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Another ex-Zipra commander dies

FORMER Zipra commander Gift Ndlovu, who was known as Comrade Dusty during the liberation struggle, died last week.

This was confirmed by the Zipra Veterans Association spokesperson Buster Magwizi and the association's secretary-general Petros Sibanda yesterday.

His death, came hard on the heels of the passing on of national hero Highten Nkomo who was buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on Monday. Ndlovu was buried at the Filabusi District Heroes Acre on Monday.

He was 68.

The Zipra veterans have called on government to accord Ndlovu national hero status due to the immense contribution he made during the liberation struggle.

At the time of his death he was based in Filabusi where he settled after he retired from the Health ministry.

Magwizi described him as a cool and disciplined commander.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing on of my commander. He was one of the bravest men I ever knew during the time of the struggle. He was an exemplary man who fought for this country with great honour and integrity,” Magwizi said.

“Government must recognise true heroes while they are still alive and desist from recognising their importance upon death. As Zipra we will forever recognise our heroes. I implore the government to also do the same by granting him (Ndlovu) national hero status because that is what he is — a hero who fought bravely for this country.  It is our duty to make sure that our fellow comrades get the treatment they deserve.  We must remove fear from citizens because we fought for this country. Everyone must be granted freedom.”

Zipra secretary-general Petros Sibanda appealed to the government and Zimbabweans to acknowledge the work of the people who fought for the country’s liberation from colonial rule.

“Their work before independence should be acknowledged because this country was liberated by these comrades, they sacrificed their lives for this country. Therefore, war veterans should have access to proper health services and shelter,” Sibanda said.

Ndlovu was the commander in Beitbridge, Machuchuta, Toporo and Nhwali Mdemi areas during the 1970s liberation war.

He worked directly with Umkhonto Wesizwe, the military wing for the African National Congress. After independence he worked in the Health ministry, and upon retirement he settled in Filabusi.

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