Timeline: The life of Nathan Shamuyarira

NS Title   Untitled-2 Former minister and retired Zanu PF Information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira died on Wednesday night at West End Clinic in Harare. He was 85. Here is a timeline of his life and career. n_shamuyarira-249x300

  • Born on 29 September 1928.
  • Attended Waddilove Institute and qualified as a primary school teacher.
  • 1950-53 he taught animal husbandry at Domboshava and then in 1953 Shamuyarira got a job as a cub reporter with African Newspapers Ltd.
  • Become the first black African editor of the Daily News in 1956.
  • From 1959 to 1962 he was editor-in-chief of African Newspapers Ltd, at which time he left journalism.
  • Left Southern Rhodesia in 1964 to study Political Science at Princeton University in the United States – graduating in 1967.
  • Appointed a lecturer at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, where he doubled up as ZANU’s secretary for external affairs.
  • In 1970, he and Cde James Chikerema engaged in deliberations on unifying ZANU and ZAPU in Zambia resulting in him resigning his lectureship to take up the post of treasurer for the new Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe in 1971.
  • In 1973 he resigned from his position as treasurer and returned to his lectureship in Dar-se-Salaam.
  • Appointed Minister of Information and Tourism in 1980.
  • 19 October 1980 he reimplemented the screening of foreign journalists. Journalists had to have a work permit approved monthly by the government.
  • He retired from active politics in 2010 due to deteriorating health.

What he said: In March 2005 he referred to prominent government critic and archbishop Pius Ncube as a

Ncube Piuss
Pius Ncube

mad, inveterate liar. He has been lying for the past two years. He, however, fits into the scheme of the British and Americans, who are calling for regime change and are feeding him with these wild ideas. Archbishop Ncube’s open call for an unconstitutional uprising shows he is an instrument of the West’s illegal regime change agenda.

In October 2006 Shamuyarira, making reference to the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s, sparked outrage when he declared Mugabe and the late cabinet minister Edison Zvobgo were wrong to apologise for the North Korea-trained 5 Brigade massacres in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands. He was quoted as saying,

'They made us sing' painting about Gukurahundi by Owen Maseko
‘They made us sing’ painting about Gukurahundi by Owen Maseko

No, I don’t regret. They (5 Brigade) were doing a job to protect the people.

He later said his comments were taken out of context, but refused to condemn the incident, saying,

That’s a situation that we would like to put into history. It’s not a fair question to put to me, why should I be answering this 25 years later?

Portfolios held in government Zimbabwe's ruling party spokesman Nathan

Additional information: wikipedia

Additional pictures: osisa.org and colonialrelic.com


  1. RIP son of the soil. You have done your part, thank for your contribution towards the liberation of Zimbabwe.

    1. He left Zim in 1973 to Tanzania only resurfaced in 1980.Is this not saying he ran away until the chimurenga was over

    2. HANA KUBATA PFUTI Mutengesi wenyu uyu! Achatongwa nemagandanga kudhenga, muzezuru wenyu uyu !

  2. Pfuketse mhondi dzevanhu, ngazvife musoro mukuru .Harahwa dzega dzega kutiuraisa nenhamo ,kwasara munyasarandi uyu weziso 1..i hope mwari vachatora havo kamunyasarandi ikaka tifare zvedu vokakanda mugehena kasadzoka futi and we tha.k god hakana mwana aizosara i egg i honyeeee.

    1. six lower wandipedza, kkkkkkk

  3. Heya zviya vaShamuyarira makatombodzidzawo kuvadvanyiri mhiri uko nhai? ko vakange vakaipeiko ma America ava? ko dai vaisakudai mainge muchabvumirwawo ikoko here? Tozvisiira kuna Musiki Mukuru iye Mwari. Chokwadi muchasangana nacho iko munoenda. Zororai murugare.

    1. pliz stop yo blocking comments

  4. Kufa akuna member now you will meet those who were killed by you gukurahundi you are going to gehena straight away.May your soul be roasted in pieces. Aaah!!!! pitigori wayenda anga chinyanya kuvhayira .aleluya thank you god.

