Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
Brigadier-General Emilio Munemo, who passed away on Sunday after a short illness, has been declared a national hero.
He was 64.
Burial arrangements will be announced in due course after consultations between Government and the Munemo family.
Brig-Gen Munemo was declared a national hero after the Zanu-PF Politburo unanimously agreed that he be accorded the highest status.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi announced Politburo’s decision at the Munemo family home in Hatfield, Harare, yesterday.
“We were together with the late during the liberation struggle and after independence he joined the Zimbabwe National Army. Ever since I have known him, he has always worked tirelessly,” he said.
“He worked with Cde Machacha (Munyaradzi) in the establishment of Chitepo College. They lectured a lot of people on the ideology of the party.
“He always researched on the history of the ruling party. He was committed in everything he did. Brig-Gen Munemo left us at a time when we least expected it and as Zanu-PF, we have lost and the void he has left will be difficult to fill.”
VP Mohadi said the Politburo unanimously agreed to accord Brig-Gen Munemo national hero.
“We all agreed that he worked for the party and contributed immensely in the liberation struggle. The army and the province also recommended that he be given a hero status. So we all agreed that he be declared a national hero,” he said.
“The Government will engage the family on the burial arrangements and the nation will be made aware of the arrangements.”
Cde Mohadi said a military funeral parade for the late General Officer will be held today.
Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology principal Cde Machacha said Brig-Gen Munemo was one of the pioneers of the ideology school.
“Brig-Gen Munemo was the pioneer of Chitepo School of Ideology. They assembled a team of war veterans and created a mobilisation package with a standard message which they spread across the country mobilising people to support the revolutionary party Zanu-PF,” he said.
“They went further to create the concept paper for the school which detailed its mission, purpose and the ideology of the party. They also created the curriculum for the school.
“We worked with him and he contributed a lot to the history manual that we are using in the school. He was a researcher and always jovial.
“On behalf of Chitepo School of Ideology, we have lost a workhorse; he will be very difficult to replace.”
Family spokesperson, Mr Douglas Hoto, thanked the Government and the party for granting Brig-Gen Munemo national hero status.
Brig-Gen joined the liberation struggle in 1977 through Gaza Province.
He stayed at Xai-Xai with schoolchildren who had absconded to join the liberation struggle in the same year and left with them for Chimoi/Gondola Camp in Manica Province.
They found the camp bombed and later left for Tembwe/Chindunduma Camp in 1978 for training with the same schoolchildren.
They completed training in 1979 and were returned to Chindunduma
In the same year, Brig-Gen Munemo was deployed into the Liberated Zones to open schools for children.
He operated in Chivi, particularly Berejena area, until independence in 1980.
At Independence, he joined the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Education as a co-director until he went for training.
In 1981, he was attested into the ZNA after training as a Lieutenant-Colonel.
He rose through the ranks to the position of Brigadier- General in 2010, a position he held until the time of his death.
During the time he was with ZNA, he served in the Infantry, Department of Public Relations as well as the Staff College as a Director.
At the time of his death, he was Director of the Civil Military Relations, which department also dealt with the Chitepo Ideological School.
Brig-Gen Munemo is survived by nine children and seven grandchildren.
Mourners are gathered at No. 48 Alexandra Drive, Hatfield, Harare.
VP Mohadi was accompanied by Zanu-PF national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, the party’s Secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu and Cdes Sydney Sekeramayi, Josaya Hungwe and Lovemore Matuke when he visited the Munemo family to pay his condolences.