Mphoko was a sellout: Sibanda

HARARE - Fearless former war veterans’ leader, Jabulani Sibanda, claims that Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko sold out during the liberation struggle when he allegedly diverted weapons meant for the late Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu to President Mugabe’s Zanu, a move he says could have led to the needless death of thousands of people.

Damningly for Mphoko, a number of Zapu bigwigs who spoke to the Daily News yesterday — including Dumiso Dabengwa and Thomas Ngwenya (a former deputy to Mphoko) — appeared to buttress the claims.

Mphoko himself has previously admitted that he diverted weapons meant for Zapu’s military wing, Zipra, to Zanu’s Zimbabwe National African Liberation Army (Zanla).

Tearing into Mphoko with relish at the weekend, Sibanda said while there was nothing wrong per se in the VP having diverted weapons to a sister liberation movement, Zipra intelligence officials had subsequently discovered that some weapons that were in the hands of the Rhodesian Selous Scouts had serial numbers identical to those diverted by Mphoko.

“I know that he remained in Mozambique when others withdrew, and by his own admission he diverted weapons meant for Zipra to Zanla.

“I don’t have a problem with that sharing of weapons between liberation movements, but it was not done right,” Sibanda said.

Characteristically shooting from the hip, Sibanda added that some of the weapons that were diverted like anti-air missiles had resulted in Zapu cadres and supporters being left exposed as there was nothing for them to use to defend themselves against the Rhodesian Airforce — which allegedly led to “massacres”.

“People died because of Mphoko. There was nothing to use in defence. At the same time people were trained to use those weapons and so to have given them to people who were not trained was also like killing the Zanla combatants,” he charged.

Laying further into Mphoko, Sibanda said investigations by the Zipra intelligence had also allegedly discovered that not all weapons which were diverted went to Zanla.

Some of the weapons allegedly found their way to “the South African intelligence, which then found their way to Zimbabwe and were arming Selous Scouts who were moving with AK47s pretending to be guerrillas killing innocent people”.

“Now we know because Mphoko has said it with his own mouth that he diverted weapons. He therefore cannot accept that he diverted weapons to Zanu and then deny that some of the weapons went to South Africa. Some of the weapons used by the Selous Scouts had serial numbers that were so close to some weapons Zipra had,” he said.

Dabengwa, the former Zipra intelligence supremo — who was nicknamed the Black Russian during the liberation struggle — appeared to buttress Sibanda’s claims but was quick to say “it would not be fair for me to speak about the intelligence issues”.

“I have made my comments on Mphoko and I will not make any further comments on him. I don’t think that would be fair. Other comrades can speak, but my position does not allow me to speak,” Dabengwa said.

Asked if Zipra’s intelligence had gathered that Selous Scouts had been armed with artillery similar to that used by the guerrillas, Dabengwa said “it was true”.

“We heard about those allegations and we made our investigations and the allegations were proved to be true,” Dabengwa said.

Sibanda, who was accused by Mphoko of being a sodomite, said he had been provoked into exposing the VP because of his “insensitive comments”.

“This only shows that some weapons were diverted. Mphoko enriched himself with the blood of the people of this country. That is where he derives all this wealth that he is throwing around.

“He had a lavish wedding in Mozambique where people like (South African President Jacob) Zuma were part of his bridal team going to expensive hotels. Some of the weapons were used by Matsanga (Renamo) to destroy Zanu, which is what happens when you have zvipfukuto ( weevils) in your midst,” Sibanda said.

Mphoko is said to be closely connected to the fast growing Choppies Zimbabwe supermarkets, whose parent company Choppies is angling to list on the London stock exchange.

However, his stint as the Vice President has been dogged by a number of controversies, including his pronouncements on Gukurahundi, amid accusations that he is part of a faction of Zanu PF hardliners that is fighting his counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Contacted for comment, Ngwenya, Mphoko’s deputy during the liberation struggle, said the VP “just disappeared” when other comrades were arrested in Mozambique after a fallout between Zanu and Zapu.

“Our statistics were taken during the raid at Gwayi assembly point so I won’t confirm (if weapons were sold to the South Africans) but there is a possibility.

“Mphoko, as we were in Zipa just disappeared. I don’t know where he went. We only heard that he was in Maputo when we were in Tete. He only surfaced after independence, but where he went to and what he was doing nobody knows,” Ngwenya said.

Repeated efforts to get in touch with Mphoko yesterday were fruitless.

Comments (32)

Jabulani Sibanda is misleading the nation.One of the icons of our liberation war, Dzino articulated it well the role that Mphoko played. In Fact , this man, Sibanda is dangerous if the truth is to be told.Equally Mphoko is bad too.Pathetic!

Tirivanhu Mawire - 5 June 2015

i am concerned with baba dabengwa who says up to this day he does not want to say some intellegency stuff when a lot of people are suffering because he is not telling us what really happened or happens because of the secrecy act he sign. lookout masuku died and the person who almost knows what happened is baba dabengwa but will not say anything. if your the secret staff protects killers you are a killer yourself. baba dabengwa you fought the war and you were one of the best solders alive today, but what you are holding and not telling the people is helping more people to be oppressed and killed.

see - 5 June 2015

Dabengwa is a true professional. He will not go around boasting and self praising . Zipra was a professional organisation and some where are records that will be produced when the time is right. At this moment there are too many doubtful claims about the history. The spills the blood saga proves that. Who do you think in this Government would encourage a story from Dabengwas point of view when they even blocked Nkomo's book "The story of my life"

