Mag­is­trate killing mis­sion that went awry

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Big Read/national News -

Hadebe, Kay Nkala, El­liot Ng­wabi, we also had a trained man from China called Clark Mpofu.”

Clark Mpofu had been ar­rested for bomb­ing a cir­cus in Bu­l­awayo. The com­rades had made some ar­range­ments to sneak out of the coun­try to Zam­bia via Botswana with peo­ple who were on the out­side. Af­ter get­ting a lift Cde Hadebe re­quested that they be dropped at Plumtree. They then pro­ceeded to Botswana on foot only to be am­bushed by po­lice of­fi­cers af­ter they had ap­peared in a news­pa­per as most wanted ter­ror­ists.

“The news­pa­per was of­fer­ing a price for any­one who would man­age to catch us. It said any­one or all of them you will be given 250 pounds. When we were in the car I re­alised that there was a po­lice car which fol­low­ing us be­cause I had passed through Botswana when I was go­ing for mil­i­tary train­ing and I could tell from the num­ber plates that it was a po­lice car. I alerted oth­ers that we were be­ing am­bushed. When the car be­hind us was slow­ing down we all jumped out of the truck and I heard a gun be­ing fired. We all ran. Ng­wabi tried to help the other one who had fallen down, and in the process they were both cap­tured. Now it was only Clark and I.”

How­ever, Hadebe and Clark lost each other while Ng­wabi was taken to Khami Prison where he met other lib­er­a­tion fight­ers.

“You know we re­ally had a hard time but I am happy now be­cause we are rul­ing. You know back then am­ab­hunu (white peo­ple) were very ugly and they looked at us as if we were dogs but I am re­ally happy that at the end we achieved our mis­sion of tak­ing the coun­try back,” con­tin­ued Cde Hadebe.

When asked about what he wishes to be done about the Zidube Ranch, Cde Nkala said he would ap­pre­ci­ate it if a slab would be put to nar­rate what hap­pened there. He also said he would like his corpse to be taken to Parireny­atwa Hos­pi­tals to be used for learn­ing pur­poses. I think by way of es­tab­lish­ing the geog­ra­phy of this area it is pretty clear as you see here there is im­i­laga or mi­rage in Shona. It ( mi­rage) was a live­stock strat­egy where they grazed their cat­tle in win­ter, in fact if you lis­ten be­hind us there are bells so these are their cat­tle and it is win­ter time and these are cat­tle that have been brought here by res­i­dents from Gwanda side, Ka­fusi, Makoke and also Sankon­jana and Babirwa. I think that is okay by way of just geog­ra­phy by way of when we now talk about Zidube.

“The name of the place is Zidube Ranch, per­haps Angli­cised to Dube Ranch. Zidube most likely in my view is a Nde­belised word and that Nde­belised word was Angli­cised then we end up with Dube that is Zidube Ranch. We are priv­i­leged to­day that we have peo­ple who par­tic­i­pated in the at­tack on this farm. Specif­i­cally we are on the premises of a home­stead of a mag­is­trate, they will men­tion his name, who was here but I need to con­tex­tu­alise what was hap­pen­ing here by go­ing briefly into his­tory.

I will be­gin with the state­ment that is: The strug­gle, the broader strug­gle; note I did not say armed lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. I said the strug­gle, for in­de­pen­dence was car­ried out by the civil­ians. It was a strug­gle of civil­ians by civil­ians for civil­ians, it should be clear to all of us. It is they that started this po­lit­i­cal strug­gle, as na­tion­al­ists with their lead­ers. We have the South­ern Rhode­sia African Congress, its po­lit­i­cal ag­i­ta­tion then what hap­pens is the whites are in­tran­si­gent. They would note when the wind of change was blow­ing as re­ferred by Harold Mark­millern the Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter then.

Those winds would not be al­lowed to blow into the south­ern part of the con­ti­nent, so the party that had been formed on the 12th of Septem­ber at Mai Mosadzi Hall, the South­ern Rhode­sia African Na­tional Congress led by Joshua Nkomo was banned through the emer­gency reg­u­la­tion.

Af­ter its ban­ning at that time there wasn’t any armed com­po­nent to it that is why I said let us be clear so that we know what starts and what fol­lows. It’s a strug­gle for the peo­ple by the peo­ple and when I am say­ing peo­ple I am re­fer­ring to civil­ians. I will show later that it is the civil­ians who then later be­come armed.

Then 1960 comes when the South­ern Rhode­sia African Congress has been banned, the Na­tional Demo­cratic party is formed on the first of Jan­uary 1960 with Michael Mawema ini­tially as pres­i­dent when Nkomo was still in Lon­don but Nkomo comes back and takes over in about Septem­ber. That is the year when the de­ci­sion to bring in the armed com­po­nent was taken. What we then see are two as­pects: what is hap­pen­ing in ru­ral ar­eas and what is hap­pen­ing in ur­ban ar­eas.

