Stanley Nleya who died on Tuesday has been declared a national hero.
Nleya was one of the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army’s (ZIPRA) commanders during the war of independence.
He succumbed to heart disease on Tuesday at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where he had been admitted. Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu announced the national status to the Nleya family at the family’s residence in Luveve on Friday afternoon.
He said Nleya was declared a national hero in recognition of his contributions towards the liberation of Zimbabwe.
Nleya whose guerilla name was Elish Gagisa died on Tuesday at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) due to cardiac complications.
He was 72.
Family spokesperson and younger brother Mr Tshaha Nleya said the family was devastated by his death.
The former ZPRA Deputy Chief of Operations was born in 1947 in Masendu ,Bulilima District, Matabeleland South.
Nleya joined the armed struggle in Zambia via Botswana.
He rose from being a simple recruit to become one of the chief instructors, at one point seconded for attachment to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) where he was involved in combat with the Israelis.
As an instructor some of the people who went through his hands are decorated freedom fighters such as the current Zimbabwe Defense Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda, Todd Mpisi, Rodwell Nyika (Retired Brigadier-General Collins Moyo), former St Paul’s Assembly Point commander and frontal commander for NF1 and 2, Nicholas Nkomo.
During the Zipa period Nleya was the chief of staff for Mgagao Training Camp in Tanzania where his deputy was former Airforce commander, Air Marshal Perence Shiri.