Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has consoled the Chiwenga family following the death of Cde Francis Manyowa Chiwenga, uncle to Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga.
Cde Manyowa Chiwenga died at the age of 74 on Thursday after succumbing to diabetes.
Speaking at a church service held at One Commando Barracks for Cde Manyowa Chiwenga, Acting President Mnangagwa said the Chiwenga family should look ahead as God had made his decision.
“I saw that he was suffering when I visited him in hospital,” he said.
“He wasn’t able to talk and when I introduced myself, he opened his eyes and closed them again. We wanted to take him into the intensive care unit since he was suffering from several ailments.
“We didn’t know that God had other plans. If you want God to laugh at you, show God your plans because he’s the one who knows what the future holds for all of us.”
Gen Chiwenga said his uncle was raised by his parents and he used to call him brother since they shared everything.
“I used to call him brother,” he said. “We shared everything, but he was my uncle and I didn’t know that until I grew up. He attended Mount St Mary’s and St Paul’s Musami schools.
“He learnt building at Musami, specialising in stone work. He was a specialist in stone work.”
Gen Chiwenga said upon completion of his education, Cde Manyowa Chiwenga ventured into politics, joining Zapu.
He said Cde Manyowa Chiwenga was sentenced to six years in prison for stealing a firearm from a British policeman, but he served three years.
Gen Chiwenga said upon his release, Cde Manyowa Chiwenga continued with revolutionary activities and he became logistics leader in the Wedza area responsible for providing food to freedom fighters during the liberation struggle.
“At one time he served me food, but he didn’t recognise me,” he said. “That’s when I realised that people were afraid to look at the faces of guerillas during the liberation struggle.”
Cde Manyowa Chiwenga is survived by four children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.