Perrance Shiri

Last updated

Perrance Shiri
Air Marshal Perrance Shiri.jpg
Shiri in 2014
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
In office
30 November 2017 27 July 2020
President Emmerson Mnangagwa
DeputyDavis Marapira [1]
Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe
In office
1992 7 December 2017
President Robert Mugabe
Preceded by Josiah Tungamirai
Succeeded byShebba Shumbayaonda (Acting)
Personal details
Born
Bigboy Samson Chikerema

(1955-01-11)11 January 1955
Gweru, Southern Rhodesia
Died29 July 2020(2020-07-29) (aged 65)
Harare, Zimbabwe
Children1
Alma mater Women’s University in Africa [ citation needed ]
Royal College of Defence Studies
AwardsGrand Commander of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit [2]
Military service
Nickname(s)Perrance Shiri
Allegiance Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Zimbabwe
Branch/service Air Force of Zimbabwe
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands Fifth Brigade
Air Force of Zimbabwe

Perrance Shiri (born Bigboy Samson Chikerema; 11 January 1955 [3] [4]  29 July 2020) was a Zimbabwean air officer and government official who served as Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement in the Cabinet of Zimbabwe from 1 December 2017 until his death on 29 July 2020. He was the commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe and member of the Joint Operations Command which exerts day-by-day control over Zimbabwe's government. [5] [6]

Contents

Perrance Shiri was a cousin of former President Robert Mugabe. [7] He called himself "Black Jesus", [8] because according to an anonymous claim on BBC Panorama documentary "The Price of Silence", he "could determine your life like Jesus Christ. He could heal, raise the dead, whatever. So he claimed to be like that because he could say if you live or not." [9]

On 30 November 2017, Shiri was appointed Minister of Agriculture by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. On 18 December he was promoted from Air Marshal to Air Chief Marshal upon retirement.

Career

Military service

From 1983 to 1984, the Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade, under Shiri's command, was responsible for a reign of terror in Matabeleland. During the slaughter, thousands of civilians were killed and thousands more were tortured. Despite this, in 1986, Shiri was granted a place at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. [10]

In 1992, Shiri was appointed as the commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, taking over from Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai. [6]

Shiri was in command of the Zimbabwean troops at the start of the Second Congo War. It was Shiri who decided that the Zimbabwean contingent would defend N'Djili and its airport. This was in order to maintain an air route for resupply and reinforcements if needed. [11]

In the late-1990s and early-2000s, Shiri was reported to have organised farm invasions by war veterans. [12] In 2002, in response to the subsequent food shortage, Mugabe dispatched Shiri to South Africa to purchase maize. This undertaking was backed by a credit note for the equivalent of £17 million from the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi. [7]

With the Mugabe government facing increasing problems, the Zimbabwean press reported in February 2007 that Shiri was regularly attending General Solomon Mujuru’s unofficial meetings with other senior military commanders and some political leaders. These meetings had discussed forcing Mugabe to the polls in 2008 with a view to his replacement as president. [13]

In 2008 some Zimbabwean lawyers and opposition politicians from Mutare claimed that Shiri managed military assaults on illegal diggers in the diamond mines in the east of Zimbabwe. [14]

2008 election

In the days before the 2008 Zimbabwean presidential election Shiri, along with other Zimbabwean Defence chiefs, held a press conference where they stated that defence and security forces had been deployed across the country to maintain order. In a remark aimed against the Movement for Democratic Change, the defence chiefs stated that it would be a criminal act for anyone to declare himself the winner of the election. They maintained that such a statement must only be made by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. [15]

Sanctions against Shiri

In 2002 the European Union barred then Air Marshal Shiri from entering the EU [16] and on 6 March 2003, George W. Bush ordered the blocking of any of Shiri's property in the United States. [4]

Assassination attempt

Shiri was ambushed on 13 December 2008 while driving to his farm. According to police, he was accosted by unknown people who shot at his car. Thinking one of his tyres had burst, he got out and was shot in the arm. [17] It has been speculated that the assassination attempt was a response to Shiri's attacks on illegal diamond miners in 2008 or because of his role in Matabeleland in the 1980s. [18]

In October 2013, Shiri's son, Titus Takudzwa Chikerema, died at the age of 21. [19]

2017 coup and ministerial appointment

Shiri was influential in orchestrating the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état which removed Mugabe from power. [20] On 30 November 2017, Shiri was appointed Minister of Agriculture by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. On 18 December he was promoted from Air Marshal to Air Chief Marshal upon retirement.

Death

Shiri died on 29 July 2020, after being hospitalized the day before. [21] He was 65; local news sources say death was due to complications from COVID-19. [21] [22] Mnangagwa described Shiri as a “longtime friend and colleague” and “a true patriot.” [23]

Related Research Articles

Zimbabwe Landlocked country in southeastern Africa

Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. The second largest city is Bulawayo. A country of roughly 14 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most common.