  5. Cde Shamuyarira you lived life to the fullest, eighty five years is no joke. Blessed are those who dont die like six lower and silvanos whose families have never suffered death. RIP cde Shamuyarira, gamba remagamba

    1. kkkk Gandanga. dont try to judge. while you may not know what inspires me to say so… you maybe entirely shocked that i lost almost the entire family because of situation attributed to poverty brought about by the likes of ministers and leaders. you must as well know that living large at the expense of others, irregardless of your advantageous chronological position that enabled you to choose to fight for a cause so you can, in turn,suppress the disadvantaged under the guise of leading them and securing your hard fought trophy doesnt make one a god. Still ther is a Supreme power we all need to submit to whether you die at 1000 years or 1 week old. We all die and nothing to brag about.

  6. Rest in eternal peace Cde.Shamuyarira…you played your part in moulding this great nation….

  7. I don’t feel pity for killers, or murderers, better vaende mapfeni

  8. there is nobody born to live forever that is the end of your history ,the trueth was with u and have gone with u ,from your biography and time history i have noticed that u were educated,u were suiting into politics your first idea in politics uniting zapu and zanu was gud though quickly gave up something i smell a rat.thus i say i like it for u are part of zim history.

  9. Now at peace hopeful not together with the 5th brigade victims!

  10. Toda two two this Black August including the BIG ONE-EYED OWL.GOD is answering Zim slowly but surely!!!

  11. Ko munotofawo? Taiti pamwe tisu tega. Anyway good riddence.

  12. Ko munotofawo? Taiti pamwe tisu tega. Anyway good riddance.

  13. Munyasarandi chii, pliz yo coments musnt be insulting to some of us hardworking Zimbabweans……wat r these colonial boarders to u…….?

  14. pano murikuti kalatse aka kakadzidza america kaka graduator ikoko munoreva here kuti muno manga musina zvikoro, nemhaka yei muchikuza american education ko nhasi vaipa nokuti havadi nemari yavo, iye aizoti mugabe and zvobgo are wrong to appologise to the victim families of the gukurahundi masacres sei nhasi ainda kosangana nevafi vaya vakumubvunsa kuty ko paya sei wairasa muromo unoti takanga tisingadiwo kusvika 85 yrs here,takanga tisingadiwo kuba zvawaiita here, takanga tisingadewo kufamba nemaDiscovery 4 here. Nhasi zvasangana, kushungurudzwa tanzwa nezviharahwa zvinonyepera kunga zvakadzidza nhema izvo
    ,hapana chisingaperi hama dzangu nhasi kamba yasangana neune demo

  15. @musona. I cant judge you but from the tone of your article you are definite you wont die/immortal being but I can judge the late Nathan Shamuyarira who was my leader and hero. May his soul rest in peace

  16. sorry its @silvanos

  17. @Gandanga you seem to be one of beneficeries of border gezi school of minimal mental capability graduates by trying to cover your tired old nonagorians backsides with a face towel but forgerting that their fronts is old as the backside and the face towel is exposing more when you fools try to cover by rotating as damage control.My heart bleeds when i see professional moron of your caribre coming out open on this platform exposing yourself as a suitable candidate at one few mental institution for constant suivillance on biopolar disorder ,electron-nuerotic re-lapse,down-syndrome charactaristics. Thanks to these old peoples home club members for destroying all Health systems and now opting to use the few public funds to seek medical attention in Singapore and leaving you confirmed fool to earthly mercy for you cannot afford a parket of painkillers.

  18. hey people are justified to be bitter zim has disadvantaged us despite having stationery.

  19. It might take years, decades even! But the inhliziyo yomuntu omubi ayiphumuli! Dnt rest in peace you monster!

  20. Pasi idandaro fo shoo,these guys ar displaying acts of immortality thru killing their own fellows so i thot they wll never die at one point,im nw convincd kut mwari ndewedu tose,the net is slowly closing on them .very soon there wll b a politiburo sitting in hell ,vanenge vakwana

  21. the psychoanalyst

    no question here lies a hero made of political philosophy that he had read well.
    clearly that that he said is contrary to what neoliterates said he said !!

