Senior ex-ZANLA commander, Wilfred Mhanda dies

via Senior ex-ZANLA commander, Wilfred Mhanda dies | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Thursday, May 29, 2014

Former guerrilla commander Wilfred Mhanda, known by his liberation war name Dzinashe Machingura, has died his close friend said on Thursday.

Happyson Nenji, a Zimbabwe Liberation Platform board member confirmed to SW Radio Africa that Mhanda died at Parirenyatwa hospital on Wednesday evening.

He said Mhanda, a liberation war icon, who is best known for opposing Robert Mugabe taking over the ZANU PF leadership in Mozambique, had been suffering from cancer.

‘He finished his chemotherapy sometime back, but he had accumulated bodily fluids from the chemo which his doctor suggested should be drained. As a result he checked himself in hospital on Tuesday and on Wednesday we had a chat over the phone mid afternoon, only to be told four hours later that he has passed away,’ Nenji said.

Burial arrangements would be announced when his younger brother arrives from South Africa and consults other family members. During the liberation war, Mhanda worked alongside former ZANU PF chairman Herbert Chitepo, General Josiah Tongogara, General Solomon Mujuru, and Air Marshall Josiah Tungamira.

The current crop of the service chiefs surrounding President Robert Mugabe were all his juniors. He joined the war in 1971, trained in China and became a military instructor, before he was promoted to political commissar and then a ZANLA commander.

In 1975 he joined the ZANLA high command and was in charge of both political and military training, but his famous disagreement with Mugabe on January 21st, 1977 saw him being detained until January 1980.

He remained a sworn enemy of Mugabe since Independence, a relationship that saw him failing to gain any employment in Zimbabwe. Mhanda, in his book Memories of a Freedom Fighter, he revealed his life in Mozambique and how he felt betrayed by both the late Solomon Mujuru and Mugabe.

In 2000, along with other ex-combatants, Mhanda helped form the Zimbabwe Liberators’ Platform to organise and fight for the rights of the country’s genuine war veterans.



  • comment-avatar
    Chanisa 8 years ago

    May his soul rest in peace. May we contnue to seek the realisation of the ideals of this national hero who refused to prostitute his noble cause for selfish gain.

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    Mlimo 8 years ago

    Say hi to Josiah. (WKJT). He will tell you mugabe. Now you can wait for the fat cat to come to hell and welcome him for what he did to you. RIP.

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    Ruramai 8 years ago

    Rest in peace Dzino, our true hero.

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    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Refused to be used and abused. Rest in peace.

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    The Mind Boggles 8 years ago

    Very sad indeed

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    Charles Chamunorwa 8 years ago

    Rest in peace our true heroe. Obviously you will not be declared a national heroe

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    Rwendo 8 years ago

    One of those who saw through Mugabe long before the rest of us did. Rest in Peace, countryman.

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    RIP Cde. You refused to eat with the devil.

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    Mapingu 8 years ago

    Heartfelt condolences to Family & Friends. Just remember all genuine patriots are in morning with you.

    Cde Mhanda’s impeccable contribution to the end white minority rule in Zimbabwe will never be forgotten by all who where there when it happened or even any who bother to understand true history of their country. Even his obvious detractors know in their hearts-of-hearts that their self-proclaimed liberation credentials come nowhere nearer to this gallant son of the soil’s CV.

    He was indeed a genuine freedom fighter. He, till death, continued to fight for the Zimbabwe we really want, which is yet to come.

    May His RIP.

    Go Well Cde; Fambiyi Zvakanaka Cde; Khamba Kuhle Cde.

    Zimbabwe will you Gallant Son of the Soil.

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    sansole 8 years ago

    Rip dzino

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    masvukupete 8 years ago

    He was nay is one of the greats.

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    jobolinko 8 years ago

    May his soul RIP

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    To all Zimbambweans,ZLP members and the Mhanda family inparticular…a true liberation war icon has departed,it is really a sad moment.DZINO, R I P.

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    He was what ZANU should have been, a true liberator of the people.

    He wanted to liberate our country without the encummberance of the leaders, Mugabe, Sithole, Nkomo and Muzo, pushing forward the idea of ZIPA.
    Guy had vision when he said “lets forget about the leaders because they are in it for themselves”.

    Rest in peace, Dzino.

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    taona 8 years ago

    Indeed one of a kind..RIP Dzino..

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    Mukanya 8 years ago

    What a loss to Zimbabwe! Thank you for the sacrifices you made for your country and its people. I am who I am because of people like you. Only two words can summerise your personality, principled and selfless. Zimbabwe will miss you true son of the soil. Hamba kahle qawe lamaqawe.

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    misheck rupeyo 8 years ago