The untimely passing of retired Air Marshall and Minister of Agriculture, Perrance Shiri, was met with shock, disbelief and a certain sense of schadenfreude from some sectors.
The cause of his death hasn’t been disclosed yet, however there are several unconfirmed rumors that the minister contracted Covid-19 from his driver who also died from the virus.
Shiri was said to have gone into isolation then at some point he ended up being admitted in hospital where he met his demise.
While Shiri was certainly a commanding figure because of his expansive liberation war credentials, top government posts and his far reaching influence, little was known about his personal life.
Shiri was a bit of an enigma to many, his reputation certainly preceded him but the ‘man behind the man’ was as reclusive as a spider.
1. For starters no one has ever seen Mrs Shiri, at least not in magazines or on television or during public appearances. Shiri always rocked up solo.
No one really knew Perrance’s marital status, most just assumed that he was a divorcee who never remarried because he was so traumatized by the war beyond repair to even consider romantic attachments.
The existence of his late son proves that at some point there was a woman in his life, where she went or what happened no one knows.
2. His real name was actually Bigboy Samson Chikerema, Perrance Shiri seems to have been his nom de guerre.
3. He was the cousin of the late president Robert Mugabe.
4. Perrance Shiri only had one known son, Titus Takudzwa Chikerema who died only at 21 in 2013 after a battle with cancer.
5. He was once the victim of an assassination attempt. Shiri was ambushed on the 13th of December in 2008 whilst driving to his farm in Marondera.
His car was shot at and when he stopped to asses the burst tyre, more bullets rained on him and his hand was left injured.
The assassins where never found.
Shiri hardly gave interviews about his personal life, he mostly talked about his war experiences and politics but he hardly volunteered information about himself.
Even when he got into the spotlight and assumed a ministerial post, he was still as reclusive as ever.