MIDLANDS war veterans’ leader Wilson Kufa Chitoro, popularly known as Biggie Chitoro, who died last Thursday after a long illness has been declared a liberation war hero by Zanu PF.
He will be buried at the Midlands provincial heroes’ acre in Gweru today.
Midlands Provincial Affairs minister and Zanu PF provincial chairperson Jason Machaya said Chitoro was automatically declared a liberation war hero since he was an ex-freedom fighter.
“He was declared a liberation war hero. We have three categories of heroes; a national hero, liberation war hero and a liberation hero,” he said.
“Chitoro automatically becomes a liberation war hero by virtue of having been a war veteran.”
The war veterans’ leader caused untold terror in Mberengwa during the land invasions in 2000 with the remote district suffering some of the worst violence and intimidation before that year’s elections, as Chitoro led war vets and Zanu PF supporters in attacking opposition MDC supporters.
Chitoro together with his colleagues, Shadreck Makoni, Francis Ncube, Sam Kid Ganyau, Morgan Gumbo, Nhamoinesu Dziva and Elias Zhou were accused of kidnapping three MDC supporters whom they severely tortured on June 4 2000 at Texas Ranch resulting in the death of Fainos Kufazvinei.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year made reference to Chitoro in one of his campaign rallies in Zvishavane saying when elected into power, Chitoro would be made to account for his actions.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said they were not surprised with the honour given to Chitoro.
“All we can say as the MDC is may his soul rest and God have mercy upon him.
“There is nothing surprising about what Zanu PF has done (granting Chitoro liberation war hero status).
“We know they reward thieves, rapists and murderers. This is not new at all,” he said.