'Zanu PF bigwigs wanted to kill me'

HARARE - Highly-regarded war veteran Rugare Gumbo has for the first time narrated in spine-chilling detail how President Robert Mugabe and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa allegedly caused his arrest and inhuman detention in dirty dungeons in Mozambique during the liberation struggle.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, an emotional Gumbo said so desperate was his situation at the time that he thought that it was a matter of time before he met his maker — with some of his erstwhile comrades only being restrained from killing him by the late Mozambican President Samora Machel in 1977, who decreed that he “did not want blood on his soil”.

Gumbo claimed that both Mugabe and Mnangagwa had intended to deal ruthlessly with the real freedom fighters and in particular leaders of the liberation war council that operated under the name Dare reChimurenga, in their alleged bid “to assume total control of Zanu PF”.

“VaMugabe has said it before and even Mnangagwa has also said that they arrested us and threw us in pits, but they have not said the whole story,” he said, adding that the “current barbarity”, raging chaos and brutal purges in Zanu PF were nothing new — and merely “history repeating itself”.

Gumbo drew parallels between what happened in exile four decades ago with the anarchy that is currently devouring the ruling party.

He said the “contrived” charge by Mugabe and party hawks, who have accused former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her supporters of plotting to oust and kill the nonagenarian, was “definitely not new” but dated back to the liberation struggle era where dissenting voices were silenced “in cruel fashion”.

Gumbo said the “terrible ordeal” that he suffered in the late 1970s began when he and other members of Dare reChimurenga clashed with Mugabe over the direction of the liberation struggle, leading to his “barbaric detention” together with other comrades that included the late Henry Hamadziripi and Mukudzei Mudzi.

“We disagreed on the treatment of Zanla commanders who had been arrested. The official position was that they would be released after three months, but they did not come.

“We also wanted to know what happened in Zambia (including the ruthless quashing of the Nhari rebellion) and this didn’t come out. Those were allegations that we were charged with and we were then subsequently arrested.

“We were tried before a kangaroo court that was presided by the president himself and they alleged that we were plotting a coup just as they are doing now. We were then thrown in a pit.

“Fortunately President Machel said he did not want blood on his land and thus we survived because of the mercy of Samora.

“It was the Zanla commanders and the Dare reChimurenga that mounted the struggle and not Mugabe or the late Edgar Tekere who directed the war,” Gumbo said.

The blood curling narrative by the former Cabinet minister in Mugabe’s government runs contrary to the widely reported views that Gumbo survived the ordeal on the goodwill of Mugabe and the late Vice President Simon Muzenda.

Gumbo said while he would never forget his ordeal, he was no longer bitter about it and would never seek revenge against his tormentors, even though he and his “innocent comrades” had been “ treated like dogs”.

“We spent at least three months detained in holes dug in an open place which were closed from the top at about 5pm and only opened the following morning.

“The holes were six metres deep and I think four metres wide. It was hell on earth and we all thought we were going to die. At one point the holes were filled with soil and only our heads were left protruding out, but we all survived the ordeal,” Gumbo said.

In February this year, Mnangagwa claimed that Gumbo and his co-accused we arrested and tried for rebelling against the party.

“When we tried Gumbo and others in Chimoio, in the bush of course, I was the lead prosecutor. The council found them guilty,” Mnangagwa was quoted saying.

In the interview, Mnangagwa, who is nicknamed Ngwena (crocodile), said had it not been for the intervention of Mugabe and Muzenda, as well as the application of justice, Gumbo would not be alive today.

But Christopher Mutsvangwa, the minister of War Veterans, told the Daily News yesterday that Gumbo was just an angry man.

“I am not going to give any relevance to his rantings. These are the rantings of an expelled figure. He has been expelled from the party twice now. As a party we have more to deal with than listen to him,” he said.

But a war veteran who asked not to be named corroborated Gumbo’s version, saying rebels were marked for death during the war.

And with no end in sight to the ongoing harassment of Mujuru and her perceived allies, Gumbo said he no longer feared death “at the ripe old age of 76” and would not be stopped on his “mission” — be it through intimidation or trumped up charges such as those “false claims” that his group want to kill Mugabe.

He also said that nothing would stop Mujuru — an acclaimed war heroine in her own right and whose liberation struggle nom de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood) — from standing up for what she believed in.

