Zanu PF Youth League yesterday send a message of condolence to Air Force of Zimbabwe following a the death of two pilots and a technician in a horrific helicopter crash victim in Goromonzi last Friday.
The helicopter crash also claimed the life of an 18-month-old toddler, Jade Fenyere who was sleeping with her twin sister, Jada, when the Agusta Bell 412 (AB 412) helicopter crashed into their house.
In a statement, Zanu PF acting deputy secretary for youth affairs, Cde Tendai Chirau said they learnt with shock and grief of the crash during routine training.
The horror crash claimed the lives of two Air Force of Zimbabwe pilots, Wing Commander Thomas Tinashe Manyowa, Flight Lieutenant Annita Mapiye, one AFZ technician Flight Sergeant Chikamhi Tinodaishe and the child.
“We join His Excellency, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Cde ED Mnangagwa, the entire ZDF rank-and-file, and the entire nation in consoling the deceased’s families. Death has robbed families of their hopes for the future. Death has robbed the nation of dedicated members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces whose duties entailed their undertaking some of the most dangerous military tasks, all to bring us to a deeper state of national security. Their death in the line of duty magnifies their personal sacrifices in upholding the values of patriotism, trust and bravery; the building blocks of stability. The AFZ officers were fine young cadres who gave due credit to the uniform they wore,” said Cde Chirau.
He said it was saddening that among the deceased AFZ officers was Zimbabwe’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Flight Lieutenant Annita Mapiye.
“As she bravely charted the lonely male-dominated heights of combat aviation, the young woman had already become a role model and inspiration to the girl child. She consistently urged girls and women to be confident, innovative and to think smart and positively of themselves. We do hope in all sincerity, that her patriotic contribution towards dismantling retrogressive gender stereotypes and uplifting the girl child should earn her a well-deserved status even in death,” he said.