Freedom fighter Mhanda dies

Wilfred Mhanda

FORMER Zanla commander Wilfred Mhanda and a fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe, has died.


Mhanda (64), whose nom de guerre was Dzinashe Machingura, died at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare after succumbing to colon cancer.

Family spokesperson Munyaradzi Mhanda confirmed the death yesterday, saying his uncle had suffered from colon cancer for some time.
“He died last night at Parirenyatwa Hospital. He had been sick for some time suffering from colon cancer. The doctors had examined him and we thought he was going to recover,” he said.

“He had cancer of the colon which was diagnosed in 2011 and was successfully treated. He went through chemotherapy for six months which was completed and he was negative. But then there were some complications that developed.”

Mhanda was waiting to undergo a procedure to remove gases that had developed in his stomach as a result of chemotherapy.

Mourners are gathered at Number 7 Sudbery Road, Monavale in Harare.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai described the late Mhanda as a dedicated patriot with an impeccable history in the fight to liberate the people.

“We want to commiserate with the Mhanda family. He was a true, dedicated comrade who has an impeccable record and the president is mourning with the family on this sad loss,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said Mhanda made immense contribution to the independence of the country as a member of the High Command.
“He made his contribution. He was a member of the High Command. He had his challenges after independence, but that does not take away his contributions as a fighter and commander,” Gumbo said.

Some of the people who went to pay their condolences include MDC Team leaders Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma.

A fierce critic of Mugabe, Mhanda was outspoken and played a critical role in the liberation of the country from colonial rule.

In his book published in 2011 titled Dzino: Memories of a Freedom Fighter, he expressed how he felt betrayed by Mugabe and the late Army General Solomon Mujuru.

In one of the interviews with a foreign publication, Mhanda described Mugabe as “intolerant of divergent views, single-minded and pre-occupied with position and power”.

Mhanda was also founder of the Zimbabwe Liberators’ Platform (ZLP) in 2000, a rival group to the radical Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans’ Association which is viewed as too partisan.


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  1. Anopaenda paGOMO here uyu? He has lost out because he did not want to throw away the ethos of the liberation struggle. Hero or no hero, he is a liberation hero. do not worry about him denied “national” but he remains a HERO. Ndookufamba kwazvo.

  2. Ngawazorore zvawo. Just as well vaMugabe blocked him from occupying any Senior position, baba awa, Chairperson Nenji naWilson Nharingo dzaive mbavha. They looted Zimbabwe Liberators Platform. Tinoziwa Hedu. Nxaaaaaaaaaa

  3. How can Mugabe’s critic be declared a NATIONAL HERO? No one is a national hero with a different view from that of the intolerant Mugabe For Life. Rugare Gumbo reformed&repented,now he is the party spokesman.He realized the sheff otherwise he was just going to rot. The same goes for Dzikamai who is now a minister.

  4. Suerly,how can Gushungo’s critic be declared a national hero? GUSHUNGO FOR LIFE. He is the nation.Even God knows ZANU chiwororo cannot be tampered with. In ZANU PF,Gushungo is the key. Rugare Gumbo reformed&repented like Dzikamai.Now they are party spokesman & minister respectively…

  5. True heroes don’t last , God wants all the good people to him . He was one of the people who revived the armed struggle , none partisan , none tribalist and a patrotic nationalist . RIP ZIPA . Your fellow cdes , will welcome u.

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  7. This, this one my friends…was a real gamba. kwete zvana Matibili, Hunzvi, Chinotimba netwumwe twumaopportunists. Tarasikirwa negamba remachokwadi.

  8. Newsday reporter Moses Matenga writes a load of garbage all the time. “A fierce critic of Mugabe, Mhanda was outspoken and played a critical role in the liberation of the country from colonial rule” Matenga wrote.
    You people are letting us down. This country was created by the colonialists. Before 1890 there was no country to talk about. What you, and other morons, call “liberation” was nothing but a frenetic almighty scramble for political power by those in NDP and later in Zapu and Zanu from 1963 to 1987 when Zapu sold out and signed the so-called Unity Accord. Mine was one of the millions of votes which got Zanu into power in 1980 after Muzorewa’s reign. Both Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo was forced into the Lancaster House agreement by the Front Line state presidents, Machel, Nyerere and Kaunda after bithe Nkomo and Mugabe had insisted that they were only after a military victory which was not going to happen.
    When you people write about “freedom” what exactly do you mean when you never worked as adults in Rhodesia? “Freedom” from what? I was born in the then S Rhodesia, schooled in S Rhodesia, worked and started a family in Rhodesia and never had any problems.
    Zanu and Zapu did not “liberate” any country on Earth. I defy anyone to tell me otherwise. Don’t be lied to by these politicians. Mugabe’s school fees was paid by an Irish missionary colonialist at Kutama how can he say colonialism was evil? He brags about having an education! Thanks to colonialism. We all owe the colonialists a debt of gratitude for colonising us. This is from the bottom of my heart. You will not win any arguments on this matter with me because I was there when NDP was formed in Highfields in 1960. I attended the first rallies at Cyril Jennings Hall in Highfields. I speak like an ordinary person who is not after anyone’s vote. These politicians are always trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
    If you talk of “freedom” then you should say what we are “free” from. I would also remind punters that before 1980 we blacks were exempt from paying income tax and black businesses were exempt from paying corporation tax. It was only the whites who were compelled to pay these taxes in Rhodesia.
    I will take on any low intelligence idiots on what I have stated. After 1980 I realised hw good white rule was. And I am not the only one.

