Ghana honours Ndabaningi Sithole

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THE late Zimbabwe African Union (Zanu) founder, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, has been honoured in Accra, Ghana, where a street has been named after him.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

In Zimbabwe, Sithole, who was a Methodist cleric, was rejected by Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe and not accorded even the lowly district hero status, despite his immense contribution to the early stages of the country’s liberation war.

His peers at the time, the likes of Chief Jeremiah Chirau of Zvimba, were accorded national hero status, as Sithole was relegated for “selling out during the war”.

He was eventually buried at his family farm in Mt Selinda, Manicaland province.

Sithole, born on July 31, 1920 and died on December 12, 2000, is credited with being the main architect during the August 1963 formation of the party that is now Zanu PF.

He founded the party with President Robert Mugabe and the late Herbert Chitepo, Leopold Takawira, Maurice Nyagumbo, Edgar Tekere and Enos Nkala.

Mugabe is the only survivor of that club.

In 1964 at the party congress at Gwelo, now Gweru, Sithole was elected president and he appointed Mugabe as his secretary-general.

When Zanu was banned in 1964 by Ian Smith’s government, Sithole spent 10 years in prison after being arrested on June 22, 1964 alongside Mugabe, Tekere, Nyagumbo and Takawira for political activities.

While in prison, he authorised Chitepo, who had sneaked out of the country, to continue the struggle from abroad as a Zanu representative.

A rift along what is believed to have been tribal lines split Zanu in 1975 and Mugabe took charge of Zanu, accusing Sithole of having sold out.

At Independence in 1980, Sithole contested the presidential race on a Zanu ticket and lost to Mugabe who has, despite his advanced age, has remained the country’s sole leader.

Sithole was the owner of Porta Farm situated 25km from Harare on the Bulawayo Road, but was later confiscated by the government on the grounds that it harboured squatters.

He authored five books namely African Nationalism (1959), The Polygamist (1972), Roots of a Revolution: Scenes from Zimbabwe’s Struggle (1977) Umvukela wamaNdebele (1982) and Hammer and Sickle over Africa (1991) which together with his political contribution in Africa could be the basis of his recognition in Accra.

He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States and was flown home for burial.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Sithole remains a true HERO to us all Zimbabweans. The problem with Mugabe is that he keeps grudges even with corpses. Zimbabwe history tells us that all these new political players joined ZANU PF but Sithole founded it.
    Ghana recognised it and decided to show the whole world that the true icon is Sithole not Mugabe. Rev Sithole is like Mandela they are both icons of the world.

  2. If foreigners has seen the importance of honouring a Hero in a foreign land how good is it to be remembered by fellow comrades in struggle in his own country?I salute you Ghana for honouring my Icon and the highly respect you gave Ndabaningi Sithole him may God richly bless you. I make a vow to support Ghana national for the rest of my life. Thank you

  3. Comment…Mugabe is capable of pushing for grace to be recognised as a freedom fighter just to push for her presidential ambitions. He can’t leave any stone unturned and force his faithfuls to do that

  4. He contested in 1980 and won as member of parliament in the manicaland province. But his party was defeated by zanupf overall and so he could not be prime minister. There was no presidential contest then. The first presidential election occurred in 1990 after the unity accord when the position of prime minister ceased to exist.
    Rgm was invited into zanu. He was not there among the founders. Even chitepfo was not there. Lazarus and enos nkala were there; as was tekere, nyagumbo, takawira, chikowore and zvohbgo. The meeting was at enos nkala’s house just behind kuwangira primary school, highfield. It is only ow that history is distorted by lies that mugabe was a founder of zanu; an owner even.

  5. don’t worry. we will change all roads named after rwavhi to ndabaningi sithole after our independence coming next year. the bona, sally and mugabe schools othe centers will be renamed vena sithole after his wife. it is less than a year away.

  6. YEA, GUEST,THINK SO TOO.WAS THERE WHEN HE ALLOCATED STANDS AT CHURU FARM IN 1995 ARGUING THAT HE WANTED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT ZIMBABWE HAS ENOUGH LAND TO DISTRIBUTE TO THE PEOPLE. UZ STUDENTS THEN HAD BEEN MOBILISED TO MOCK SITHOLE’S LAND REFORM PROPOSAL,RHETORICALLY QUESTIONING WHETHER SITHOLE WANTED TO EXTEND THE COUNTRY.TO ME, WHAT WAS LATER IMPLEMENTED IS WHAT I HEARD SITHOLE SAYING AT THAT TIME.THOSE WHO HAD BEEN GIVEN STANDS AT CHURU FARM WERE RELOCATED TO THE NOW HATCLIFFE EXTENTION.

  7. Comment…True heroes will foever be rememberedbfor their immense contribution to the independence of zim,,,Sithole rest i peace,,Wilfred mhanda You are a true heroe nomatter what,,,we all know your contribution.Rst i. peace guys

  8. This is Facebook journalism.Was The road recently named after him or it was named a long time ago when Sithole was the leader of the original ZANU.Sithole was also not a Methodist cleric but belong to the United Church of Christ.Jeremiah Chirau was never accorded a national heroes statues.What of journalism is this that does not check facts before publishing an article.

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