'War deserters have hijacked Zanu PF'

HARARE - A former member of the Zanla High Command Benard Manyadza says opportunists who fled the liberation war are now dictating pace in Zanu PF while bona fide war heroes are being flushed out.

Manyadza, whose nom de guerre was Parker Chipoyera, told the Daily News at his Wedza home, Zviyambi, yesterday, that some people who currently occupied key positions in government were cowards during the gruelling war of liberation.

“When we went to join the liberation war in 1973, we did not know whether there was Zapu or Zanu. What we wanted was to fight in the struggle.

“We were only told that there was a distinction when the Zanu guys told us that they formed the party in order to do away with dictatorship.

“Those from Zanu initially were saying they did not want that ideology which said a leader cannot be challenged. At that time, we did not know we were going to build the same thing because what we are seeing is exactly that,” Manyadza said.

The prominent war veteran, who was trained to be a platoon commander, said he was appointed instructor in 1974 and in 1975 became the head of instructors at the famous Mgagao Camp, whose declaration catapulted President Robert Mugabe to the party’s leadership.

Benard Manyadza, a former member of the Zanla High Command.

Manyadza said the only people, among the living, fit to be called elders of the war veterans are the likes of Dumiso Dabengwa, Tshinga Dube and Ambrose Mutinhiri.

He lamented the fact that up to today “real” freedom fighters were still waiting for details on how the late Zanu national chairperson Herbert Chitepo had died in a bomb blast in 1975, leading to the arrest by the Zambian government of members of Dare reChimurenga.

“We would like to know how Chitepo died, how general Josiah Tongogara died and even how (Solomon) Mujuru died.

“On Chitepo, they say it’s the enemy agents (who were responsible) but now the question is what led to the arrest of those in the Dare reChimurenga?” he asked.

With birds singing above his home that is literally in the woods, Manyadza, who is not ashamed to shed tears when he recalls the rigours and tribulations of the war of liberation, said the struggle for a better Zimbabwe had been hijacked.

“The struggle was infiltrated. Some of the people who fled Mgagao Training Camp are now setting the pace. There is an anti-movement that is currently going on against bona fide war veterans, and those sentiments are coming from people who fled the struggle,” he said

The fearless guerrilla war commander said a commission of inquiry must be set up to investigate what prompted the Nhari/Banza Rebellion, simultaneously leading to a bloodbath when only 13 people had been implicated.

He said although the Dare had directed that Badza and his colleagues be reprimanded and taken to the rear, the “comrades” executed them,  including many others.

“It should be explained why some innocent people, who were not even part of the Nhari Rebellion were executed. From 1974, suspicions became the order of the day. People became even afraid of their shadows,” he added.

Narrating the so-called Vashandi rebellion, Manyadza said the reprisals against those who were suspected of turning against dictatorship in the liberation movement  went to the same “madness and murderous” proportions paralleling the killings of the Badza/Nhari “renegades”.

“Pakange paakuita (there was) repression against the so-called Vashandi. Even up to date the issue of suspicions rule the day especially among those from Zanla.

“It was a wave of repression and those who had not gone to school used to say ‘ini handina zvevhorovhoro’ meaning I do not want to be involved. If you asked a question like why there was no food, you were quickly accused of being involved.

“People were dying en masse because of hunger and those who dared ask were labelled. That is the culture that is even there today, where you see even the vice president now afraid that things could turn against her because she knows the history,” he said.

Vice President Joice Mujuru has come under a sustained attack from the State-controlled media, and with her political career under serious threat, she faces an uncertain future, especially given the serious allegations of corruption and treason hanging around her neck.

The evidently poor and unassuming war hero also said soldiers at Mgagao had made a “strategic error” when they gave Mugabe unfettered control of the ruling party.

“We made a strategic blunder. We should have said VaMugabe nevamwe (Mugabe and others), but when we said we shall only be led by VaMugabe who was in Mozambique because he is the one who was in line after we had rejected Sithole, it was a mistake,” he said.

He added that Samora Machel, and former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere questioned how people who had been imprisoned could have settled for Mugabe to be the leader of Zanu when the party had not gone through a congress.

Revealing in riveting detail some powerful persons in the current Zanu PF set-up as double agents, Manyadza said it was time that the true history of the liberation struggle was told “truthfully, with no political massaging”.

