By A Correspondent- A former top Zimbabwe National Army officer has been found dead at his home.
Retired Colonel Patrick Tawona Maponga was found dead at his home in Magunje on Tuesday morning. He was 60.
Maponga was a veteran of Zimbabwe’s war of independence. He lost his wife early this year.
According to a Hurungwe war veteran member, Don Nxele, the late Maponga was among freedom fighters who took the land reform seriously.
He said Maponga was first allocated a plot at the Nassau Farm near Karoi in 2001, but later moved to Mshowe Pools in Hurungwe East constituency in 2003. Said Nxele:
I remember that he was among the few freedom fighters who took farming as a business.
In 2004, he hosted African senior army officers who wanted to understand how the land reform was benefitting indigenous people at Mshowe Pools Farm.
Some came from Egypt, South Africa, Namibia and other Southern Africa countries. By then, he was into wheat and maize production.
Of late, Maponga had ventured into cattle rearing, horticulture, poultry and crocodile farming.
Maponga joined the liberation struggle at a tender age and was trained in Tanzania. He rose through the ranks to become an instructor in Mozambique before independence.
He was integrated into the Zimbabwe National Army soon after independence. He was among the soldiers deployed in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo as an instructor.
At one time, he was deployed at Magunje 2.3 Infantry Battalion before he voluntarily retired in 1997.
Burial arrangements are still yet to be announced.
He is survived by eight children