander General Constantine Chiwenga said they had formally requested national hero status for Brig-Gen Bandama. “This is a sad loss not only to the Bandama family but to the entire nation.

“Brigadier-General Bandama was a pillar of strength in our quest to achieve independence and maintain stability post-independence.

“None of us had expected to be here at 3 Infantry Brigade for this sad development.  He was one of the finest fighters and commanders during and after the liberation struggle. He was always at the forefront, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Mozambique.

“We have sent our formal request to Government and party to accord Brigadier-General Bandama national hero status. We are now waiting to hear from them on the way forward. The body of the deceased comrade will now be taken to Chipinge for his family and friends to have time to pay their last respects.”

At the parade, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieut-Gen Philip Valerio Sibanda said the country had lost a true freedom fighter.

“His passing on is saddening and the country has been robbed of yet another true freedom fighter. He will be solely missed by all who were privileged to have known him. To Brigadier-General Bandama, I say you fought a good fight both in the liberation struggle and during your illness,” he said.

ZANU-PF Manicaland deputy provincial chair Brig-Gen (Retired) Elliot Kasu said the province had also made a national hero status request. “As ZANU-PF Manicaland province, (we know that) VaBandama was a son of the province, born in Chipinge. He was a liberator.”

Brig-Gen Bandama, whose Chimurenga name was Spins Nhamoyesango, was born on December 1, 1958 in Chipinge. Before finishing Form Four studies at Chikore Mission, he left the then Rhodesia for Mozambique en route to Zambia and Tanzania in 1975 after being jailed in Chipinge and Mutare following clashes with racist school authorities.

However, in Mozambique, he and his colleagues were arrested on suspicion of being British South Africa Police agents.

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

They were addressed by President Mugabe, who was accompanied by a freedom fighter named Cde Amos Tsana and after that he was able to enter several military training camps.

At Chomupani Camp in 1977, he sustained injuries to his left knee and thigh from multiple shots by helicopter gunships. After that he was chosen to undergo further military training in China.

At ceasefire, he was among the first group selected to form the Zimbabwe National Army.

In 2005, he was appointed commandant of the Zimbabwe Military Academy before he was posted to Army HQ in 2008 as Colonel (Staff General Branch).

In 2010 he was promoted to Brig-Gen and appointed commander of 4 Infantry Brigade, after which he was moved to 3 Infantry Brigade as commander.


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