  22. No death has missed the real target here guys. Captain cook and his one eye nust have been.

  23. Let us not rejoice over the death of another. He did well to spent his last decade out of public office. When you overstay your welcome the problem is people may celebrate your death. And terms like Nyasaland are xenophobic from a suspected kwerekwere. I get the feeling death even at the highest life might not help, either. All this shows the folly of human rulership. No country on earth at the moment is entirely pleased with their leadership. Politicians can do their memory and legacy a favour by exiting the world political stage while they are still popular or else their death will be celebrated

  24. The S Rhodesia that Shamuyarira left in 1964 was not the same country he came back to in 1980. He went to America to look for a political ideology hence him studying Political Science – basically studying to be a politician or how to be leader or how to galvanise the people. They all wanted to copy Nkrumah by going to America to hone their political skills. Would such a person tell it like it really is? No chance.
    In early 1980 before the general election I and some acquaintances went to Harry Margolis Hall to listen to a debate between Nathan Shamuyarira, representing Zanu and Dr Rukudzo Murapa, then representative of Ndabaningi Sithole’s Zanu (Ndonga). The audience was predominately pro-Zanu and was heckling Murapa non-stop. What I noticed was that given a choice people would plump for something “exotic” than the local they are used to. Zanu was “exotic” in a way, coming from Mozambique and Murapa’s Ndonga was local and therefore boring. Shamuyarira was promising heaven on earth if we voted for Zanu – all quixotic stuff. A lot of people were taken in by Shamuyarira’s rhetoric – not me. I had heard such speeches before at political rallies in the 1960s. It has turned out that the only people living high on the hog are the few politically well-connected. The majority are worse off. Those who did not experience life as working adults in Rhodesia will never know how good it was. They don’t know any different. For us old folks it is very excruciating. The way these politicians and their hangers-on carry on you would think we were not allowed to breathe any fresh air by Ian Smith which is nonsense. The young generation has been lied to that we needed “Pas*es” to move around which again is nonsense. Our lives were very normal and fulfilling. The only people who had problems are those who wanted political power. Some people think if you are black you should always side with any black government even if it’s incompetent – I will not do that. I expect any incumbent government or future government to be equal or better than the white governments of the past otherwise what is/was the point of clamouring to be in power? What Shamuyarira said back then before the 1980 elections at Harry Margolis Hall meeting has turned out to be a lot of hot air.

  25. Ngaaende ngaaende.

  26. Rest in Peace Comrade,inga zvinonzi afa anaka wani why dnt u spare yo dirty comments

  27. His life is not real impressive to me. Surely not a national hero by any standards. But maybe a ZANU PF hero.

  28. musona be warned remember you are in zim and we have your number and email so be careful the long and ruthless arm of the llaw will catch u up very soon .you will see the results of reckless speech espeacially against the authority

    1. If I am arrested I will call Dr Rukudzo Murapa as witness, he still remembers very vividly this day in 1980, before the elections, at Harry Margolis, where he was booed every time he stood up to speak. Murapa is still alive but I don’t know what he is doing now.

  29. YES true Nathan was the Mash West Strong man for two decades and all the development in Mash West was spearheaded by the man from Mash East. I thank Gushungo for assigning him to the province and he moulded some of us to be patriotic and to be self reliant and for that I salute you man.

    May your soul rest in eternal peace!!!

    Those who have hard feeling for your resoluteness in what you believed in especially in politics as in the Gukurahundi issue surely they can be rest assured that it now lies in history like the raids the Ndebele used to launch on the Shona well before the coming of the white man.


  30. Another foolhard idiot coming to threaten Learned Musona for reminding the new generation about the dangers climbing a bus at at the rank witjout asking the destination just because is painted red your favourite colour.This snoopheaad fool belong to stone-age mentality and that is if the mind exist in his coconut shell and for him to apply force where common sense is required mocks the very culprits who gave birth to this below average creature as a child smacks our intelligence.

  31. @ Musona. Excelent Mr man.

