Cemeteries On Cards Only For Army, Police, Prison Officers

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

PLANS are afoot for the establishment of cemeteries to bury fallen members of the uniformed services, which include the army, police, prisons and other allied security sectors.

The shrines are set to be created in all the country’s 10 provinces.

Sources say the Mashonaland West military cemetery would be situated in Chinhoyi, a historically-poignant location where the famed ‘Battle of Chinhoyi’ that triggered the Second Chimurenga liberation war was fought by seven gallant guerilla fighters.

In welcoming the plans during a meeting held at Cooksey Hall this Monday, Mashonaland West provincial minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the establishment of dedicated burial sites for military service men and women was befitting their stature and resolve to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The idea of setting aside provincial military cemeteries for our beloved defence forces is noble as it honours the dedication and hard work our men and women in uniform do for our beloved motherland.

“As Mashonaland West province, we welcome it and will surely support it,” said Mliswa-Chikoka.

She said her office will engage the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) command element to ensure that the envisaged plan gets to fruition.

“My very efficient team will engage with you to ensure that we get this project rolling. Thus, l have advised the technical lands committee to look into the matter for implementation of the project,” added the minister.

Members of the media, including State broadcaster ZBC and The Herald journalists, were immediately ordered to leave the venue after Mliswa-Chikoka’s opening remarks, rendering a blackout on further deliberations of the meeting as well as the planned roll-out of the idea which reportedly will be spearheaded by the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA).

Major-General Paul Chima of ZNA was one of the senior service chiefs who attended the closed-door indaba with the police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services top officers, among others.