6 December 2017

Zimbabwe: King George V1 Barracks Renamed After Josiah Magama Tongogara

THE King George V1 army barracks was Wednesday renamed after the late Zanla commander and liberation war hero General Josiah Magama Tongogara.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa presided over the ceremony, the first of a series of similar events to be held around the country.

Other military institutions rechristened include the National Defence University which has been renamed after General Rogers Alfred Nikita Mangena, the Infantry Brigade headquarters in Mutare, renamed after the late Herbert Chitepo, and Flyde Airforce Base that has been renamed after Jason Ziyapapa Moyo.

Addressing the gathering at the KG6 event Wednesday, President Mnangagwa said the renaming process helps rewrite the country's history.

"The process has without doubt set in motion our longstanding desire to rewrite our own history and in the process promoting our values as Zimbabweans.

"By so doing, we rid ourselves of the colonial mentality which regards all that is associated with Europe and the West with high esteem while placing a low opinion on our value systems.

"The ghost of colonialism has thus been exorcised by the renaming of some institutions after the country's illustrious sons and liberations icons like the late Tongogara."

Mnangagwa described the late national hero as "always a frank man who spoke his mind, one of the greatest military strategists of his time; a great Commander who commanded respect from both friends and foe, a leader who cared so much about the welfare of his men."

He added; "The late President of Mozambique, Samora Machel spoke of his admiration for 'General Tongo' as a simple soldier who grew in stature, with characteristics of modesty hard work, openness and self-criticism, always serving the people."

Zimbabweans, the president continued, remember Tongogara for his famous quote:

"What some of us are fighting for is to see that oppressive system is crushed. I do not even care whether I will be part of the top echelon in the ruling government, I am not worried but, I am dying to see a change in the system that is all, that is all. I would like to see the young people enjoying together whether black, white, enjoying together."

Tongogara died on December 26, 1979 in a car accident on his way back from Mozambique on the eve of independence.

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