  32. @Musona thank you for the detailed information. I concur with you. The problem we have today is that these people so called youth are being poisoned by Zanu pf propaganda to the extent of believing that during the white rule life was difficult and whites were very bad. Black man rule is disaster ever seen in our country.

  33. madhunduru Vepagatsi

    What an explosive scenario it would be Musona akarana Ministry one zvayo naJona muZimbabwe yaTsvangison

  34. @mwanawamambo you are idiot brainwashed by your dictator. To hell with you.

  35. Ngaaende ngaende together with the Zec seniour official, madhara anga akashata aya, going overseas to learn while our fathers were fighting for this country and when the war was about to come to an end, they came and grab seniour positions in government at e expense of of beloved fathers who are true liberation heroes. Ngaaende, ngaaende


    ZEZURU 26 CHAIRMAN. SHAMUYARIRA MUTENGESI ALONG WITH HIS CIA BROTHER ‘MUSA’. SAMANYIKA’s & KARANGA’S in the struggle are not being buried @ HEROES because of fearful propagandist like SHAMU YA TYOKA who tried to hijack the Chimurenga with their lies. LONG LIVE NDABANINGI, CHIKEREMA, MHANDA, SHEEBA GAVA we’ll one day relocate u kuHEROES like we did CHITEPO & GEN. TONGO ! ZVOMENE – HEHEDE HURIII !

    1. KARANGA ZVOMENE – TRUTHFULLY SAID ! We need to justify the wrong of the ZANU Politburo. You find that heroes with the same track record with others already buried @ heroes are been shunned ! Thats a travesty. Honestly lets sort this out because the concept of Heroes Acre is a great Idea, l feel for our neighbours South Africa who don’t have such a beautiful place like ours ! Namibia @ least copied us & have one like that. This is for future generations like they have D-DAY Memorials. l honestly think that the future generations will look back @ history & see whom they’ll posthumously dedicate as ‘Heroes’, they don’t have to neccessarily be buried @ heroes acre ! TRIBALISM & ZEZURU DOMINANCE should end, arguably they say that the bulk of the freedom fighters were KARANGA in ZANLA & KALANGA in ZIPRA ??? (Karanga Zvomene you left out Mawema & Banana komadzimai Lesabe) ROTFL 🙂 Zororai MURUGARE VaSHAMUYARIRA.

  37. One Saturday morning, in the year 2000, I witnessed one of the most amazing scenes I will ever see in my life – 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. All spontaneous. He just smiled and never said anything and drove away. At the time cellphones were just being introduced but with no camera as we have now. In fact, if there was a video camera around that would have been a real scoop same as that by Newsday on the mapositori bashing the police and journalists in Budiriro last week. The scene at Fife Avenue Shopping centre that day were astonishing. Jaw-dropping stuff. If Ian Smith’s government was as our politicians say then he should have been attacked by the crowd but instead the crowd spontaneously mobbed and cheered Ian Smith like you will never see in your life. This was a very busy Saturday morning and people came rushing from all directions when they heard it was Ian Smith all cheering. He was alone without any bodyguards.

  38. Why should people cry over those who celebrated over mascare of people?

  39. Media icon who was dedicated to bringing information to the masses after 1980. Shamuyarira’s name will always appear in the annuls of Zimbabwean media history. Unfortunately played a key part in establishing the monsters called ZBC and Zimpapers.

  40. Martz no sir,you are mistaken. There is no similarity as the Ndebele and Shona wars were when people were not enlightened. Its very unfortunate that two wrongs cannot be equated. The perpetraitors of Gukurahundi massacres were educated people who were demonic at heart dispite various degrees in education and, they were ardent church goers who could not even apologize. God will reign and the issue is torturing them despite the pretences. For modern man to equate his doings whth those done during the medival times is being of low thinking. History has never accepted the massacres of 20 000 as a brave deed the world over. May the spirit of all those who were killed visit you and discuss the matter of their demise with you and your family as you seem to be happy about their death! May the Lord Jesus speak with your evil heart and show you the truth as you appear to gloat of the death of people not of your tribe. Maybe you continue destroying them? May your spirit be saved as you are destined for hell.

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