Some members of the family of the late ZANLA commander, Josiah Magama Tongogara, met in Harare on Wednesday to commemorate his life and contributions to the country’s fight for independence.
The late Tongogara died in a car crash in Mozambique 33 years ago.
Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa led a church service before the laying of wreaths at the former ZANLA general’s tomb at the National Heroes’ Acre.
Present at the event were Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Information Minister Webster Shamu and top army and Zanu PF officials.
But the commemoration was not attended by all members of the Tongogara family.
One of the late hero’s children, daughter Sukai Tongogara, said she and other senior family members did not attend the commemoration because they were not involved in its planning.
Last month, family divisions were also visible when the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Tongogara’s young brother Joshua, a top MDC T official in Shurugwi District in the Midlands Province, decided to hold a memorial in honour of the late hero, despite opposition to the memorial from Tongogara’s widow, Angeline.
MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa said his party was happy that the family managed to commemorate Tongogara since it was the MDC-T that conceived the idea.
Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe said the land reform programme and the indigenisation and economic empowerment initiatives were in fulfillment of the values that many who died in the liberation struggle including the late ZANLA military supremo, Josiah Magama Tongogara, fought for.
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported that the president made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the Josiah Magama Tongogara Legacy Foundation which coincided with the late national hero’s 33rd anniversary in Harare.