THE late Zimbabwean Ambassador to Mozambique, Lieutenant General (Retired) Douglas Nyikayaramba has been declared a national hero.
Nyikayaramba died of COVID-19 related complications this Tuesday at St. Anne’s Hospital in Avondale, Harare, while he was back home for vacation.
He was 60.
The Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri made the announcement when she visited the Nyikayaramba home in Nyabira, Mashonaland East, this Wednesday evening.
“The party led by the President looked at the illustrious journey he travelled, which it feels young people should emulate. It was therefore unanimously felt that he deserved the highest honour, that of national hero, so I have to convey the message that the President saw it befitting to declare him national hero,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Zanu-PF national chairperson.
She chronicled the road travelled by Nyikayaramba from the time he left school to join the liberation struggle and the role he played after the liberation struggle.
The family said it is honoured by the recognition that the government has made on the decorated soldier and diplomat.
Family spokesperson Frazer Zvina Nyikayaramba said the family had been honoured by the decision to grant their son the highest honour bestowed on the country’s luminaries.
“We are happy with the honour bestowed on my younger brother. We humbly request that you convey our gratitude to President Mnangagwa,” said Frazer, who is elder brother to the late national hero.
He described his brother as a unifier in the family.
Lt. Gen Nyikayaramba’s (Rtd) son Kelvin described his father as someone who was ever determined to satisfy the needs of every family member.
A devout member of the Johane Masowe Apostolic Church, Nyikayaramba was described by his fellow church members as a down-to-earth-man.
A member of the church Mebiloshenzi Chipango said Nyikayaramba was a humble man who never threw his weight around even as an army general.
“He would sit down just like everyone else. You would never know that he had that high rank in the army,” he said.
Nyikayaramba, whose nom de guerre during the armed liberation struggle was “Blessing Muhondo”, was born on January 9, 1960, in Mutoko District, Mashonaland East Province, in a family of 11.
He did his primary education at Kowo Primary School before proceeding for secondary education at Nyamuzuwe High School in Mutoko District in 1974.
Nyikayaramba joined the liberation struggle in 1977 and trained in Mozambique at Tembwe Base Two.
On completion he was appointed company political commissar.
He later sat for his O’ Level examination at Marlborough High School after independence.
Nyikayaramba grew up in a village environment where all the injustices of the colonial regime manifested and that made him conscious of the political injustices prevalent at the time.
At independence, he held several positions in the Zimbabwe National Army until retirement in 2019.
He was then seconded on the diplomatic mission in Mozambique, where he served until the time of his death.
He is survived by his wife, Elina Nyikayaramba, nine children and nine grandchildren. 🔺