“Mai Mujuru is a tested war veteran and she will not be destroyed by people who deserted the war like (Information minister) Jonathan Moyo or (Zanu PF political commissar) Saviour Kasukuwere who were toddlers when we were fighting the war. She is resilient and she knows what she does and will not be destructed,” he said.


Comments (25)

What most people don't know is that nothing is hidden from God and He knows the hearts of men. It's undeniable that ZANU PF has committed gruesome crimes against opponents and God will judge them. Whether they don't believe in hell but surely one day it will be their everlasting place of torment, the real you is a spirit. Wafa wanaka is just an illusion after death of physical body you shall be resurrected to eternal life or hell

Dee - 9 May 2015

Attention: Mr Rugare Gumbo.Why, now that you were sacked from Zanu-PF, that you are revealing the evils of the party ? How can you hope people to believe you ? First of all you have so far (as far as I am concerned ) not confessed and apologised to the same audience you are preaching to for your role in the Zanu-PF gravy train that destroyed our once beatiful country. You were into it , weren`t you ? If you were a man you will have long left Zanu-PF in protest - in the same way Edgar Tekere left sighting the party being highjacked and the ideals of the revolution compromised. You however didn`t. Why ? Because you were dining with the same devil you are today castigating. Tell me. Is that not double standard ? Worse still you are so loud proclaiming how Mrs Joice Mujuru is being persecuted. According to you she is your saint. My question to you is do saints condone corruption ? Or worse still are they exempt from being fingered for corruption ? I know people who originate from Mberengwa. I mean their calibre. You fall too, too short of being one. Mujuru herself is quiet. So does it mean she herself is not keen to be president but is only being pushed by people like you for that position. Or else are you the usual donkey that is being used to carry gold only to be later on dumped ? Are you yourself not interested in the top position - why suffer for Mujuru who as it shows up to now hopes to be shoulder lifted into a crown seat (by fools like you) without making the tiniest of effort and hope to run the country. My goodness !

Chorosi - 9 May 2015

Pfungwa dzevanhu muZimbabwe dzakuvadzwa nevaProfita venhema vazara kuti chakata. Ruzhinji rwevahu rwava kuteerera kuzwitendero zwema kuruku nematsosi anoriga vanhu mari dzavo dzavanowana vapfidza kuchururuka ziya. Ndiko saka vana vaGumbo, vaMutasa navana mai Mujuru vachifunga kuti nyika yese zwangove zwikukuvatavata zwisisina pfungwa dzekutsoropodza.

Sekuru Chihori Ngi-i - 9 May 2015

Sing sing and sing again Rugare. Why did you rejoin them, why did you not go into self exile like some of us who are stuck in th diaspora. Who the f£$%$ does not know that Mugabe and his crew are criminals and worse than Nazis...why are you making so much noise now why are you even going to the Daily News??? My advice to you Rugare is that you not only walk away from Zimbabwe but run for your dear life. Soon they will silence you permanently.

Garikayi - 9 May 2015

Taurai henyu Madyirapazhe, vaChipazha mongo, takaterera! Zvino zvowawata, vokutererai ndivo vashoma. VaGumbo chinogwadza isu ndochokuti nguva yose iyi manga muzingazivi here kuti murikudya nemhandu, nemhondi, nembavha, nemanobata vakadzi zvibharo. Zvino kana imi makatombodya navo mukamboponda vanhu navo mugore ra 2008 mogwadziwa kudero koisu takabikira maComrades sadza, tichivatengera nhumbi dzokupfeka tichitotadza kutengera vana vedu chaivo veropa tozodii. VaGumbo tinogwadziwa zvisingabviri. Taitorovegwa kuti wabikirei sadza nomurivo. Ko vaingoda nyama chete kunge vakanga vasingazivi kuti kune makondo aidya hukwana. Waitoziva kuti hukwana ikadyiwa negondo wotoziva kuti mai vako vachashaya huku mwedzi inotevera vagozvambugwa nematanda avairovesa vanhu nawo. Matanda acho ainge nhungo dzedenga remba. Saka kunaMadyirapazhe ndinoti ko imi munototyanana here? Ko taiti muri zvikara mosezve. Chingomirai kuti mudhara adzugwe ndove kumusana mondomupedzisa. Kungava kuponda yakafa, asizve zvirinani kuti unenge uchizvozvirova dundundu uchiti ndakazomurigavo. Mucharangarira slogan yenyu yokuti pasi naNhingi. Nhasi imi nana mai Mujuru ndimi mavakunzi pasi nemwi! MaSlogan awa aifanigwa kubhaniwa paIndependence asi makaramba muchimapembedza nhasi hawo okubayayi Ndogumira pano nemashoko angu

dick mboko - 9 May 2015

Watch this space. First, it was Mai Mujuru and Baba Mutasa who never went to the war. Today it's Mugabe and Mnangagwa who were after the fighters of the liberation wars. Soon we will hear that the whole war was a farce. Gore rino tichadzidza zvakawanda.

