Live updates by: Thembinkosi Mangena

Photography by: Wadzanai Mhombera

 

That brings to the end of our live updates here at the National Heroes Acre.

1407: The police band is now leading the national anthem.

1355: President Mugabe is now leading the laying of wreaths.

1343: President Mugabe, service chiefs and Murozvi family members have arrived at the grave. The body is now being interred as the gun salute rings.

1331: Dr Chombo thanks President Mugabe for his consoling address and invites him to accompany the deceased to his final resting place at the National Heroes Acre. Meanwhile, the body of Brigadier General Murozvi is now being carried to its final resting place.

1323: Another choral group is now on the podium.

1321: “Go well baba vemhuri, go well freedom fighter, may your rest in eternal peace,” says President Mugabe as he closes his speech.

“All comrades lying here fought for the revolutionary cause, like their colleague who is joining them today.”

1319: President Mugabe says Brigadier General Murozvi joins his departed colleagues who fought for a common cause.

1314: He says Cde Murozvi was the holder of several medals which are the Liberation, Independence, Mozambqiue campaign and the DRC campaign medals among others.

1308: President Mugabe highlighted that among notable achievements of Cde Murozvi as a serving member of the army, he was a part of the pioneer group which spearheaded the formation of the Zimbabwe National Army currently headed my General Constantino Chiwenga.

1306: Cde Mugabe says when the ceasefire agreement was reached in 1979, Brigadier General Murozvi was among those that remained in their areas of operation during war as they were skeptical of the sincerity of the Rhodesians.

“James was different from those who thought being a war veteran is license to do whatever they wished to. He was a totally different person as he placed the party ahead of his personal intersts. He knew that the party leads the people.”

1259: Cde Mugabe says when Cde Murozvi was appointed to any duty, he never complained.

“We seconded him to the Ministry of the Welfare of War Veterans after noting that he was a learned man and his education was well complemented by discipline.”

1255: President Mugabe says Brigadier General Murozvi was a humble man and a person full of respect.

1252: Cde Mugabe describes Cde Murozvi as a brave and dedicated cadre.

“He went even though there was never any certainty that one will come back.”

1248: President Mugabe says the late national hero dedicated his life to the liberation of the country and left home to join the struggle.

1247:  “To the Cdes here present, we heard the history of Cde James Tichatonga. Some, we knew and some of the things we didn’t,” says President Mugabe.

1245: “May I on behalf of the government, pay condolences to the Murozvi family. And to the Murozvi family we are pained as you are for the late James served us all well.”

1243: President says the death of Brig-Gen Murozvi has shocked everyone, robbed the nation, the party, army, the Murozvi family and civil service of a committed man.

1239: President Mugabe is now giving his speech.

1237: As President Mugabe moves to the podium, mourners rise and he advises them to take their seats.

1236: The Director of Ceremonies Dr Chombo makes salutations and recognises the presence of service chiefs, senior government officials,  CJ Malaba, the deceased’s family and mourners in general. He also takes time to invite President Mugabe to address mourners gathered here at the national shrine.

“Go well son of the soil, famba zvakanaka, hamba kahle. May your dear soul rest in Peace,” says Dr Muzvuru as he concludes his remarks.

1232:  Dr Muzvuru also pays tribute to Service chiefs and military staff for working well with the late James whose Chimurenga name was Cde James Tichatonga. He has finished his address.

“On behalf of departed James’ family, I would like to pay tribute to you President Sir, for this gesture.”

1231: Dr Muzvuru thanked Joice Murozvi the wife of the late national hero Brig-Gen Murozvi for the love and care she showed to her husband until his time of death.

1229: “When his tenure as a defence attachee ended in London, he brought home five tonnes of text books and donated to schools in Bikita.”

1228: Dr Muzvuru says James’ home was more like a transit camp for relatives who came to look for opportunities in the city.

1227: “He was always willing to help those in need and was good friends with his four year old grand child, who was the last to see him before he collapsed,” says Dr Muzvuru.

“James was an inspiration to the family as he always encouraged us to work hard and pursue our dreams,” says Dr Muzvuru.

1226: Brig-Gen Murozvi has been described as a man who had a passion for education.

1225: Dr Muzvuru said James was so protective of his wife and never badmouthed her, but as we, in our African culture would say “akadyiswa” (bewitched).

1223: ” I feel humbled to stand before you and say a few words about our beloved dear brother. He was a humble man despite having attained so many in life,” says Dr Muzvuru.

1222: Dr Chombo invites Dr Augustine Muzvuru the Murozvi family representative to address mourners.

1218: A choral group is now on stage singing a sorrowful song, Lord i’m coming home.

1208: Dr Chombo is now on the podium and has invited a Pastor from the Apostolic Faith Mission to lead the proceedings in prayer.

1206: The casket is now being placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

1200: President Mugabe has arrived here at the National Heroes Acre. The body of Brigadier General Murozvi has also arrived.

1153: Friends and former workmates describe Brigadier General Murozvi as a dedicated cadre who gave his life for the liberation of Zimbabwe.

1150: Heroes acre filling up before the beginning of proceedings.

1147: Ministers and Service chiefs await President Mugabe’s arrival at Heroes Acre.

1146: The body of the late national hero Brigadier General Murozvi is now on its way to the National Heroes Acre where its remains are going to be interred.

1135: VP Mnangagwa has arrived at the National Shrine and joins other senior government officials as well as Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe and Chief Justice Malaba in the VVIP tent.

1123: Official proceedings are about resume here with the arrival of the Minister of Home Affairs who is the Director of State Ceremonies, Dr Ignatious Chombo most likely signaling that.

1113: Senior Government officials and Service chiefs who attended the service at Stodart Hall have arrived here at the National Heroes Acre.

1052: Mbare Chimurenga group dance to ‘Mhururu Kuenda Nekudzoka’ sung by Elliot Manyika and other revolutionary songs like ‘Nora’ being played here at he National Shrine.

1050: President Robert Mugabe has arrived at Stodart Hall where he will lead mourners in body viewing, before the body of the late national hero Brigadier General James Murozvi is taken to its final resting place at the National Shrine.

1036: Dr Chris Mushohwe arriving at the National Shrine.

1035: Vice President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has arrived here at Stodart Hall.

1029: Senior Government officials have started arriving here at National Heroes Acre. Among them Dr Joseph Made who is Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development as well as Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora.

1026: President Mugabe is expected to preside over the burial at the National Shrine.

1025: The body of the late Brig-Gen Murozvi is expected to arrive later from Stodart Hall accompanied by family members aboard a gun carriage.

1024: People from all walks of life are still arriving at the National Heroes Acre. The new Chief Justice Luke Malaba has also arrived.

1016: Service chiefs have arrived here at Stodart Hall.

1011: Here is the chosen place for Brigadier General Murozvi.

1010: Some people are already at the National Heroes Acre awaiting the arrival of the national hero Brigadier General Murozvi from Stodart Hall in Mbare.

0955: Dignitaries have started arriving for the proceedings.

0953: The body of Brigadier General Murozvi is now lying in state ahead of burial at the National Heroes Acre this morning.

0946: State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi has also arrived.

0943: Minister of Defence Dr Sydney Sekeramayi is also here.

0936: Dr Ignatius Chombo who is the Minister of Home Affairs has arrived here.

0930: Mourners continue to gather outside Stodart Hall.

0920: The body of Brigadier-General Murozvi whose Chimurenga name was James Tichatonga has arrived at Stodart Hall.

0900: A huge crowd has gathered outside Mbare’s Stodart Hall to bid farewell to national hero Brigadier General James Jotham Murozvi who died on Thursday.