Zanu PF founder Enos Nkala dies

FORMER Cabinet minister and one of Zanu PF’s founding members Enos Nkala has died.


He was 81.

Family spokesperson Herbert Nkala said the veteran politician succumbed to a kidney condition and heart attack yesterday morning at a private hospital in Harare where he had been admitted since August 7.

“We tried all we could, but without success.  He battled a kidney ailment for two years and we took him to various health centres locally and outside the country,” said Nkala.

“At first we took him to Cape Town before he was admitted at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo where he stayed for seven days before we resolved to bring him to the Avenues Clinic in Harare where there are better facilities.”

Although Zanu PF had not yet announced its plans on the former Defence minister’s hero status yesterday, the late outspoken politician is on record as saying he did not wish to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre.

“My being not buried at Heroes’ Acre does not cancel my status. I don’t want to go there, I just don’t want. There are reasons why I think I should be buried in my region, within my province by my people. I don’t want my body to be carried and put into that place.

I don’t like it personally from my point of view,” Nkala told a local online publication in 2011.

“That thing (National Heroes’ Acre) was copied from North Korea; I’m not a North Korean. I’m a Zimbabwean, proud of what I am and my origin, so I’m not going to be thrown to some hill for the prestige of it. That’s my reason.”

Zanu PF was formed at Nkala’s home at House Number 4449, Old Highfield, Harare, in August 1963 by an eight-member breakaway faction from the then Joshua Nkomo-led Zapu.  Other members who attended the historic meeting were the late Herbert Chitepo, Leopold Takawira, Ndabaningi Sithole, Edgar Tekere, Henry Hamadziripi and Mukudzei Midzi.

Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Callistus Ndlovu described the late Nkala as one of the founders of nationalism in Zimbabwe.

“We received the news with sadness. It’s a pity he has died,” Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu said the party leadership would meet to decide on Nkala’s hero status.

“It’s a collective decision of the party which is finalised by the politburo. There are some people who might feel that he deserves hero status, but it is not for me to say. The leadership will decide,” Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu said the late Nkala gave birth to nationalism in Zimbabwe and was instrumental in the fight against the white colonial regime.
“Nkala was generally the founder of nationalism in this country. He was at the forefront in the formation of Zanu PF. I think the leadership from both wings — I mean Zapu and Zanu PF — admit he was one of the most effective leaders against colonialism,” Ndlovu said.

Nkala served variously as Minister of Finance, National Supplies, Home Affairs and Defence in the years leading to the 1987 Unity Accord that ended the Gukurahundi massacres.

Nkala vehemently denied any involvement in the Gukurahundi massacres, saying he expressed his opposition to the operation that left over 20 000 civilians dead.

Before his death, Nkala said he was writing a book chronicling all that happened in Zanu PF since its formation, including the Gukurahundi massacres and the assassination of several high-profile officials through car accidents. He said the book would be released after his death.

“He was forthright and direct in what he thought or felt. He never kept a grudge against anyone. People sometimes will not be very happy with his pronouncements. He did not have any evil intentions against anyone. I knew him to be a person who made sure that things were done accordingly,” Ndlovu said.

Mourners are gathered at Herbert’s house at Number 62 Carrick Creagh in Borrowdale, Harare, while others are at the late nationalist’s Bulawayo residence at Number 9 Eastwood Road in Woodlands.



  1. Vengesai Chifamba

    R I P comrade u will be greatly missed

  2. Enos Nkala is one of the gullible people who were used by Robert Mugabe over the years as “ladders” to get to the top of the party to achieve Mugabe’s lifelong ambition to be ruler of the country.

  3. Black nationalists like Enos were NOT fighting against white colonial rule but were fighting each other for political power after Britain the colonial power had indicated in the late 1950s that they were going to give up their overseas colonies. He house in Highfield were Zanu was formed belonged to the white government and people like Nkala were renting these houses from the whites. Only blacks working for the whites were allowed to rent these houses. Blacks had no money to build their own houses. All the people who were present when Zanu was formed hated Joshua Nkomo – they did not feel his was the right person to be ruler.

    1. But that is politics and Nkala was 100% a politician. Its not a game of hugs and kisses.

      1. @sahxy – at no point in my comment did I say Nkala was not a politician. As for hugs and kisses – I don’t know where that fits into what I stated? I merely stated that black natioalists like Nkala et al were not fighting white colonialism bt fighting amongst themselves for political power disguised as a figth against white colonialism.

  4. few will miss him in Mat regions and the middlands, the wounds are still fresh we can’t jugde him only God will ,but iam not sad.Good riddance.

  5. One sentence in my comment above should read, “His house in Highfield where Zanu was formed belonged to the white government and people like Nkala were renting these houses from the whites”.

  6. well,let him rest in peace.we are now concerned about the book he is said to have wrote before his death.we hope to find answears to some of our questions.

  7. The good are often interred with their borns.

  8. “When i die i want to be buried in my region,among my people”! Ko zvamaimboti it’s better kuti vandokandwa vose mugungwa wani?

  9. Nkala was not supposed to live his life making apologies to anyone. If anyone feels strongly about his involvement in any bad activities why then did you not take him to court. We all bury our transgressions, criticise each other and most of the human race and turn around and vent our failures to other humans who spend most of their life fighting for freedom. We then decide to erase all the good and replace it and tarnish it with bad. Its a paradgm of thought that keep us held prisoners by judging. Judge not lest ye be judged. Most of you come from disfunctional families with a lot of generational curses, badly educated, uninformed no values just a cheap suit on and needing validation from those arond you, and for you to feel good you feel the need to persecute those around you. You are petty and small minded. If you are an effective activists take it up with the law or else leave it to the Heavenly Court of Law where neither you or me has set eyes on neither foot but its there, that is where it will be done

    1. Good piece of an article. Well done Tryphine!!

  10. i can’t wait to read his book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.