UPDATED: ‘Shiri died of Covid-19’ . . . Burial set for today

Source: UPDATED: ‘Shiri died of Covid-19’ . . . Burial set for today | The Herald

UPDATED: ‘Shiri died of Covid-19’ . . . Burial set for today
President Mnangagwa speaks to the late Cde Perrance Shiri’s sister, Eusebia Chifamba when he consoled the national hero’s family in Borrowdale, Harare, yesterday in the company of Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga (second from right) and Kembo Mohadi. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Elita Chikwati

Senior Reporter

National hero, Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (Rtd) died of Covid-19 and will be buried today in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, President Mnangagwa said.

Cde Shiri died early Wednesday.

He was 65.

Addressing mourners at the late ACM Shiri’s Borrowdale home yesterday, President Mnangagwa said test results had shown that the minister succumbed to Covid-19.

Among those paying respects were Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, ministers who included Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Cde Kazembe Kazembe, Cde Paul Mavima, Cde Sekai Nzenza, Ministers of State Cde Monica Mavhunga, Cde Ellen Gwaradzimba and Cde Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, service chiefs, Members of Parliament and Politburo members.

They joined family members at the sombre funeral wake as they paid respects to the family that gave Zimbabwe one of its most illustrious sons.

“The results came today and they indicate that Cde Shiri succumbed to Covid-19. This means his funeral and burial arrangements will no longer follow the normal procedures, but will be guided by the WHO guidelines,” said President Mnangagwa.

Ordinarily, the body of a national hero would be taken to his rural home, then pass through the historic Stodart Hall before a procession for interment at the National Heroes Acre.

However, under the Covid-19 pandemic rules, only 50 people will be allowed at the National Heroes Acre and traditional practices will be suspended in line with the WHO guidelines.

“We should follow the WHO guidelines which also include social distancing and sanitisation. There are few people who came here. In normal circumstances there would have been multitudes of people. Nevertheless, we stand guided by WHO guidelines and we should follow them,” the President said.

Unbeknown to everybody that Covid-19 , which has killed more than half a million people worldwide, would claim the life of one of Zimbabwe’s most recognisable and hardworking sons, the President said just last week on Tuesday he, and the late Cde Shiri discussed matters around food security, but “this Tuesday he did not show up. I enquired from the Chief Secretary who told me his driver had fallen ill and died and we thought he was in isolation”.

“In the evening they came to the State House when they were leaving. They said Minister Shiri should have reported to a health facility, but he later changed his mind and went home. His colleagues inquired and he assured them that he was well only to be called around 3am (on Wednesday) and that he was no more.”

The President said the death of Cde Shiri was a sad loss to the family and the nation at large because he was a hardworking minister who transformed the Ministry of Agriculture in a short period of time.

“We used to have a Minister of Lands, Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Water and Minister for Environment, but when we came into Government he had the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement because we knew he was a hard worker who delivered.

“His ministry was the only one with two deputies. Even though he was heading a huge ministry with so many responsibilities, Cde Shiri delivered,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    Ndebele 2 years ago

    He also murdered the equivalent of 11 Matabele civilians a day for five full years – yes 11 murders a day for every day for  five whole years. Because they were Matabele – he will be buried at Heroes Acre. We know that. A Zanu functionary that murders 11 people a day in Matabeleland for five full years – is a Real Zanu hero. There are going to be a string of heroes following Shiri now – watch that space.

  • comment-avatar
    Kalulu 2 years ago

    My condolences to the Shiri/Chikerema family on their loss of a loved one.

    I also wish to thank the Government for conferring hero status to Perrance Shiri for his commitment and displays in liberating the country and thereafter. 

    I am aware that some people have bitter memories and negative feelings towards the departed, pertaining to his involvement in the deaths of several innocent people in Matabeleland and the Midlands as he was the commander of Sixth Brigade which is known for its brutality under his command. I share their emotional feelings pertaining to this matter and the loss of their loved ones during this period and may their souls rest in peace.

    What I found unusual and questionable is Perrance Shiri’s cause of death iand the way he was reported to have succumbed to Covid-19 soon after the report of his death from the media and government officials including the president before a medical report was issued. My question is who gave the president Perrance Shiri’s Covid-19 test results which he unnecessarily waved at his funeral.  This was unheard of and questionable. I would have expected a family member to have disclosed the the cause of death if the family so wished and not the government unless if the family handed over the test results to the president.