ZIMBABWE’S military Generals cowered in shame Wednesday after they were called out on embarrassing spelling error on the plaque commemorating the renaming the King George VI (KG6) army barracks in Harare Wednesday.
The error was noticed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as he unveiled a plaque renaming the barracks after the late Zanla commander and liberation icon Josiah Magama Tongogara.
Those who engraved the plaque spelt the country’s name as ‘Zimbawe’ and also omitted ‘the’ in the citation.
Mnangagwa, who was reading the citation loudly, abruptly stopped after noticing the errors.
The citation read, ‘The renaming of barracks was officially commissioned by his Excellency of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Head of State and Commander of-in-Chief of (the) ‘Zimbawe’ Defence Forces, Cde E.D Mnangangwa on 06 December 2017′.
“What is this?” asked the evidently surprised president. “Pane mistakeka apa, (there’s a spelling error here).”
He looked around but none of the Generals in attendance uttered a word.
Those present included Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga, army commander Lt General Valerio Phillip Sibanda, Air vice Marshal Sheba Shumbayaonda (Air Force), Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services Paradzai Zimondi and acting Central Intelligent Organisation director Aron Nhipira.
“Panoda kugadziriswa apa (this needs to be corrected),” Mnangagwa told them.
Tongogara’s wife, Angeline, and his children were also present along with rank and file military personnel.
Asked to comment later, army spokesperson Col Overson Mugwisi only said; “I’m rushing to another function with the HE Mnangagwa but action will be taken.”
Meanwhile, addressing the gathering, Mnangagwa said renaming of King George VI to Josiah Magama Tongogara barracks helped exorcise “the ghost of colonialism”.
“We rid ourselves of the colonial mentality. The ghost of colonialism has been exorcised by the renaming of these barracks,” said Mnangagwa, adding that this is one way of preserving the nation’s history.