In a shocking development, SADC News has learnt of Minister Perence Shiri’s untimely death.
Confirming on facebook Wednesday morning, deputy minister to Shiri, Vangelis Haritatos said,
“I received a call in the early hours of this morning with shocking news. It is with a heavy heart that I learnt of the passing on of Air Chief Marshall (RTD) P. Shiri,”
“I have worked with Cde. Shiri for almost two years now as his deputy minister. He was an extremely hard worker, dedicated to our Nation, a patriot, and a nationalist. I will truly miss him and promise to continue with his vision of making Zimbabwe the breadbasket of Africa once again. Go well Honourable Minister Shiri.”
The late Minister was born on 11 January 1955 and has been Zimbabwe Air officer and government official who also served as Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement in the Cabinet of Zimbabwe from 1 December 2017 until his death. He 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.
However, the message of the passing on of Minister Shiri has been received with mixed feelings by Zimbabweans across the nation.
While some recognize him with hard work and dedication to making Zimbabwe a breadbasket once more, others expressed relief on the news of his death, claiming he too was corrupt. He is also fingered in the mass killing of Matebeleland people during the early eighties when he was leader of the 5th Brigade.
In an early morning Wednesday tweet, member of parliament Themba Mliswa had this to say,
” I’m gutted to just receive news that Rtd. Air Marshal, Hon. Perrence Shiri popularly known as “Gudo Guru” during the liberation war, is no more. A true nationalist and Commander par excellence, the late Shiri was one of the hard working and effective members of Cabinet.”
In response to Mliswa’ twitte, Thandekile Moyo wrote, “Today will be a painful day for Matebeleland, as we are assaulted by messages such as these, Praising the man who commanded over the death of 20000 of our people, who was hands on as he personally killed, raped and tortured our parents. You are out of order Temba!”
LEAD President and rights activist, Linda Masarira commenting on the micro blogsite Twitter, expressed concern over the negative comments posted by some people.
“What happened to Ubuntu? There is no one perfect under the sun, some of the comments on this thread are deplorable. If we have no consoling words to say, it is better to keep quiet. We are African and in our culture we respect the dead and mourn with those who are mourning.”
His death comes two days before the Anti-Corruption protests planned for the 31st of July by political activists and some opposition leaders.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News correspondent