Kunda Kinde - 9 May 2015

@Sekuru chihori Spot on that is a very sober observation ,People think now zimbabweans are so finished that they can not even see crooks like baba Gumbo ,Joice Mudidi Mutasa and Themba trying to wood wink them.They think our sense of smell are dead and we no long smell a lot of shiite which soiled them while in zanu .Guys you are still one of them all what you era saying now is known all already and saying that now is trying to seek some sympathy from us but i am sorry bcoz just yesterday you were praise worshiping Mugabe the murderer .Why you did that it is you who knows but only barbarians can worship a murderer

Diibulaanyika - 9 May 2015

Rugare, Mutasa, Mujuru, Themba, as long as you think yes there is something wrong in/with ZanuPF but Mugabe Robert is not part of that problem, then you are as good as stupid fools, the only deadly person in ZANU is Robert, the Geriatric, he is the stopper of all progress in Zimbabwe, the cancer of all that's wrong with Zimbabwe, let our trying to be respectful put paid to truth seeking/speaking....Mugabe is the thorn in Zimbabwe's soul.....

Msuuuunuuuu - 9 May 2015

Nyatsoreururai vaGumbo nyika izize hunhu hwenyu nezanu asi vanhu havana kupusa ,ibvai mazivisa nyika mabiro amaita sarudzo kubva muna 2000 mufe makachena.Pamberi ne zanu pfiefuu.

Chitsiga - 9 May 2015

Nyatsoreururai vaGumbo nyika izize hunhu hwenyu nezanu asi vanhu havana kupusa ,ibvai mazivisa nyika mabiro amaita sarudzo kubva muna 2000 mufe makachena.Pamberi ne zanu pfiefuu.

Chitsiga - 9 May 2015

Zimbabwe is a land cursed with our sin. Our soil is stained with the blood of the innocent. many sins have brought judgment upon us. Zimbabwe needs repentance and ZPF needs to know that every evil deed will be judged. God has most certainly seen everything. Only true heartbroken repentance can circumvent judgment and that entails telling the hard truth and asking for forgiveness. I also do not understand the Gumbo's who were so abused staying in an abusive dictatorial party for so long. Money??? Power???? How many people has ZPF actually hurt and destroyed? Isaiah says, "He has destroyed his land and slain his people." I would be worried if I was them. Almighty God is a just and holy God and justice must be done! Repent!

TruthBTold - 9 May 2015

Rugare Gumbo am sure that the best chance you ever had to change the country was when you had the chance to be close to Mugabe. You knew how cruel this man is and you should have just taken that opportunity to end the man ever existing again. Only when he is gone forever shall our beloved country enjoy peace. Bang, Bang, Bang. End of it.

Ziziharinanyanga - 9 May 2015

Chipazhamongo the last kick of a dying horse.Zanu(pf) for life.

Ndomene Goritoto - 9 May 2015

You are lucky Gumbo, not only have you lived to tell the tale, you got senior party posts and a farm or two. When I was 8 years old I had the misfortune of seing a dog dig out a human leg from a shallow grave!!! That Sibanda family never got a second chance, just because they "cooked" for dissidents. If anyone with a gun asked you to cook for him what would you do? And another one with a gun comes and kills you for doing the only logical thing

Phaphamani - 10 May 2015

Gumbo you can rant forever but you and your crowd Joice, Mutasa. Mliswa and the nameless others are all rotten and stinking like Mugabe and his crew! Y don't u just shut up...you are a dead donkey now...That's y they are not coming after you

ndlangas endazula - 10 May 2015

Rugare Gumbo, when you returned to Zambia from Canada & the US to join the struggle you were an agent of the CIA. Chief of Defence Josiah Magama Tongogara had proof of it and wanted to get rid of you. You were saved by Muzenda & Mugabe then. You should be thankful, otherwise you should have been history by now. Try & deny it & I will crucify your lies, hypocrite!!!

