As Zimbabwe gears up for the 30 July elections, Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Owen Ncube has implored the province and the nation to heed the President’s call of promoting a conducive environment for free and fair elections.

Cde Ncube was speaking at the burial of the late Colonel Tapfuma Shoko who died in Malaysia where he was a defence attaché and was buried at the Provincial Heroes Acre in Gweru.

He called on the nation to cherish the peace and unity brought by veterans of the struggle like Colonel Shoko by showing commitment in creating a conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections.

“As you are aware, the 2018 harmonised elections are nearing, His Excellency the President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged that the polls would be free, fair, credible, transparent and non-violent. In this regard, I urge you all to heed this call by promoting a conducive environment. Indeed, the voice of the people when they spoke through the ballot is the voice of God. Peace begins with me, peace begins with you and peace begins with all of us. To Colonel Shoko i say sleep well. The people’s servant,” he said.

Representing the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, and Major General Martin Chedendo hailed Colonel Shoko’s resilience and his contribution during and after the liberation struggle.

Relatives and friends who described Shoko as their pillar of strength and a unifier in the family expressed gratitude to government for bringing the body of the Colonel Shoko from Malaysia. 

Colonel Shoko who died after short illness in Malaysia was part of the group of students that left Manama Secondary School and crossed the border into Botswana to Francistown and then travelled to Zambia in 1977.

He received his military training at Emagojine where he became an instructor till independe

nce and was known as Cde Abednigo Mkululu during the liberation struggle.

After the liberation struggle, Colonel Shoko joined the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 and rose through the ranks to colonel and during his time of service he served in various positions including platoon commander and defence attaché in Malaysia.

He is survived   by his wife Portia and five children.