“The name Vashandi was turned around and became derogatory as some were of the idea that we should replace the worker/peasant through the creation of a cult led by one person.

“And that was the beginning of pamberi nemunhu one (forward with a single individual), something that has led us to where we are today.

“When the others were arrested, myself and Dzinashe were not arrested, and we confronted general Tongogara and accused him of siding with the secretary general (Mugabe),” Manyadza said.

Referring to Chitepo as epitomising the Vashandi, he said during the liberation war, guerrillas formed an alliance with the peasants and workers, and in war parlance this group was referred to as Vashandi.

Comments (30)

Did this Manyadza write a book about these things.

Vashandi - 2 December 2014

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Iwe Vashandi verenga bhuku rinonzi The Struggle for Zimbabwe. Zvirimo zvose zvinotaurwa na Parker Chipoera. Ichokwadi uye unogutsikana. Uchaona imomo kuti Parker anga arimo mu command ye ZIPA yaitungamirirwa na RexNhongo.

chaMatinhari - 2 December 2014

we made a big mistake manyadza now the man we put in power is THE DICTATOR GENERAL

Harare - 2 December 2014

Thank you Cde for giving your fellow compatriots the truth of the matter.Sure the cowards have taken charge as they use immoral and means of the weak to fight like suspicion,makuhwa like the Chombos and bootlicking like the Jonathan,Kasukuwere and Zhuwawao who always seek to please his uncle.What a shame.Dont force people to say yes when you know it has been a No for about a decade ago.If we look at how H.Chitepo died,the coup to toppple the late Ndabaningi Sithole ,the mysterious death of Cde Tongogara,JZ Moyo,etc just show us there is something very nasty about these people with dictatorial tendencies and insatiable appetite for power.

carson Macate - 2 December 2014

iwe manyadza wanga wakura zvakanaka usangohumana nhema iwe

ben zulu - 2 December 2014

iwe manyadza wanga wakura zvakanaka usangohumana nhema iwe

ben zulu - 2 December 2014

Bernard Manyadza, yes we all would love to know the truth behind Herbert Chitepo's and Tongagara's death's. However since you were the head of instructures at the famous Magagao camp in Tanzania could you please explain your involvement in the massacre of Zipra forces who were then buried . To cover up the crime a game of football was played on top of the burial site to hide the evidence. Lets have the truth from you directly on this issue. Remember the old saying , don't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

ronaldos - 2 December 2014

we need to know our history. its time we record the likes of Manyadza and let the future generations hear both sides

gandanga matigari - 2 December 2014

Even Smith is smiling from the grave coz he used to tell the worl that these so called freedom fighters had been hijacked by criminals. Now we have a former member of the HIGH COMMAND OF ZANLA testifying to the world that ZANU PF is a party of criminals. Well done Cde Manyadza, tell us more about these cowards and gays

Garikayi - 2 December 2014

Too many innocent people have lost their positions in Zanu, their positions at work, people have lost their lives to death due to this dictator. Anyway he will die, that is our only consolation, because we, the die-hard soldiers who fought the liberation struggle are now old. These new bootlickers and liars are pathetic

Mashonaland Dickmarsh - 2 December 2014

The daily news must have interviewed a dzakutsaku and erroneously labelled him a zanla high command member. The dzakutsaku even goes to admit that when he joined the liberation struggle he did not know whether there was ZANU or ZAPU, KIKIKI A clear testimony that he doesn't know the group he joined, either he was a selous scout and thus up to now he does not know how Tongogara, Chitepo and Mujuru died. Be serious daily news, do not print any words from a dreaming mad man JUST TO MAKE US LAUGH!

reason - 2 December 2014

Ko Reason wekuManyowa aripi nhai?

Blaz waBob - 2 December 2014

Ko Reason wekuManyowa aripi nhai?

