Birthday: – 11 January 1955 – Born Bigboy Samson Chikerema
Liberation struggle: Joined ZANLA in 1973 and rose through the ranks to become member of the High Command in 1977.
After Independence: Joined Zimbabwe National Army in 1980, attained Brigadier rank in 1982.
Gukurahundi: Shiri was the first commander of the 5th Brigade, a special unit in the army of Zimbabwe known to have caused deaths mostly in Matabeleland and Midlands Province that have come to be known as Gukurahundi. From 1983 to 1984, the Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade, under Shiri’s command, was reported to be responsible as thousands of civilians were killed and or tortured.
Airforce: Transferred to Air Force of Zimbabwe as Air Commodore in 1984
Studies in London: 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.”
Commander Post: 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
DRC War: 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.
Sanctions: 2002 – 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 following his solid contribution to the land acquisition programme.
Efforts To Address Food Shortages: In 2002, was dispatched by then-president Robert Mugabe to South Africa to purchase maize. This undertaking was reportedly backed by a credit note for the equivalent of Pound sterling £ 17 million from the late former Libyan leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi Colonel Gaddafi.
Assassination attempt: Shiri was shot in the arm on 13 December 2008 and was admitted at an undisclosed hospital in Harare. He was reportedly ambushed on the way to his farm, which was seized from a white farmer in 2000. Then Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi, claimed the attack on Shiri had been an attempt to destabilise the country.[3
Death of son: In October 2013, Shiri lost his son Titus “Tito” Takudzwa Chikerema aged 21
Lands Minister: 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
Death: 29 July 2020 – Shiri dies after having been hospitalised two days.