Monday, October 6, 2014
Zimbabwe issues a cheque prize to honour Tanzanian retired army officer
The Zimbabwean government has issued a cheque worth $100,000 (Sh. 160 million) as a token of appreciation to honour a liberation strategist retired Brigadier General Hashim Mbita for his sterling role and dedication during the liberation struggle in Southern African states. This is a fulfillment of a pledge which was earlier made by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on 18th August this year during the 34th SADC meeting which took place in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. During the meeting, President Mugabe being the SADC Chairman conferred Brigadier General Hashim Mbita with the Royal Order of Monomotapa, the highest honour bestowed on him for activists of Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries’ struggle for independence. The cheque was presented by Zimbabwean Ambassador in the country Edzaio Chimonyo to Shella Mbita, the daughter of the Brg Mbitta who received the cheque on behalf of his father on Friday last week in Dar es Salaam in a ceremony which was also attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Benard Membe. In his speech, the Ambassador noted that, it was befitting for his Zimbabwean government as a nation to honour Rtd Brigadier Mbita, a truly7 Pan-Africanist freedom fighter who trained guerrillas and most liberation fighters including himself. However, he appreciated himself through the hands on skills he had attained while he was here in the country during the liberation struggle. He elaborated on the award Royal Order of Monomotapa and noted that, this up to date has been awarded to Mwalimu Julius Nyeree, Agostino Neto of Angola, Samora Machel of Mozambique, Seretse Khama of Botswana and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. He said the award of honour was given to the Head of African states who were in frontline for their contributions to Zimbabwe’s liberation.
This makes Rtd Gen Hahim Mbita the only non- Head of State to be bestowed such an honour. On his part, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Benard Membe said that, the current cordial relations between Tanzania and Zimbabwe are embedded on a firm historical background that stretches back to the struggle of liberation whereby the rtd Brigadier Mbita was the liberation committee Executive Secretary of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) which was headquartered in Dar es Salaam. He also noted that, Heads of the then freed African States decided to choose Dar ers Salaam, Tanzania to become the headquarter of the liberation movements in 1963 in honour of the father of the nation whose ambition was to have all African states liberated peacefully. During the August SADC meeting, Zimbabwean President Mugabe also inaugurated nine volumes of Mbita’s publications on the genesis of the Southern African liberation. Notably, in attendance were Walter Bgoya, the Managing Director of Mkuki and Nyota Publishers which published the works. President Mugabe said the publications provide a powerful instrument for planning and monitoring the implementation of the regional integration. “It indeed epitomizes our resolve to deepen regional integration and accelerate economic and social transformation in our region in order to attain higher states of development and bring prosperity to our people,’ he said. He said statistics contained in the book enable local and foreign investors to effectively and informatively map out business in the region.