KGVI renamed after General Tongo

KGVI renamed after General Tongo
Published: 06 December 2017 (405 Views)
The Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe headquarters have been renamed from the KGV1 Barracks to the Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks.

The barracks have been renamed after the late General and ZANLA Chief of Defence, General Josiah Magama Tongogara. KGVI was derived from King George, the 6th King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth.

The renaming of the barracks was necessitated by the country's need to distance itself from colonial practices and reclaiming its institutions by acknowledging the sacrifices of those who gave their lives in service to bring about a new Zimbabwe, said President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the official launch of the renaming ceremony at the barracks today.

"The successful renaming of these and many other military cantonments follows a long and arduous bureaucratic process by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Ministry of Defence in their efforts to redress the colonial nomenclature of key military institutions. The process has, thus culminated in the renaming of a number of ZDF barracks after our own renowned First and Second Chimurenga leaders," said the President.

The Commander-In- Chief also pointed out that this was the first in a series of the renaming process as three other institutions would be given names of the country's fallen liberation heroes.

The Zimbabwe Defence University will be renamed after the late General Roger Alfred Nikita Mangena; The Headquarters 3 Infantry Brigade has been named after the late ZANU Chairman and lawyer Cde Hebert Chitepo and Glyde Air Force Base has been renamed after the late nationalist, Cde Jason Ziyapapa Moyo.

The President chronicled General Tongogara's long and difficult life of service during the war of Independence that culminated in his untimely death in Mozambique as he was on his way to inform his fellow commanders of the ceasefire that had been negotiated at the Lancaster House Conference.

"General Tongo (Tongogara) is one of the greatest military strategists of his time, a great Commander who commanded respect from both friends and foes, a leader who cared so much about the welfare of his men," said President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa said the life and hardwork of General Tongogara was best summed up in one of his most famous quotations that says that "what some of us are fighting for is to see that this oppressive system is crushed. I don't 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's all that's all. I would like to see young people enjoying whether black, white enjoying together in a new Zimbabwe that's all."

The President, who is also a former freedom fighter himself stressed that the naming of these institutions after individuals should not be taken as belittling the service of other cadres who contributed to the Independence of Zimbabwe.

He, however, encouraged the unnamed soldiers past and living to take solace in the recognition awarded to the few as an acknowledgement of all the freedom fighters and war collaborators’' efforts in fighting the oppressive colonial government.

"We should never ever forget the role played by the rest of the gallant sons and daughters of the soil. This is just a symbolic gesture for the many unsung heroes and heroines of our struggle, who are too many to mention," said the President.

The Tongogara family was represented by the late General's wife and her children. In her vote of thanks, Mrs Tongogara praised the President and Government for recognising the life work and contributions of her husband.

"This is one of the greatest days in my family's existence as it honours the life and work of my late husband and let me take this opportunity to thank all those who made this day possible," said Amai Tongogara.


- Charles Motsi

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