The late former freedom fighter Cde Paul Mandiyanike who died last week and was accorded provincial liberation war hero status was laid to rest at the Manicaland Provincial Heroes Acre with full military honour.

Friends, relatives, former freedom fighters and government officials gathered at the Manicaland Provincial Heroes Acre to bid farewell to Cde Mandiyanike.

A family representative commended the government for bestowing the liberation war hero status on the late Cde Mandiyanike and said his untimely death was a big loss to the family.

The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Mandi Chimene saluted the supreme sacrifices, dedication and commitment of Cde Mandiyanike and other living and departed former freedom fighters in liberating the country from the york of colonial oppression.

Cde Chimene bemoaned the alarming departure of former freedom fighters and implored youths to rise up and take the responsibility of defending the country.

She called upon Zanu PF leadership and supporters to remain vigilant in defence of the hard won independence.

Born on the 10th of October in 1957 in Mutare district, Cde Mandiyanike whose Chimurenga name was Cde Thomas Zimuto crossed into neighbouring Mozambique in 1976 to join the liberation struggle.

He was first stationed at Doroi, later deployed to Chimoio Camp in 1978 and redeployed again to Doroi Camp.

In 1978 he was sent to Romania for further military training at Chincu Camp and on return he operated in Mount Darwin under Nehanda sector.

Upon the attainment of independence he was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army until his retirement in 1994.

He is survived by a wife and three children.