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Perrence Shiri:10 things you didn’t know

Perrence Shiri was not his real name. He was born Samson Bigboy Children’s.

He was born on 11 January 1955 and joined ZANLA in 1973 and rose through the ranks to become member of the High Command in 1977.

Joined Zimbabwe National Army in 1980, attained Brigadier rank in 1982.Transferred to Air Force of Zimbabwe as Air Commodore in 1984.

1986, Shiri took up a place at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, described as one of the prestigious defence academic institutions in Britain. BMATT commander General Sir Edward Jones, who commanded the British Military Advisory and Training team from 1983 to 1985 spoke highly of Perence Shiri: “Undoubtedly he was the man who was going to be important in Zimbabwe and I think it was important that we should influence him positively in so far as we could.”

In 1992, Shiri was appointed Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, taking over from Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai Air Chief Marshal of Air Force of Zimbabwe from 1992 – 2017.

1998 – 2002 DRC Campaign – Shiri was in command of the Zimbabwean troops at the start of the DRC War to offer massive military support to DRC President Laurent Kabila who was fighting rebels supported by Rwanda and Uganda. It was Shiri who decided that the Zimbabwean contingent would defend N’Djili and its airport.

2002 – Stung by his solid contribution to the land acquisition programme for the landless majority, the European Union barred then Air Marshal Shiri from entering the EU and on 6 March 2003, George W. Bush ordered the blocking of any of Shiri’s property in the United States.

Shiri survived an ambush on 13 December 2008, while driving to his farm. According to police, he was accosted by unknown people who shot at his car.

In October 2013, Shiri lost his son Titus “Tito” Takudzwa Chikerema aged 21.

On 30 November 2017, Shiri was appointed Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

On 18 December he was promoted from Air Marshall to Air Chief Marshal upon retirement.

29 July 2020 – Shiri dies after having been hospitalised two days. Although it was said he died from covid 19, his family claims that he was poisoned

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