Home » Governance » Zingoni Declared National Hero

Brigadier-General John Zingoni, who died in Gweru last Friday, has been declared a national hero and will be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare today.

ZANU-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo yesterday announced the conferment of national hero status on Brig-Gen Zingoni.

“The President and First Secretary of ZANU-PF, Cde R.G. Mugabe has conferred national hero status on the late Brigadier-General John Zingoni who died on May 16, 2014.

“Cde Zingoni was conferred national hero status because of his immense contribution to the liberation and development of his country. He will be buried tomorrow (today) at the National Heroes Acre at 9am,” Cde Gumbo said.

He added that because of the burial, the extraordinary Politburo meeting slated for today had been postponed to a date to be aised.

Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Cde Miriam Chikukwa urged Zimbabweans to come in their thousands to bid farewell to the national hero.

“There will be buses to pick up mourners from the usual pick up points and we urge all people to come to the National Heroes Acre early,” she said.

Brig-Gen Zingoni’s body arrived at Manyame Air Base in Harare last night aboard an Air Force of Zimbabwe jet, accompanied by his wife, Wadzanai, and senior military officers.

The body lay in state at One Commando Barracks from where it would be taken to Stodart Hall in Mbare this morning.

Cde Zingoni was born on August 27, 1954 in Chief Mapanzure’s area in Masvingo.

He went to Musingarabwi Primary School and Chikato Secondary School up to ZJC, between 1969 and 1970.

He stayed in his rural home between 1972 and 1973. He was then employed by the Ministry of Health in 1975 as an office orderly before becoming a health orderly clerk at the Masvingo Provincial Health Office.

Cde Zingoni joined the liberation struggle in 1976 when he crossed into Mozambique with his two friends, to be met by Frelimo soldiers who were based along the Mozambique-Rhodesia border. He proceeded to join ZANLA cadres in Machipanda.

Cde Zingoni was then taken to Doroi Refugee Camp where, given his background in health, he was chosen to attend medical lessons at Doroi and then assigned to work at the local hospital.

He went for a military training course at Chimoio under the leadership of Cde Chocha, who is now Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri.

Brig-Gen Zingoni was chosen to go to the Multinational Medical Institute in Tanzania for a six-month training programme, after which he was deployed to Tembwe Training Camp in Tete Province before deployment in the Chaminuka Sector as section medical officer.

He was subsequently appointed platoon medical officer before becoming detachment medical officer of the Nyahuni Detachment.

In 1979 he was appointed a member of the Zanla General Staff and became sectoral medical officer of Takawira Sector.

At Independence, Cde Zingoni was sent to the Democratic Republic of Korea for an Infantry Commanders Course and was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 as a private soldier and appointed equivalent captain.

Brig-Gen Zingoni attended standardisation training at the Zimbabwe Military Academy after which he was posted to 5.1 Infantry Battalion as a training officer.

In 1982 he was elevated to the position of general staff officer (grade three) responsible for training at Headquarters 5 Infantry Brigade.

In 1983 he went to Nigeria for a Junior Staff Course and was promoted to major in 1984, before rising to brigade major at Headquarters 5 Infantry Brigade.

Cde Brig-Gen Zingoni became Commanding Officer 5.2 Infantry Battalion in 1985 and then lieutenant-colonel in 1986.

In 1988 he was appointed Deputy Commander 5 Infantry Brigade and later director transport at Army HQ.

1991 saw him appointed director ordinance after which he rose through the ranks to brigadier-general in 2000, and he was appointed director operations at the SADC Task Force headquarters in Kinshasa, DRC.

He was involved in the planning and execution of the withdrawal of SADC troops from the DRC in 2002.

He was awarded various medals during his illustrious career. These include the Liberation, Independence, 10 Years Service, Long and Exemplary Service, Mozambique Campaign and DRC Campaign medals.

Brig-Gen Zingoni earned a Masters degree in Business Administration and was pursuing PhD studies at the time of his death.

Source : The Herald