Blaz waBob - 2 December 2014

@reason you are really sweating for your party. this one is a well try my friend but sorry not all high rankers are zanu pf. there many cadres who subscribe to other political parties even 'emu dhi shi tsvangson you will find some. you seem to live in a world of you own.

zvirozviyedzwa - 2 December 2014

uyu reason ndiye anonyora kuherald achingotukirira amai mujuru and tsvangirai, he doesn't even know the history of the liberation struggle. the likes of parker chipoera, pfepferere, zivavarwi muparuri, dzino, nyarambi or taitezvi, sam geza or musoni, webster gwauya are true liberation fighters who went to war to fight for democracy and not this nonsense personality cult that we are seeing in zanu pf. read dzino's memoirs of a freedom fighter and you will understand the role played by chipoera to drive ZIPA and vashandi. these comrades i mentioned are still survivng and you (the press) can contact them and they can give you a true account of the liberation struggle and not these doctored and re-angled versions that we are getting from the herald and sunday mail.

cde churucheminzwa - 2 December 2014

Thank you Cde Manyadza for your contribution. The best people you have to ask these questions are Cde Mugabe and Oppah Muchinguri. These two can exactly tell you how the plans were carried out. Secondly bear in mind tha Muchinguri did not surrender her post for nothing. She is also expecting a big cake. Why today Muchinguri pretends to love Grace so much when yesterday they were enemies because of her losing the First Lady position to Grace. At the end of the day when the wind is not going to blow her direction you will see how she is going to roast Grace and her husband. Then jump to the other boats which is ignoring today. It's just a matter of time then you will know the truth

Karigamombe - 2 December 2014

You can not fight a spiritual war with physical weaponry, if the sponsors for Zanla were satanists and ancestral spirits then appeasements are drawn in blood, the bigger fish is killed, I.e Solomon Mujuru, the better appeased are the sponsors, the real winner in Zimbabwe's shambles of bloodbath is the devil, white blood, Ndebele, Shona blood, to the bephomet it's just blood, so pray Zimbabwe, fast and pray.

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dr - 3 December 2014

Reason uri ngochani yemunhu

mboko - 3 December 2014

@Reason. I have to disagree with you on this one for the first time. Bernard Manyadza is a genuine former member of the ZIPA as well as the ZANLA High Commands. His guerrilla name was Parker Chipoera, a very committed patriot and fearless fighter who led by example. His account here is reasonably accurate although I suspect that the Daily News reporter has mixed up some of the information provided by Manyadza. There is no way the guerrilla commander could ever be called a dzaku-tsaku. Most youngsters who joined the liberation struggle during the 70s only discovered the Party they were joining once they were in the camps in Zambia, Tanzania & Mozambique. They were not to blame for the confusion.

mageja siziba - 3 December 2014

Cde Rex Nhongo, Cde Dzino, Cde Tendai Pfepferere, Cde Saul Sadza, Cde Webster Gwauya, Cde Parker Chipoyera, Cde Harry Tanganeropa, Cde Steven Chocha, Cde Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa, these are the people who I call the critical mass of the liberation struggle. Mugabe owes his ascendance to power to these people but sadly he want to ignore all this because of his greediness and power hungry tendencies.

magezatsvimbo - 3 December 2014

"we made a strategic blunder" It was a mistake................

X-MAN IV - 3 December 2014

@reason, don't show your ignorance of words, if you say we did not know kuti mwana wababamukuru kana babamudiki that doesn't mean we are stupid but that we are one. Madzakutsaku ndiwo otonga Zanu manje kwete ana Chipoera but people like you and ana Jonathan Moyo nezvimwe zvipfukuto.

Qawe laMaqawe - 3 December 2014

so incisive

UNZO - 3 December 2014

so incisive

UNZO - 3 December 2014

This Manyadza guy has nailed it.He has exposed the birth of Mugabes dictatorship.Zimbabwe died at Mgagao.The fool who was put in charge did not understand that he was supposed to lead and not rule. He has in 34years created a ZANU PF dictatorship, a Zezuru dictatorship and worse a Mugabe dictatorship/cult. No wonder Dzasukwa loves and wants to imitate the Chinese and North Koreans. He wants to be felt like a god.Mugabe was not put to the helm of the party through a congress. He was just put there. This explains why he is refusing to go. Thank you comrade Manyadza. But from now on watch your back. Tamba wakachenjera!

Jaku - 3 December 2014

Thanks comrades for sharing with us in SA such valuable information about the revolution. Criminals and agents have hijacked the Liberation Movements in the continent, what cde Benard is saying is just a tip on iceburg. Real revolutionaries must take over the reigns, direct the revolution for socialist future.

Mkhonto - 11 December 2014

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