Hero Mhanda buried, Zanu PF stay away

via Hero Mhanda buried, Zanu PF stay away 31/05/2014 NewZimbabwe

Mugabe and his Zanu PF party’s top leadership were conspicuous by their absence when friends and relatives of the late Wilfred Mhanda who was also known as Dzinashe Machingura came together Saturday to bury the liberation war icon.

Affectionately known as Cde Dzino, Mhanda was laid to rest at Glen Forest Cemetery on the eastern fringes of the capital in a sombre ceremony attended by a handful opposition MDC-T leaders and civil society activists.

Among those who attended were MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti, deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma and Senator Sekai Holland. The three are leading figures in the 15-year-old party’s controversial leadership renewal agenda.

MDC-T organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa and Guardian Council member James Makore were the only senior party allies of MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai who also attended.

The feuding MDC-T factions could not hide their resentment for each other as Chamisa and Biti’s small entourage failed to shake hands even though Chamisa charted excitedly with NCA leader, Lovemore Madhuku as mourners dispersed after the burial.

But it was Zanu PF’s absence at the burial which highlighted the general distaste Zimbabwe’s rival politicians have towards each other.

Mugabe is known for his legendary unforgiving nature and it seemed even former Mhanda close buddy Rugare Gumbo stayed away for apparent fear of coming under suspicion.

Gumbo was part of the group that became known as Vashandi which staged a mini-rebellion against Mugabe’s leadership at the height of the vicious guerrilla struggle although he later repented.

Gumbo has reportedly described Mhanda as a true national hero “whether we will bury him at the national heroes (Acre) or not”.

Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF secretary for administration who is convenor of politburo meetings vested with the powers of conferring national hero’s status on individuals, claimed disdainfully that he did not know Mhanda.

However veterans of the struggle who were part of the Vashandi group, among them former ZBC CEO Happison Muchechetere, Abel Marimo (who commanded the Manica province), former Attorney General Sobusa-Gula Ndebele, Gwauya and Freedom Nyamubaya made up a former struggle elite of poll-bearers who took Dzino to his final resting place.

Bernard Manyadza a leading figure in the formation of the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP) described Mhanda as a brilliant military strategist and a true national hero.

“The good thing is that Dzino left us a book that tells us what happened during the war but I can tell you that book is actually shallow because he left out a lot of detail and I am challenging all of us here who were part of the struggle to write our stories while we are still alive.

“The history of our struggle has been distorted by people with their own agenda and we have to correct that,” said Manyadza in his grave-side remarks.


Manyadza chronicled a not so rosy history of how Mugabe joined the fighters in Mozambique in the mid-70s and was consigned to a “teaching post in Qulimane before he was allowed to join the mainstream struggle at the instigation of Dzino and others.

“We were betrayed by the people we had worked so hard to get their release,” he said.

Mhanda’s burial was also graced by former Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, British Ambassador Deborah Bronnet and the European Union Head of Delegation Aldo Dell’Ariccia.

Opposition Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa also sent a condolence message, describing Dzino as a steadfast person who insisted on the fulfilment of the ideals of the liberation struggle for the betterment of the lives of all Zimbabweans.

“Dzino never tolerated the betrayal of the people. He insisted on the fulfilment of all that we fought for despite the vilification from some sections.

“He will forever be remembered as an icon of the struggle for the independence of Zimbabwe,” Dabengwa said in a speech read on his behalf.


  • comment-avatar
    Tanonoka Joseph Whande 9 years ago

    How sad that mafikizolos like Mugabe are the ones to decide who Zimbabwe’s heroes are. He is not even our hero. He was not even there when the party was formed. In the end, my hero means a lot to me as he or she should and that can never be taken away from me.
    Meanwhile, Mugabe can rot before he even goes to hell as he is already doing.

    • comment-avatar
      Petal 9 years ago

      remember Bobs words that was aired around the globe zimbabwe is mine my zimbabwe!

  • comment-avatar
    Educated Idiot 9 years ago

    We even continue to run away and hide from dead people.

  • comment-avatar

    Wilfred Mhanda / Dzinashe Machingura was a hero of the liberation war and also a hero of the post-independence struggle for democracy and freedom from dictatorship.
    A hero twice over.

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    Kitsi-yatota 9 years ago

    if its an MDC party belonging to Biti, Mangoma and Holland, why callest thou MDC-T. Try MDC-H, or MDC-B.

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    Mukanya 9 years ago

    Indeed a true HERO of heroes RIP

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    gorongoza 9 years ago

    Mugabe will be remembered as an opportunistic murderer and plunderer! Thats all!

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    r w mhlanga or wilson mufunani 9 years ago

    i was sadened by the passing on of dzino. i was with those imprisoned in beira maputo and pemba northern mocambique in spirit during those trying times.may rest in peace.

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    Straight Shooter 9 years ago

    Go to hell we are sick and tired of your useless and ineffective “stern” warnings?

    You are too old gukurahundi, nobody listens to you any more. Jus shut up!!

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    Straight Shooter 9 years ago

    I just can not understand many of our Shona countryman.

    They all knew that gukurahundi Mugabe was an opportunist and was a divisive character, but it is them who helped him consolidated his stolen position from day one, after he took over from Ndabaningi Sithole.

    To be honest, Mugabe never imposed himself. Even when he came back from Mozambique in preparation for the 1980 elections – he was still in a very weak position and all his opportunism could have been cut short there and then; but it was the Shona people who by then had abandoned ZAPU and Joshua Nkomo who went all out of their way to prop him.

    Mugabe’s call for reconciliation in 1980 was never a genuine one – he was simply buying time to consolidate his position, because he knew then that the Rhodesians were still powerful and could easily topple him. Even ZAPU was heavily armed and powerful – the man was vulnerable.

    He only became arrogant after he had dismantled his opponents’s military might. Since then, every single Zim has had to pay a very heavy price including those who used to support and venerate him in the 1980s – his yesteryear praise singers!!

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    Straight Shooter 9 years ago

    The hatred of Zimbabweans for each other over tribal, racial and political differences is pulpable – even in death. Its a cursed nation, I must say.

    It is this hatred that has seen the country go down the drain. I have never seen such – these people hate each other to the bone!!

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    JOHNSON 9 years ago

    Down to earth, honest, incorruptible, true historian, the right kind of HERO and Member of the ZANLA High Command. Usadheerere. We celebrate this hero even in death. Heroism is not conferred….it is earned. Dzinashe Machingura earned it and he is castigated for taking a morally upright path. May the omnipotent God who rules the heavens an the earth grant this gallant son of Zimbabwe peace in the after life. Rest in Peace Wlifred Comrade, True Hero Wilf Mhanda (aka Dzinashe Machingura -nom de guerre). We Salute your life, Sir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    JOHNSON 9 years ago

    Whatever you write, think and do Dzinashe Machingura can be among the best 3 heroes of our independence and by his stance at death he might even be number one. Why? Because he refused to be arm twisted!!!! But remained true to the ideals of the struggle for liberty and freedom!! Rest in Peace Big Brother and true man. God knows!!!

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    JOHNSON 9 years ago

    This unreasonable vindictiviness has seen an emotionally laden govt formulate a kindergatten, vengeful, self-serving and delapidated policy. Why did they promote Mhanda to the HIgh Command up to independence!! The truth is that the true heroes will never go to Heroes acre….and it should be renamed accordingly. If they don’t rename it public opinion will do so.

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    Netsai 9 years ago

    RIP Wilfred. You were my enemy, but you became my friend. A true masodja, chaiso.