The nation has been robbed of a distingushed War Veteran and Senior officer, Major General (Rtd) Sydney Vulindhlela Bhebhe who passed on at the Avenues clinic on 13 June 2022 after battling with diabetes.

Major General (Rtd) Bhebhe whose nom de guerre was Cde Yengani Dlodlo was born on 30 December 1960 at Masase Mission Hospital in Mberengwa District to Reverend Luka Mukhuwa Bhebe and Bongani Bhebe (nee Nkomo) in a family of 5 children.

His parents were teachers and they changed schools frequently resulting in the late Major General (Rtd) Bhebe attending various primary schools.

From 1967 to 1969 he attended Masase Primary School from grade 1 to 3 before transferring to Mavorovondo Primary School in 1970 then to Chiremba Primary School in Epworth in 1971.

In 1972 he went to Mnene Boarding School and Danamombe Primary School in Mberengwa and Msiningira Primary in 1973 for his grade 7.

The late Major General (Rtd) was part of the crop of youths who were aware of the unjust oppresive political developments in the country during the colonial era.

Meanwhile, Mberengwa was a hive of revolutionary activities following the infiltration of Zim peopls Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) and Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) forces who occassionaly visited schools to mobilise students.

In January 1977 410 students from Manama Secondary accompanied by their teachers left to join the liberation struggle in Zambia via Botswana.

This motivated the late national hero and colleagues to abandon studies in March 1977 to join ZIPRA forces based at Chingumbapire mountain committee, Savumelana and Lawrence who were operating in the Nemande area.

They were the first group from Masase secondary school to abandon studies to join the liberation struggle. This became imperative for freedom fighters to broaden the spectrum of liberation struggle by recruiting local youths for training abroad.

From Chingumnapire Mountain, Cde Bhebhe and other recruits were moved across to the Liebig’s Cattlr Ranches. They left Chingumbapire Mountain on their way to Botswana on their way to Botswana to Zamabia in April 1977 for military training.

From Botswana they were flown to Zambia and stayed briefly at Nampundwe Transit Camp till Dec 1987 then taken to Boma training Camp in Angola for initial military training.

The late Major General (Rtd) was part of the 2nd Group of ZIPRA cadres to be trained in Angola at Boma under the command of Brigadier General (rtd) T Nleya.

Among their group was Major General (Rtd) Rochman Ncube, Major (Rtd) Jabulani Dabegwa, Beigadier General (Rtd) Ben Matiwaza, Major (Rtd) Jolly Ncube and Lieutenant Volonel Lameck Dube.

They were trained basic military training and specialisation by Cuban and Soviet specialists starting Dec 1977.

Upon completion Cde Bhebe was selected to join the instructors base for ZIPRA cadres and trained as an instructor. There after he was appointed Political Commissar.

An appointment committed to him the greater part of the struggle as he later on trained 2 no groups at Boma in 1978.

Updates courtesy of ZANU PF Information Department