mageja siziba - 10 May 2015

This is a well known story, and Gumbo should not pretend to be a victim here. The summary of this story is that Gumbo and others kidnapped some Zanu cadres who included Hebert Ushewokunze and others. Before Gumbo and his gang could murder their captives, Solomon Mujuru managed to liberate the victims, and this got Rugare Gumbo arrested and detained for trying to murder others. What is so special about Gumbo, that he should have escaped this serious crime without being arrested? The Daily News know this story and should never pretend to be hearing it for the first time. There is nothing new or shocking, Gumbo was bitten by a snake he had dug from the ground.

machakachaka - 11 May 2015

@chorosi i defntly agree with you....why now that you revealing all these allegations? Supose you were still with this party honestly who you utter all thsi nonsense...nxaa. You desrve all this calamities. Thats the potrayal of " Animal Farm" Powell predicted this on Zimbabwe.

Analyst - 11 May 2015

Nhai Sekuru Chihori, vaPorofita vapinda papi ?

Mwana WaMuporofita - 11 May 2015

Saka , so what tazvinzwa saka nhasi sugar yaakuwava here, nhai Mr Gumbo, ini ndoda kuti mutaure chete kuti makabira sei Ma-Election a2013 July 31, musati marova pasi nokuti your political career is nomore

ggoche - 11 May 2015

Gumbo et al - why should we have to read all your pre 1980 drivel? Give us all the post 1980 stories, like how you and your thieving murderous henchmen totally destroyed a beautiful country. How you murdered and why you murdered 20000 Ndebeles, why you forcefully removed 1 million people from their homes, why you nationalised all the farms and why you have you killed Itai amongst many others. Why should we have to listen to your diatribe about your problems with that old donkey Mugabe. I can't understatnd why the Daily News continues to curry favour from this man and Mutasa etc. Why don't you ask them to tell you all the post independence stories. Shame on you. Do you condone what has happened in this country since 1980?

Homo Erectus - 11 May 2015

Blood curling? Is that new expression? “Blood-curdling” you mean? – students used to be told to read newspapers to improve their English…clearly it's not the case for Daily news. Whilst what you went through Mr Gumbo was deplorable. The problem with you and Mujuru and Diesel is you have been part of the cabal that has created this monster and set it loose on the people of Zimbabwe and all along you were defending it until you were expelled. Mugabe didn't make you the zanu mouth piece for nothing, he had you measured when like a dog you came back to your vomit. Same as Jonathan and his turncoat unprincipled shenanigans and SK Moyo, having been hounded in the Gukurahundi days and compound that with disparaging remarks about Kalangas and he still remains loyal. Now you that you are outside the tent you claim to be standing up for what you all believe in. What is that, if not self interest & preservation? If you are guided by principle you stand for that which you believe from the get go regardless of the cost. You don't wait until you have nothing to lose. What actually makes it worse is that you are not even saying the whole truth, expose everything if you are sincere…everything.

Galore 123 - 11 May 2015

@ Mwana waMuporofita. Dzokorora kuverenga comment yangu mwana waamai. If you still can not understand it bvunza vamwe vakubatsire. You need to dig a bit deeper than what you see on the surface (what you obviously see) in order to fathom what is going on in Zimbabwe regarding vaporofita venhema. Anyway kana baba vako (nokuti wati urimwana wemuporofita) vari muporofita we zwokwadi then my comment is not applicable to him - hence they was no need for you reaction.

Sekuru Chihori Ngi-i - 11 May 2015

I do not know where the comrades we operated with between 1977 to 1979 are. We gave you all you demanded: jeans, cigars, chimbwido and meat. You told us about the Zimbabwe we were fighting for. We agreed with you. I challenge all comrades who operated in Gaza. Is this the Zimbabwe we fought for? Let us go again to Pungwe(s). Lets us sit and discuss. Kadiki Shungu DzeHondo where are you? Rugare Gumbo I had my experience of the war without a gun. I have nothing. You even became a Minister. You dined with Mugabe et al. You are one of them. You hijacked our revolution. You became elitist. Now you say people first which people? The very people you abandoned! The ver people you killed to win an election! Who has forgotten all the previous elections? Did you win by ballot or by force or by cheating? Be honest. We suffered for nothing during the liberation war. Comrades I miss you or maybe who you used to be. Mhuru yesango. Soft Guy. Cde Peter.

Dzvuke Muchaina - 14 May 2015

If you were not fired from Zanu Pf will you be saying this. Bitter People are dangerous

Inini - 15 May 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.