The Gukurahundi was a series of massacres of Ndebele civilians carried out by the Zimbabwe National Army from early 1983 to late 1987. It derives from a Shona language term which loosely translates to "the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains".

ZANU–PF leading political party of Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) is a political organisation which has been the ruling party of Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. The party was led for many years under Robert Mugabe, first as Prime Minister with the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and then as President from 1987 after the merger with the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and retaining the name ZANU–PF, until 2017, when he was removed as leader.

Joice Mujuru Zimbabwean politician

Joice Runaida Mujuru, also known by her nom-de-guerre Teurai Ropa, is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Vice-President of Zimbabwe from 2004 to 2014. Previously she had served as a government minister. She also served as Vice-President of ZANU–PF. She was married to Solomon Mujuru until his death in 2011 and was long considered a potential successor to President Robert Mugabe, but in 2014 she was denounced for allegedly plotting against Mugabe. As a result of the accusations against her, Mujuru lost both her post as Vice-President and her position in the party leadership. She was expelled from the party a few months later, after which she formed the new Zimbabwe People First party.

Solomon Mujuru Zimbabwean general and politician

Solomon Mujuru, also known by his nom-de-guerre, Rex Nhongo, was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician who led Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces during the Rhodesian Bush War. He was from the Zezuru clan. In post-independence Zimbabwe, he went on to become army chief before leaving government service in 1995. After leaving his post in the Zimbabwe National Army, he got into politics becoming Member of Parliament for Chikomba on a Zanu PF ticket. He was generally regarded as one of the most feared men in Zimbabwe. His wife, Joice Mujuru, became Vice-President of Zimbabwe in 2004.

Emmerson Mnangagwa President of Zimbabwe

Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who has served as President of Zimbabwe since 24 November 2017. A member of ZANU–PF and a longtime ally of former President Robert Mugabe, he held a series of cabinet portfolios and was Mugabe's Vice-President until November 2017, when he was dismissed before coming to power in a coup d'état. He secured his first full term as president in the 2018 general election.

Josiah Tungamirai Zimbabwe air marshal

Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai, born Thomas Mberikwazvo, was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician. He was commander of the Air Force and later served as Minister of State for Indigenization and Empowerment in President Robert Mugabe's government before his death in 2005.

Sydney Tigere Sekeramayi is a Zimbabwean politician who served in the government of Zimbabwe as Minister of Defence between 2013 and 2017. He has been a minister in the Cabinet since independence in 1980, serving as Minister of Defence from 2001 to 2009 and Minister of State Security from 2009 to 2013.

The Zimbabwean government claimed to have foiled an alleged coup d'état attempt involving almost 400 soldiers and high-ranking members of the military that would have occurred on June 2 or June 15, 2007. The alleged leaders of the coup, all of whom were arrested, were retired army Captain Albert Matapo, Colonel Ben Ncube, Major General Engelbert Rugeje, and Air Vice Marshal Elson Moyo.

Patrick Antony Chinamasa is a Zimbabwean politician who served in the government of Zimbabwe as the minister of various cabinet ministries. Previously he served as the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri is a Zimbabwean politician, who is the current Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Zimbabwe. She has also served as Minister of Higher Education and Minister of Women's Affairs. Muchinguri ran as the ZANU-PF candidate for Mutasa Central constituency in the March 2008 parliamentary election, but was defeated by Trevor Saruwaka, a candidate of the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai. According to official results, Muchinguri received 4,764 votes against 9,228 votes for Saruwaka.

Simbarashe Herbert Stanley Makoni is a Zimbabwean politician and was a candidate for the March 2008 presidential election against incumbent Robert Mugabe. He was Minister of Finance and Economic Development in President Robert Mugabe's cabinet from 2000 to 2002. He faced strong opposition during the Economic Change in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s as his policies contradicted those of the rest of the ZANU-PF party.

Kembo Mohadi Minister in the cabinet of Zimbabwe

Kembo Dugish Campbell Mohadi is one of two Vice-Presidents of Zimbabwe since 28 December 2017. He briefly served as the Minister of Defence, Security and War Veterans in 2017. Previously he was Minister of State for National Security in the President's Office from 2015 to 2017 and Minister of Home Affairs from 2002 to 2015.

Cain Mathema Zimbabwean politician

Cain Ginyilitshe Ndabazekhaya Mathema is a Zimbabwean politician and has held various cabinet roles in the Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa governments. He is a member of Zanu-PF.

Elson Moyo is a Zimbabwean air officer who serves as commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe since December 2017 and one of the main figures in the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état attempt. He was previously deputy commander of the air force. At the time he was appointed air force commander, Moyo's military rank was upgraded from air vice-marshal to air marshal by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. In 2003 he was promoted from air commodore to air vice-marshal by former president Robert Mugabe.

