Decorated military commander Brigadier-General Ruphus Chigudu has been declared a national hero.

He died on September 24 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals at the age of 64.

Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Larry Mavima delivered the news at the family residence in Lundi Park, Gweru, yesterday.

“I was sent by His Excellency the President (Cde Mnangagwa) to relay the message that Brigadier-General Chigudu has been declared a national hero. He will be interred at the National Heroes Acre on a date to be advised,” said Minister Mavima in an interview with The Herald last night.

“The family was happy that he was honoured and I am also very grateful to the President and the Politburo, for honouring Cde Chigudu. He sacrificed for his country by going to war at a young age and was also instrumental in the integration of the forces after independence.

“It is sad that he died this year soon after his promotion in June from Colonel to a Brigadier-General.”

Brig-Gen Chigudu was awarded seven medals during his distinguished military career, including the Independence Medal, Liberation Medal, Service Medal, Long and Exemplary Service Medal, Mozambique Campaign Medal, Democratic Republic of Congo Campaign Medal and the Commander of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award.

Brig-Gen Chigudu joined the liberation struggle in 1976 and received military training at Doroi Camp in Mozambique, before receiving further training in Romania.

The late freedom fighter was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on April 1, 1981 and was given several responsibilities in the military including army inspections, research and development.

He was promoted to the rank of Brig-Gen on June 11 this year. Brig-Gen Chigudu’s Chimurenga name was Cde Promise Chombo. He is survived by his wife Vimbai and three children, two boys and a girl, Kudzai Matthew, Lenin Munashe and Chido Beauty.