Msipa unites Zim politi­cians in death

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Na­tional News -

“He spent sev­eral years of his life in de­ten­tion as the racist set­tler regime of Ian Dou­glas Smith heav­ily de­scended on the po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties of revo­lu­tion­ary icons in the mould of Joshua Nkomo, Ge­orge Nyan­doro, Edi­son Zvobgo, Josiah Chi­na­mano and many oth­ers.

“After Zim­babwe at­tained in­de­pen­dence in 1980, the late Mr Msipa served the new gov­ern­ment in sev­eral ca­pac­i­ties the last of which was as Gover­nor of the Mid­lands Prov­ince. He was a can­did, fear­less and straight-talk­ing na­tion­al­ist who was al­ways ready to de­nounce such evils like trib­al­ism, racism cor­rup­tion and sex­ism.”

Cde Msipa met for­mer na­tion­al­ist Dr Joshua Nkomo in 1955 and started work­ing for the African Na­tional Congress in 1957 by or­gan­is­ing meet­ings for the move­ment while also work­ing as an ac­tive mem­ber of the RATA which was vo­cal against sup­pres­sion of black in­ter­ests, while ad­vo­cat­ing for teach­ers’ rights. He was elected to the Amaveni African Ad­vi­sory Board in Kwekwe and he was its chair­man in 1957 and 1958.

From 1960-1964 he be­came a col­league to Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe who was also a teacher. He was sus­pended from teach­ing for his ac­tive role in politics be­fore he was even­tu­ally banned from par­tak­ing in the pro­fes­sion in 1964 for de­fy­ing or­ders not to take part in po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Cde Msipa was de­tained at Gon­akudz­ingwa and Harare pris­ons but es­caped in 1966 as a way of chal­leng­ing Smith’s Novem­ber 11, 1965 Uni­lat­eral Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence.

Be­tween 1966 and 1970 Cde Msipa was branded a ter­ror­ist by the set­tler regime and put on the wanted list. He worked at Cold Com­fort Farm, dis­guised as a farm labourer in the com­pany of Didy­mus Mu­tasa and Arthur Guy Clut­ton-Brock. When Mr Clut­ton-Brock was de­ported to the United King­dom for ‘hous­ing ter­ror­ists,’ Cde Msipa went into hid­ing for 10 weeks. He was even­tu­ally cap­tured and sent to prison from 1966-1970 for fight­ing against the Rhode­sian regime. Cde Msipa com­pleted a de­gree in Public Ad­min­is­tra­tion with Unisa while in de­ten­tion. He also did a three year course in public re­la­tions with the Lon­don In­sti­tute of Public Re­la­tions.

From 1971 to 1978 after his re­lease, Cde Msipa worked for com­pa­nies such as Lo­bels where he was sacked for vis­it­ing Malawi as guest of Pres­i­dent Dr Hast­ings Ka­muzu Banda. At David White­head he was sacked for con­tin­u­ing to sup­port “ter­ror­ists”. He played an in­valu­able role in sup­ply­ing lo­gis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion, medicines and other ne­ces­si­ties for lead­ers of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle

He was a founder mem­ber of African Na­tional Coun­cil with Cdes Josiah Chi­na­mano, Michael Mawema, Edi­son Sit­hole and Edi­son Zvobgo.

In 1975, he was elected Zapu na­tional sec­re­tary for ed­u­ca­tion and was a mem­ber of the party’s Cen­tral Com­mit­tee. He was in­stru­men­tal in fa­cil­i­tat­ing the ed­u­ca­tion of many lead­ers in the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle within and out­side the coun­try in his role as sec­re­tary for ed­u­ca­tion for Zapu.

Work­ing with Mr He­bert Mu­nan­gatire, they formed a news­pa­per called Zim­babwe Times where he was the as­sis­tant editor and then editor of the pa­per be­tween 197578.

He was de­tained at Whawha in 1978, while the news­pa­per was banned. He re­mained in de­ten­tion un­til 1979 when he par­tic­i­pated in the Lan­caster House talks.

After in­de­pen­dence be­tween 1980 and 1982, Cde Msipa served in gov­ern­ment as Deputy Min­is­ter of Youth, Sport and Re­cre­ation, and Deputy Min­is­ter of Manpower Plan­ning.

In 1982, he was ap­pointed Min­is­ter of Wa­ter Re­sources and De­vel­op­ment.

In 1984, he was ap­pointed Zapu sec­re­tary gen­eral but later re­signed from gov­ern­ment and Zapu and all ac­tive politics to go into what he termed “self-im­posed po­lit­i­cal neu­tral­ity.”

Be­tween 1985 and 1995, Cde Msipa was ap­pointed deputy chair­man of the Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket­ing Author­ity be­fore be­com­ing chair­man of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

AMA was an um­brella body of the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board, Cot­ton Mar­ket­ing Board, Dairy Mar­ket­ing Board and Cold Stor­age Com­mis­sion.

He was also ap­pointed vice chair­man then chair­man of the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Board, also ap­pointed first chair­man of ZimTrade

In the pri­vate sec­tor, Cde Msipa was ap­pointed nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of a num­ber of com­pa­nies such as Tri­an­gle Sugar Es­tate, Cairns Hold­ings, Blue Rib­bon, John­son and John­son, Ko­dak, Bikita Min­er­als, NMB Bank, and oth­ers.

“When he re­turned to politics he was in­volved in the unity agree­ment be­tween Zanu-PF and PF Zapu which cul­mi­nated in the Unity Ac­cord of 1987 be­fore he was ap­pointed Mid­lands Gover­nor be­tween 1990 and 1994,” reads his bi­og­ra­phy.

Be­tween 1995 and 2000, he was ap­pointed Min­is­ter of State for State En­ter­prises and Indi­geni­sa­tion be­fore he was reap­pointed Mid­lands Gover­nor. In 2002, he was ap­pointed pa­tron of the Zim­babwe Ex-Po­lit­i­cal Pris­on­ers, De­tainees and Restrictees.

In 2005, he be­came Mid­lands Gover­nor for a third term be­fore he re­tired in 2008.

In the year 2009, he es­tab­lished the C.G. Msipa Schol­ar­ship Trust to pro­vide all form of as­sis­tance to un­der­priv­i­leged but in­tel­lec­tu­ally gifted stu­dents.

He was a pa­tron of HelpAge Zim­babwe, Mu­da­vanhu School for the men­tally chal­lenged and life mem­ber of Jairos Jiri As­so­ci­a­tion Zvisha­vane Branch

In De­cem­ber 1979, Cde Msipa sur­vived an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt after a bul­let was fired through his bed­room win­dow nar­rowly miss­ing his late wife Char­lotte.

After the as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt, Cde Msipa re­ceived a phone call and a white man on the other end of the line asked him if he re­mem­bered the down­ing of the Vis­count plane shot down by Zipra guer­ril­las.

Mourn­ers are gath­ered at his house in Kopje, Gweru, while oth­ers are gath­ered at his son’s house in Bor­row­dale, Harare.

Mr Wi­nos Dube

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