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Perence Shiri the Zimbabwean own hero

31 Jul 2020 at 08:58hrs | Views
Perrence Shiri was known best as Zimbabwean Air Chief Marshal. He was a Military officer Zimbabwe had ever had. Perrence Shiri was born in Gweru on the 11th January 1955. He was born as Bigboy Samson Chikerema.

Perrence Shiri was an advent follower of the stars he was an Capricon and boasted of being a January boy.

The boy Bigboy Samson Chikerema at 18 years Joined ZANLA in 1973 and rose through the ranks to become member of the High Command in 1977. He Joined Zimbabwe National Army in 1980 on independence He attained Brigadier rank in 1982. Through hard work Perence Shiri was Transferred to Airforce as Air Commodore in 1984 and became a Commander from 1992 Perrence Shiri was a holder of two Masters degrees from Women's University in Africa Masters in Development Studies and Masters in Business Administration ,and boasts of vast diplomas from Royal College of Defence Force.

Perrence Shiri was a blood cousin of the former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe. He was one of the most trusted by cde Mugabe until he assisted the overthrowing of Mugabe from power.

After President Mugabe resigned Perrence Shiri was appointed the minister of Lands Agriculture Rural Resettlement the position he held from 1st December 2017 until his untimely departure from this earth. Before his appointment as a minister Shiri was the commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe and member of the Joint Operations Command which exerts day-by-day control over Zimbabwe's government.

Perrence Shiri was appointed by cde Robert Mugabe to be a Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe in 1992 – 7 December 2017 He took over from the late national Hero Josiah Tungamirai. Cde Shiri was Succeeded by Shebba Shumbayaonda who was appointed in an acting Capacity.

Comrade Shiri was a receiver of several awards Which included Grand Commander of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit Like any other War Vet Shiri had pseudo names. Perrence Shiri became like his real name and he was to be known as Shiri by all. Perrance Shiri as a commander of Air Force of Zimbabwe and he was a commander of the Fifth Brigade According to an anonymus claim on BBC Panorama Shiri is said to have called himself Black Jesus "The Price of Silence", he "could determine your life like Jesus Christ. He could heal, raise the dead, whatever. So he claimed to be like that because he could say if you live or not." As stated Shiri was appointed Minister of Agriculture by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. On 18 December he was promoted from Air Marshall to Air Chief Marshall upon retirement as is the custom on retirement. Perrence Shiri's record of service is blameless. From 1983 to 1984, the Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade, under Shiri's command, was responsible for quelling a deadly uprising in Matebeleland.

This is a very controversial time of his service where some accuse him of presiding over a reign of terror in Matabeleland. During the period it is alleged that there was a slaughter, of thousands of civilians and thousands more were believed to have been tortured. This is a topic of concern as the deaths of thousand other from Mashonaland by the Dissidents is never discussed in public. However the Civil war ended with an agreement between ZANU PF and ZAPU. The spirit of the agreement was putting the interest of Zimbabweans first.

The nation applauds cde Shiri for his command and in 1986, Shiri was granted a place at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. In 1992, Shiri was appointed as the commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, taking over from Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai.

Shiri was in command of the Zimbabwean troops at the start of the Second Congo War. It was Shiri who decided that the Zimbabwean contingent would defend N'Djili and its airport. This was in order to maintain an air route for resupply and reinforcements if needed. In the late-1990s and early-2000s, Shiri played an important role in land distribution. In 2002 President Mugabe dispatched Shiri to South Africa to purchase maize. This undertaking was backed by a credit note for the equivalent of £17 million from the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi. In short cde Shiri played a great role in feeding the nation

When Zimbabwe faced a real possibility of losing its sovereignty to the Western sponsored political parties Cde Shiri organised a strong team to campaign and re educate the nation this led to Mugabe land slide win in the 2008 rerun to the great disappointment of the opposition sponsors.

In the days before the 2008 Zimbabwean presidential election Shiri, along with other Zimbabwean Defence chiefs, held a press conference where they stated that defence and security forces had been deployed across the country to maintain order. This was after MDC had run amok causing violence and killings in the country. With Shiri in charge peace was maintained.

Despite his effort and gallant fighting spirit In 2002 the European Union barred cde Shiri then Air Marshal Shiri from entering the EU and on 6 March 2003, George W. Bush ordered the blocking of any of Shiri's property in the United States. Shiri a true patriot had enemies stocking him. In 2008 13th December cde Shiri was ambushed while driving to his farm. According to police, he was accosted by unknown people who shot at his car. Thinking one of his tyres had burst he got out and was subsequently shot in the arm. The attackers have not been brought to book. In October 2013 tragedy struck cde Shiri as his son Titus Takudzwa Chikerema, died at the age of 21. This was his only son and no other child is known to be born of cde Shiri. This was a very sad moment in cde Shiri's life.

On the 28th July 2020 cde Shiri died after being hospitalized the day before. He was 65; local news sources say the cause of death was due to complications from COVID-19. Comrade Perence Shiri was a ZANU PF member of senate. His Constituency was Mashonaland Central.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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