    • Musona, please save us of rhodesia, not that I support Mugabe but racist rhodesia was just hell. Who in his right mind defend apartheid. Please man… right now we praying for Mugabe to leave us alone

    • @Musona, it is apparent you are stark raving mad. Save us the history lessons, we probably are more qualified on the subject. By freedom we mean the “freedom to determine our own destiny.” Look up “destiny.” Or mvunza maRasta. As in all revolutions that comes at a price.Its amazing how much praise you give colonialism but then I am beginning to doubt your mental faculties. Your vehemence is misplaced and astonishing. Hakuchina vanhu vanofunga sewe, for your information, pa Wall yepaChimoio varipo vana Musona. Vakafirei?

    • So u dont wanna pay income and cooperate tax because you are black. You are surely shallow minded. So u wanted to continue staying in makhokhoba , highfelds , mbare and not walk freely on your own land. You wanted our minerals to be exploited. Do you ever ask yourself why Rhodesia was an unrecognised state internationally. Do you realise that the blacks were not treated as people. I was also there during that time. You have surely characterized yourself as a non patriot who worships white superiority. You are old and you should be wise man. Do think that my brothers went to war for nothing. Head up

  9. One sentence should read, “Both Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo were forced into the Lancaster House agreement by the Front Line state presidents, Machel, Nyerere and Kaunda after both Nkomo and Mugabe had insisted that they were only after a military victory which was not going to happen”.

    • Hey… please save us. I was a Mujibha and the whole Mutoko and Murehwa were liberated zones by early 1977, please save us of rhodesia, you are just a bitter person. We know rhodesians same people like Eugene Terebranche die bitter death. Hey remove the brinkers… don’t remind of racism… we have wounds that only Christ removed.

      • @izikiel or don or whatever – you read a lot of embellished history you fool. Let me get hold of what Rex Nhongo said in 1979 you filthy cretin. There was no racsim – you argue over the lies you read. When or where you discriminated against?

        • Musona, in 1974 I was a form two student at Tegwani High school. My father was a teacher in Mutare and I used to make the journey to Plumtree by train. Every school holiday my parents would purchase a second class return ticket and make the necessary reservations.

          On one of the trips to school, on the second leg from Harare to Bulawayo, I was moved out of my second class compartment to make way for white kids whose parents had not bothered to make the necessary reservations. It was a painful and traumatic experience for me because I had never travelled third class. I was not compensated for the down grade. My mother wept when I told her what had happened to me.

          That was discrimination against an innocent child, wouldn’t you say? So, yes, some of us were indeed discriminated against. You were lucky not to have experienced discrimination.

    • You are exhibiting your ignorance again, War, according to Clausewitz, is a means to an end, the endstate being forcing the other party to concede to your political demands. Being a Rhodie I know you remember, by 1979 victory had been attained and the LH agreement saved a bloodbath.If there is anyone who was forced, it was the Rhodies who had declared “never in a thousand years” Iwe unenge muvheyas chete.

  10. Rest in peace my hero. You did not throw in the towel like what Chihuri did. You were indeed an honourable man. I salute you. @Musona, shut up your 69 year old mouth. Nonsense. Dzakutsaku.

  11. One Saturday morning, in the year 2000, I drove to Fife Avenue Shopping centre to buy some items in a Hardware shop. I went in OK supermarket nearby first and when I got inside there was commotion – I soon realised that Ian Smith was in the supermarket and was mobbed by shoppers and shop workers. Everything came to a standstill. People outside thought there was a fight inside only to see it was people cheering Ian Smith. I could not believe what I was seeing. When he went outside back to his red VW Golf car still he was being mobbed and cheered by almost everyone at Fife Avenue. People were shouting you were dead right Mr Smith. He just smiled and never said anything and drove away. This goes to show you how good he was you stupid morons.

  12. Here is a quotation from a publication in 1980 by Rex Nhongo:-
    “ZANLA, with some 10 000 trained men within Rhodesia, persisted in its effort to secure political control of the villagers.
    “Despite those numbers, by September 1979 ZANLA was in dire straits in the opinion of its commander, Rex Nhongo, because of Fire Force, the external raids, and the unease of the host country.
    “Nhongo believed that ZANLA would have found it difficult to get through the next dry seasons of mid-1980.
    “Peace came none too soon for ZANLA”.

  13. ZVOMENE ! Maenda Mbire MuKARANGA Huru ! Ndimi makabata Pfuti – Hondo makaiona makagwa zvikuru ZVOMENE. Zororai murugare. Nguva ichauya kukuradzayi paruware guru !

  14. My his saul rest in peace cde mhanda and he must go to heroes acre why they want many thinks every one knws is a national hero come zimbabwe

  15. Rest in Peace a true and selfless freedom fighter. You command a rich legacy in the history of the liberation struggle of this country.That Mhanda was not accorded hero status was a foregone conclusion. It simply affirms the notion that we Africans and specifically Zimbabweans have first class memories of old grudges and can forgive each other.The message of reconciliation was extended to former colonialists-the whites but not to a fellow African even up to the point of death.Mwari tiitirei nyasha tive nerudo rwechokwadi pakati pedu.Paheroes acre Baba hapana denga renyu dzvene!!

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