Grace Mugabe First lady of Zimbabwe; wife of Robert Mugabe

Grace Ntombizodwa Mugabe is an entrepreneur, politician and the widow of the late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. She served as the First Lady of Zimbabwe from 1996 until her husband's resignation in November 2017, a week after he was ousted from power. Starting as a secretary to President Mugabe, she rose in the ranks of the ruling ZANU–PF party to become the head of its Women's League and a key figure in the Generation 40 faction. At the same time, she gained a reputation for privilege and extravagance during a period of economic turmoil in the country. She was expelled from the party, with other G40 members, during the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is a government ministry responsible for agriculture in Zimbabwe, including the management of agricultural land use, but not land reform. Perrance Shiri is the current incumbent minister, while the current deputy ministers are Douglas Karoro and Vangelis Haritatos. The ministry is located in Harare. It oversees:

Constantino Chiwenga Zimbabwean general

Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga is a Zimbabwean politician and former army general currently serving, since 2017, as the First Vice-President of Zimbabwe under President Emmerson Mnangagwa. In addition since 2017, he has been the Vice President and Second Secretary of the ruling Zimbabwean African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) jointly serving with Kembo Mohadi. In 2017, he, among others, managed to successfully topple Zimbabwe's President of 37 years Robert Mugabe in a bloodless coup.

2018 Zimbabwean general election

General elections were held in Zimbabwe on 30 July 2018 to elect the President and members of both houses of Parliament. Held eight months after the 2017 coup d'état, the election was the first since independence in which former President Robert Mugabe was not a candidate.

2017 Zimbabwean coup détat The Overthrow of the Mugabe Regime in Zimbabwe

On the evening of 14 November 2017, elements of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) gathered around Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, and seized control of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and key areas of the city. The next day, the ZDF issued a statement saying that it was not a coup d'état and that President Robert Mugabe was safe, although the situation would return to normal only after the ZDF had dealt with the "criminals" around Mugabe responsible for the socio-economic problems of Zimbabwe. Jacob Zuma, then-President of South Africa, phoned Mugabe and was told that Mugabe was under house arrest but otherwise "fine".

References

  1. "Mnangagwa Appoints Coup Plotters to Key Ministries in Recycled Mugabe Cabinet". Voice of America.
  2. Orders, Decorations and Medals - Zimbabwe
  3. https://www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual/44868.htm
  4. 1 2 US Code Collection - Executive Order No. 13288, Cornell Law School . Retrieved on 31 March 2007.
  5. Blair, David (22 June 2008). "Zimbabwean generals have 'taken Robert Mugabe's power'". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  6. 1 2 Air Force of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Ministry of Defence. Retrieved on 31 March 2007.
  7. 1 2 "The air marshal, Gaddafi and the big grain buy-up". telegraph.co.uk. 8 August 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  8. St. John, Lauren (2007). Rainbow's End: A Memoir of Childhood, War, and an African Farm. Scribner. p. 234.
  9. "The Price of Silence", BBC Panorama , 10 March 2002
  10. "British Invitation to Mugabe's Butcher". bbc.co.uk. 8 March 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  11. https://warisboring.com/bomb-the-other-side-of-the-runway/
  12. "Panorama reveals what British Government knew about Mugabe's worst crimes". bbc.co.uk. 10 March 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  13. "Mujuru plots Mugabe's ouster". zimdaily.com. 23 February 2007. Archived from the original on 27 February 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  14. McGreal, Chris (11 December 2008). "Bodies pile up as Mugabe wages war on diamond miners". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  15. Nkatazo, Lebo (28 March 2008). "Zimbabwe's defence chiefs issue threats on election eve". newzimbabwe.com. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  16. "EU targets the henchmen". telegraph.co.uk. 18 February 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  17. "Zimbabwe air force head 'wounded'", BBC News
  18. McGreal, Chris (16 December 2008). "Zimbabwe regime blames Mugabe ally 'assassination attempt' on opposition". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  19. http://www.herald.co.zw/air-marshall-shiris-son-dies/
  20. https://apnews.com/7afe3ad83057f11f793dd54228e8e8d9
  21. 1 2 "Zimbabwe minister Shiri, who helped plot Mugabe ouster, dies at 65". Reuters. 29 July 2020. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  22. Mutsaka, Farai (29 July 2020). "Ex-general whose brigade carried out Zimbabwe massacres dies". Associated Press. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  23. https://apnews.com/7afe3ad83057f11f793dd54228e8e8d9
Military offices
Preceded by
Josiah Tungamirai
Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe
1992–2017
Succeeded by
Elson Moyo
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Made
As Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation,
and Irrigation Development
Minister of Lands, Agriculture,
and Rural Resettlement

2017–2020
Succeeded by
TBD
Preceded by
Douglas Mombeshora
As Minister of Lands and
Rural Resettlement