Midlands Bureau Chief
ALL is set for the burial of Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) general air officer and pilot, Air Commodore Pio Pasipamire Maketo this morning at the Gweru Provincial Heroes Acre.
President Mnangagwa who is Zanu PF First Secretary, confirmed Air Commodore Maketo as a Liberation War Hero. Air Commodore Maketo, who was Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo Base Commander, died in a road accident along the Harare-Bulawayo highway, 10km from Chegutu town.
He was 55.
Air Commodore Maketo was born on January 12, 1968 in Chirumanzu. He did his primary education at Nyamhunga in Gokwe and Batanai in Mabvuku. He went to Dzivaresekwa High School in Harare for hids secondary education.
The young and energetic Maketo was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on September 1, 1986 and later transferred to the AFZ on May 1, 1988 as an officer cadet in number 53 pilot training course at the school of flying training at the then Thornhill Air Force Base (now Josiah Tungamirai Air Force Base) in Gweru.
The air officer excelled in his studies at the school in preparation for his flying training. Thereafter, he was posted to 6 Squadron where he successfully completed the flying training course. He was awarded his flying wing badge and commissioned to the rank of Air Sub Lieutenant in 1989.
Having graduated from 6 Squadron at Josiah Tungamirai Air Force base, he was posted to 3 Squadron at Manyame Air Force Base as a Squadron pilot. Air Commodore Maketo converted on the DC-3 aircraft (Dakota) as a co-pilot which he flew at the peak of the Mozambique campaign.
During his illustrious career, he successfully completed various military courses such as Regular Officer Cadet course in 1988, Basic Flying Course in 1988, Junior Staff Course in 1995, Joint Command and Staff Course in 2006 and National Defence Course at Zimbabwe National Defence University in 2019.
He also held an Executive Diploma in Business Leadership from the Zimbabwe Institute of Management. For his exploits, hard work and dedication, Air Commodore Maketo was decorated with the Independence medal, Ten Years’ Service medal, Mozambique Campaign medal, DRC Campaign medal and Long and Exemplary Service medal. He is survived by his wife Grater Mabodza and four children.
More to follow…