In ru­ral ar­eas its tak­ing sab­o­tage of govern­ment in­stal­la­tion quite ad­mit­tedly Govern­ment in­stal­la­tions in ru­ral ar­eas were ne­glected and marginalised and there was not much. What they could re­sort to were dip tanks so that is the time this area west of where we are koBhidi, Nyashon­gwe, St Josephs area go­ing to Mbe­m­beswana there was a lot of po­lit­i­cal ag­i­ta­tion and the rea­son is quite clear, Joshua Nkomo came from that area.

We see the in­flu­ence of these early na­tion­al­ists though they lived in town they still main­tained con­tact with their ru­ral homes, so you will see the Gwanda area, Ed­ward Bhakwa uNdlovu was there and again there was a lot of po­lit­i­cal ag­i­ta­tion koSigombe and eNqa­meni and then what was hap­pen­ing was re­pose to sab­o­tag­ing the dip tanks. In ur­ban ar­eas what we see in 1960 in par­tic­u­lar is Zhi! Zhi is com­ing from the Nde­bele at­tack chant, they would say: Zhiii mama ngadla Ngo mkhonto, ngomdikadika Zhi mama ngadla.

They adopted that slo­gan which is an at­tack­ing chant. Then who do we see? We had elders in Bu­l­awayo like Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo who lived in Makokoba, peo­ple like Bhen­jamini Madlela, Siphibi Moyo and many oth­ers. They were all liv­ing in Makokoba. Then we had very vi­brant ac­tive youths in Bu­l­awayo, here we are talk­ing about Du­miso Dabengwa, Archie Ndlovu, Ethan Dube and many oth­ers. These were the youths and then it was the youths re­al­is­ing that these whites were not re­spond­ing to their call of ma­jor­ity rule then they started the march.

They wanted to march into town but they were stopped along Third Av­enue then they were throw­ing stones. A stone must be un­der­stood as a weapon. It’s most ba­sic but it is a weapon and now we are mov­ing away from mere talk with their mouths to the use of stones. There was not a sin­gle bul­let which was fired dur­ing Zhii. There was lot of throw­ing of stones and there was also a lot of sab­o­tage, lots of ar­son, de­stroy­ing of build­ings and that was the form it took. That was the be­gin­ning of the armed lib­er­a­tion strug­gle from the gen­eral lib­er­a­tion strug­gle trans­form­ing through the use of stones ini­tially it be­comes the armed lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

I am presently en­gaged in writ­ing the his­tory of Zipra but the strat­egy I will make use of is iden­ti­fy­ing the var­i­ous stages it took. I was talk­ing to Du­miso Dabengwa yes­ter­day and we re­alised that there were stages and we are here to­day wit­ness­ing a stage beyond the use of stones. The Hadebes who at­tacked the Zidube Ranch were not us­ing stones, they were beyond that. In 1960 there is sab­o­tage, then by 1961 some peo­ple had gone out of the coun­try. In 1962 some peo­ple were train­ing in China for ex­am­ple but the first group un­der Zapu was led by Charles Chik­erema then oth­ers came, per­haps two groups in the same year. In the same year Joshua Nkomo ob­tained weapons from Egypt and bor­dered Air France bound for Dar es Salaam in Tan­za­nia. They stopped him be­cause he was car­ry­ing some hand grenades in his hand lug­gage.

That was the be­gin­ning of get­ting arms into the coun­try in 1962. I think we have nar­rated it be­fore, the peo­ple who went to col­lect those arms in Tan­za­nia drove through Tun­duma through Zam­bia over Vic­tory Falls and left them at Lu­panda. I think when we told the story of Lu­panda we did make ref­er­ence to those weapons that were car­ried in a zep­phyr zo­diac driven by Abra­ham Nk­wi­wane then we had peo­ple like Mishack Ve­laphi Ncube who comes from this area by the way. There was another gen­tle­man whose name I for­get.

Some of those weapons were be­ing re­ceived by peo­ple like Ethan Dube and Dabengwa, Archie and Thomas Ng­wenya. They found their way even­tu­ally into the Matopo Hills, from there they were trans­ported to Harare, driven by Bob Loc Many­onga. He was caught, they then opened his car boot and found Thomp­son ma­chine guns and many other weapons. So the weapons had al­ready come in, which is another step higher than the sab­o­tage where peo­ple were mak­ing use of bombs.

Those who had gone to China, yes, they had han­dled weapons such as guns but largely it was sab­o­tage that they re­sorted to and then bomb­ing var­i­ous govern­ment in­stal­la­tions. Some peo­ple may know John­son Nde­bele who pre­ma­turely ex­ploded one such weapon in Harare, I think it was at High­field. So once the weapons had ar­rived it pushed the strug­gle to the next stage and it is that stage which we are wit­ness­ing here. The nar­ra­tives of what we are go­ing to get here re­late to that pe­riod. Now they had the weapons, the bread, thomp­son ma­chine guns and ri­fles and they came to Zidube Ranch.

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