Scores of mourners gathered in Dambashoko Gwanda to bid farewell to Cde Jonah Tshuma who was declared a liberation war hero amid glowing tributes for the critical role he played in the political emancipation of Zimbabwe.

Family, friends and relatives of the late Cde Tshuma gathered at his rural home in Dambashoko to give a befitting send off to a man described as a humble, selfless and brave soldier.

The Minister of State for Matabeleland South Province Cde Abednico Ncube who said knew Cde Tshuma from back in the 1970’s saluted the hero’s bravery and commitment to the fight for independence saying the challenge is now for Zimbabweans to work towards the attainment of economic freedom.

“May we inculcate a desire in all of us to know that development is not brought by government but by the ordinary citizen. Let’s all participate in these programmes such as the command livestock programme so that we uplift our economy,” he said.

The party has been robbed of a dedicated cadre who worked tirelessly for the development of Matabeleland South, said Cde Japhet Dube while Cde Linos Sibanda who was speaking on behalf of war collaborators and ex-detainees thanked the government for according liberation war hero status to Cde Tshuma.

“What Cde Tshuma did for the party and the country is worth emulating as such we shall forever remain indebted to him for dedicating his life for the betterment of his people,” said Cde Sibanda.

The family said the death of Cde Tshuma has left a huge void that will be difficult to fill.

“Every problem we could face even in the community we looked up to him and he lived well with neighbors and he was someone who could understand you when you had a problem.”

Known to many as Cde Biyozo Skelemu, Cde Tshuma was born in Dambashoko on the 24th of February 1926 in Gwanda North.

He did his primary and secondary education at Dambashoko and Mtshabezi schools respectively.

He later worked for several companies before joining the struggle where he was incarcerated with many others for fighting the colonial regime.

Cde Tshuma is survived by his wife, three children and 16 grandchildren.