‘Wilfred Mhanda was poisoned’ ” Nehanda Radio

via ‘Wilfred Mhanda was poisoned’ ” Nehanda Radio 29 June, 2014 by Wilson Nharingo

Ever since that fateful day, May 28 2014, I have struggled to come to terms with the reality that you have indeed left this world for good.

My beloved brother Wilfred, I just want to say thank you so much for the genuine love that you demonstrated towards me and other family members. You displayed a rare quality of compassion, which I have never witnessed anywhere else.

I recall the time that you left the country (Zimbabwe) in 1971 heading for Botswana during the Rhodes and Founders Days under the pretext that you were going to finalise your scholarship documents to study at Manchester University in the United Kingdom, only to learn later that you had skipped the country to avoid being arrested by the Rhodesian agents because of your political activism while you were studying at the University of Rhodesia.

There were a number of theories about your disappearance with some suggesting that you were dead, but most of us remained hopeful that we would one day see you again.

When you eventually came back to Zimbabwe in 1980, we realised that you had played a significant role in the armed struggle that brought independence to Zimbabwe even though you were sidelined and nearly killed in Mozambique for holding different views from other people who were also part of the armed struggle.

While most of the family members were happy to see you alive, the story that you related pertaining to the hardships that you went through at the hands of your adversaries, emotionally distressed most of the family members.

I do not wish to delve into the issue of your imprisonment in Mozambique as it is most likely to rekindle the painful feelings of your unfair and unjust imprisonment.

I wish to leave that to the masses of Zimbabwe to make their own judgement as the issue has been widely reported and addressed at various fora.

I recall the time that you returned to Zimbabwe in 1980 and the pivotal role that you played in reuniting the extended family. You were very passionate about seeing the extended family functioning in unison and being happy.

You taught about “forgiveness” and not to dwell on past differences as that could only breed more hatred among the family members, which would in turn affect personal development.

My brother Wilfred, I recall your humility and passionate love for the extended family. You were a “Lighthouse” of love.

However, I am cognisant of the fact that you were a mortal being and as such, you could have rubbed other people the wrong way including some family members and members of the general public in one way or another.

However, to the best of my knowledge, you stood up for what you believed to be true and correct without any fear or favour. You called a spade a spade, which in some cases annoyed some people.

It is not surprising that some people hated you because of your principled stand. Some people hate the truth just the way darkness hates light.

On that issue, I do not wish or intend to make an apology on your behalf, but to praise you for standing up to what you believed to be true and right.

It was a difficult time for most of the family members as well as your close friends when you developed health issues and when you were diagnosed with “cancer of the colon”.

Most of the family members as well as your close friends were overjoyed when medical tests declared that you were “cancer-free” after about six months of “chemotherapy treatment”. It was a huge sigh of relief as we sincerely thought that you were on the mend and that it was just a matter of time before you would be back to your normal good health.

The only concern and worry though was about your swollen abdomen that we were led to believe was due to the fluids that were pumped into your body during the “chemotherapy treatment”. We were further led to believe that it only needed a “minor op” to drain out the fluids and little did we know that this seemingly minor complication would decide your fate.

Whilst you were diagnosed with “cancer of the colon”, by medical authorities, I recall you confiding in me and other close family members that you had concerns about what happened at the Strathaven Restaurant, in Harare about three or four years ago.

You confided that when you returned to continue drinking from your glass someone appeared concerned about your safety and shouted advising you not to drink from the glass that you had left unattended, but unfortunately you had already taken a sip.

You related further that when you checked the contents of the glass, you observed a “suspicious substance” which appeared to be dissolving at the base of the glass. That was possibly the beginning of your health issues which culminated in your untimely death.

I also recall the time that I visited you in January 2014 when you showed me some threatening emails that you printed out that had been sent to your colleagues who were working with you on the second edition of your book, Dzino — Memories of a freedom fighter.

I have no doubt in my mind that the eloquent evidence of the threatening emails that were sent to your colleagues regarding your book could be linked to the source of the suspicious substance that was dropped into your drink on that fateful day at Strathaven Restaurant in Harare.

While those who were behind this “evil and satanic” act might have celebrated for eventually getting you, the “King Of the Universe” who is the only authority who could “certify” burdens into “blessings”, might have allowed that to happen in order to bring you closer to Him so that you could have eternal life in a safe place where there is never-ending happiness.

Many family members including myself were of the point of view that you should not have continued with political activism; we wanted you to concentrate on something else.

I later realised that you had a calling in that direction and that you could not ignore what you felt was in your soul and bones even though this predisposed you into the hands of your enemies as they felt uncomfortable about your principled stand on true democracy and freedom based on the whole truth and nothing else but the truth.

As a result of this, your life was surrounded by vultures from all corners waiting to pounce on you at any slight opportunity. I thank God as it was only a miracle that you lived that long.

I recall the many times that you were dragged into courts on trumped up charges which did not hold any water in the courts of justice and you were on all occasions found to be innocent and correctly discharged.

You were always followed as if you were a criminal even when you felt duty-bound to take your relatives for treatment to conventional medical centres or to traditional healers.

You were followed even when you went to study in faraway countries such as Germany, for what reason, one would ask?

In conclusion, I wish to say to you brother Wilfred that you have run a good race, you have fought a good fight and you have found the good faith that will propel you into eternity.

You left this world with your integrity intact.

May your Soul rest in Peace.


  • comment-avatar
    easily fooled 8 years ago

    RIP, Mukoma Wilfred, I remember meeting you one day, what a principled man! We will miss you a lot.

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    Tinomunamataishe 8 years ago

    Sad to see how much money, resources, effort and time has been spent over the last 34 years on surveillance of innocent people like Mhanda when all those resources could have been spent on important things that are of national benefit.

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    Mukanya 8 years ago

    A true revolutionary never dies but rests, hence RIP Wilfred Mhanda Cde DZINO we will bury you when die.

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 8 years ago

    A true revolutionary never dies but rests, hence RIP Wilfred Mhanda Cde DZINO we will bury you when you die.

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    gorongoza 8 years ago

    Mugabe is evil, and we all know that.

    • comment-avatar
      Straight Shooter 8 years ago

      You should have known that in 1980. Unfortunately some people thought the brutality of ZANU PF was to end with Matebeleland. Lessons learnt – you are your brothers’ keeper; lean on me; we all need somebody to lean on!!

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    gandanga 8 years ago

    I remember all the propaganda that they said about you when l still undergoing my training in Moza in 1978. I had the privilege to come back to then Rhodesia the same year in 1978 to continue fighting the same war for democracy that you pioneered. When l first met you in 1988, l was humbled by the kind of men you were. You were a true leader with people at heart. You carried the dreams of a true Zimbabwe. Today l am ashamed to claim that l fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe because there is no liberation at all when the government is the number enemy of the masses. You are the true hero of Zimbabwe Mukoma Dzinashe Machingura.

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    True Hero 8 years ago

    Everything that happens in Zim Mugabe is to blame. You people need to repent!

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    Straight Shooter 8 years ago

    Having known ZANU and the type of leadership they had, this Manda guy should have worked for national unity in Zim. What did he do about gukurahundi?