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Lt. Gen. Edzai Chimonyo: Zimbabwe Army Commander Dies

Lieutenant-General Edzai Chimonyo, the Commander Zimbabwe National Army has died. Writing on his Twitter blog, Presidential spokesperson Geo...

Lieutenant-General Edzai Chimonyo, the Commander Zimbabwe National Army has died.

Writing on his Twitter blog, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said Lt Gen Chimonyo died after a long battle with cancer.

“Devastated to announce the passing on of General Chimonyo early this morning after a long fight against cancer. go well freedom fighter, Commander and Ambassador,” he wrote.

ZNA Commander Lt-Gen Chimonyo participated in the liberation struggle and has held a number of appointments between 1980 and 2008 in various brigades, Army and Defence Headquarters before his transfer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was appointed ambassador to Tanzania until December 2017.

Lt Gen Chimonyo assumed his current position on December 18, 2017 when he took over from General Philip Valerio Sibanda, who was promoted to be the Commander Defence Forces.
The Late Lt. Gen Edzai Chimonyo
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) is the primary branch of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces responsible for land-oriented military operations. 

It is the largest service branch under the Zimbabwean Joint Operations Command (JOC). 

The modern army has its roots in the Rhodesian Army, which was raised between 1963 and 1964 after the breakup of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

A Joint High Command created in March 1980 to oversee integration of the formerly belligerent Rhodesian Security Forces, Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) officially established the Zimbabwe National Army in late 1980, nearly a year after the end of the liberation war.

The mission statement of the army is "to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests of Zimbabwe and to contribute to international peace and security" a mandate the force has been able live up to in the region.

It is considered an integral component of the JOC, and falls under the ultimate authority of the President of Zimbabwe. 

The ZNA is directed by a Chief of the Army, the senior official being an Army Chief of Staff. Zimbabwe's highest ranking army officer until his death in July 2021 was Lt. Gen. Chimonyo.

In 2011, Harare continued to maintain a statutory strength of 40,000 active personnel; actual numbers hover closer to 30,000. ZNA reserves claim another 21,800, putting the combined component strength total at approximately 51,800.

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