Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sent his condolence message to the family of the late Midlands Provincial deputy chairperson Cde Goodwill Shiri who was accorded the provincial heroes status and buried at Gweru Provincial Heroes’ Acre yesterday.
Zanu-PF’s secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu led senior party and Government officials in paying their last respects to Cde Shiri (61)
Dr Mpofu said President Mnangagwa could not attend the burial because of other commitments.
He said given Cde Shiri’s contributions to the country both before and after independence, Cde Mnangangwa had sent him to represent him.
“It is with great pain and sorrow that I have learnt of the passing on of Cde Goodwill Shiri, the Vice Chairman of Midlands province. On behalf of Zanu-PF and on my behalf I wish to convey our heartfelt and deepest condolences to the Shiri family. His passing away has robbed the family of a husband, son, father and breadwinner,” said President Mnangagwa in a condolence message read by Dr Mpofu.
President Mnangagwa said Cde Shiri served loyally his party starting in the Youth League.
“Along the way he was victimised and punished in spite of him being innocent. Cde Shiri continued to serve his party with distinction.
“He understood the principle of the supremacy of the party. To that extent, Cde Shiri never questioned when the party directed him to cede the National Central Committee position he held to assume the lower level position of provincial Vice Chairman. To Cde Shiri the party came first and not positions,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said Zimbabweans and members of Zanu-PF in particular, must, as they mourn his untimely departure, continue to be inspired by Cde Shiri’s example of dedication, loyalty, sacrifice, clarity of mind and action.
Cde Mnangagwa said Cde Shiri’s legacy must give confidence to many in the party and in particular those in the Youth League.
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial chairperson Engineer Daniel McKenzie Ncube said Cde Shiri was a dedicated and a true Zanu-PF patriot.
“He was uncompromising when it came to the party and President Mnangagwa. He cried all the way from Gwanda to Gweru when President Mnangagwa was poisoned. That’s how loyal and committed he was to the party and leadership.
“When it came to Zimbabwe, he was uncompromising. Yes, he might have been born and grew up in Mberengwa but he did not belong to Mberengwa alone but to the whole of Midlands province. He went to war and was prepared to die for the people of Zimbabwe. He was a true friend and true fighter before and after independence,” he said.
Cde Albert Hungwe Shiri, father to the late Cde Shiri said his son worked for the family and also for the party Zanu-PF with love and dedication.
“Zanu-PF saw it fit to accord him the provincial hero status and we are grateful to the Government for this gesture,” he said.
Cde Shiri died in a road accident on Monday near Gwenoro turn-off along the Gweru-Bulawayo Road.
Cde Shiri joined the liberation struggle in 1978.
He was trained at Mavhombe Base in Mozambique by the likes of Cde George Rutanhire.
Cde Shiri was deployed to Rushinga District during the liberation struggle.
At independence he joined the Ministry of Youths, Sports and Culture before being transferred to the Ministry of Political Affairs in 1990.
In 1999, Cde Shiri was elected Zanu-PF Youth League National Political Commissar.
In 2004 he was elected into the Central Committee under the Midlands province. He retained the same position in 2014.
In 2017 Cde Shiri was co-opted into the Midlands provincial executive as vice chairman, a position he held until his untimely death.
Cde Shiri is survived by his wife Sithembile and three daughters.