Doctor Do little - 5 June 2015

Bread and butter issues are more important than this wogwash. People need jobs not what happened some 40yrs ago. Discuss real issues to our crumbling economy.

tony - 5 June 2015

Mphpko has to respond to these allegations. These people who like to expose others, are covering up for their misdeeds. Now JB is revealing more about Mphoko than Mphoko did to JB. His is a serious matter and I wonder what his conscience is saying. He goes all over the country pretending to be a Messiahs. He sold out...even nawe JB, it was morally wrong, those weapons were meant for Zipra, not Zanla, ungabi nguma luma ephozisa...knowing so well how Zipra and Zanla treated each other during the war. Those weapones given to Zanla and Seleus Scouts ended up killing Zipra..eMorogoro, Mozambique, Conmara and Sipolilo were there were notable clashes between Zipra and Zanla. Ask thina who were there in these areas. The Seleous Schouts also hanted down Zipra using those weapons. So do not justify Mphoko;s stealing of weapons and giving as correct. If I have to tell you about the fights that were between Zipra and Zanla..Lets not pretend like Mphoko that Gugurahundi was a conspiracy..The man has a secret life to us, but to Zanu they know his history...and one day the truth is going to be know. The fact that Dzino mentions Mphoko does not exonerates him from wrong doing..Dzino mentions Mphoko from a Zanla perspective but to Zipra he was and he is still regarded as a sell out (Mthengisi)

The Kijana - 5 June 2015

Hayi suka jabulani .Mpoko sold out some 40 years ago you sold out 22 months ago that is why Mugabe is still in govt it is bcoz of you , What were you doing in the bushes of Masvingo indimidating poor villagers? . Fokofo manhi nonsense you bailed out Mugabe from defeat by fraudulently faking a million march . Now tell us your motive of wanting Mugabe to remain in power? your problem jabu is amawala kkkkkk. You are a big dander head and you forget easily like nkuku . You are already panicking while Mpoko is enjoying your sweat through fat perks thoko .

Diibulaanyika - 5 June 2015

I have known Dabengwa as a very young boy of sixteen, of course his name I had known when I was years younger than when I first met him in Zambia. Very humble and down to earth as he is now.. We used to sing Thumela UDabengwa ayo tshelu Nkomo ukuthi ilizwe siyalithatha.. to use he was the link between between Zipra and Nkomo..He is a state man a truth hero of the struggle who did not abscond the struggle for what ever reason..a true veterinarian of the liberation struggle, a true son of Zimbabwe and a true son of the soil. His illustrious liberation record is still intact and untainted. I would like to respond to See. While I understand the frustration and anger of wanting Dabengwa to spill the bin, his position and credentials do not allow him to do so. Yeka OMphoko na Bo Jabu begezane.. They were both in ZANU and to many this is a blessing. They are armatures in Zipra always telling stories from here-says. Mphoko eloped with Zanla and for Jabu although he remained with Zipra, he saying thing from history or here-say.. When Mphoko talks of the front he will tell you about Sipolilo...I would agree in Zipra Sipolilo is a legend.. he might have been there but I assume that was the last he ever went back..there are Zipra cadres who have more knowledge of Zipra that is why DD is saying let others talk his is to gaurd the history of Zipra. And as a custodian of history he needs not comment a lot. The question is Where was Mphoko during the struggle? What role was hie play where he was" Where was Mphoko during Gukurahundi? What role did he play during this period? Was he part of the conspiracy? White conspiracy of Zaunu PF conspiracy?

Kijana - 5 June 2015

Kijana thank you for that. I said it in a few words hopefully what you have said will go a long way to make people understand the solidness of Dabengwa. If he was like some that condemn him he would be untouchable but this is a man that wont sell his ideals for any price. People like him are few and far between. Sidney Malunga, Herbert Ushewenkhunzi are two examples of people that were for the people. I shared a mug with Sidney many a time and I met Herbert. They are turning in their graves.

Doctor Do little - 5 June 2015

Kijana where were you during madzviti time killing maShona taking their cattle, strong men and cattle ? Iwe Mundevere do not make Shona go back into history supporting your side only. Ask any 10 year Shona child in Gutu what a Ndebele is and you will surprised to be told that you are Dzviti. Ask any Shona person if you read this msg.

MUSVINA - 5 June 2015

MUSVINA you are totally off topic. Your hatred will eat you like a cancer. You are off topic. Why you would even call yourself that...

Doctor Do little - 5 June 2015

That right there tells you that the fight for Mtwakazi is worth it. Dr have you seen such hate?

Umtakha Chaka - 5 June 2015

Please do not listen to a stupid person who knows not what he says. We are all suffering here.

Sawira - 5 June 2015

pple still talking about some history of 40years ago haaa will that stop this messy we are in.Now they want to clean harare by army force why not resuscitate industries and see if there will any vendors in harare streets and all cities.Makoniwa marume fungai zvimwe .Sending any army is making the chemical reaction faster.Do it

zicco - 6 June 2015

Well Musvina were the Ndebeles carrying guns or spears which your fore fathers had as well ? Why did they not fight back ?I think it is not wise for Dabangwa to withhold such a vital info what if he dies now and that the nation is deprived of vip history . One think that i dont like about Dabengwa is POSA .

Siginya mbila - 6 June 2015

i started the discussion on dabengwa although my aim there was that these sellouts should not keep telling us their rubbish while people like baba dabengwa who have it all can help us out of this mess. i dont want to liken him to mai mujuru becoz he is not to be compared to her. these are the people with the information which if they correctly give to people in their humility the country will be saved. thank you to doctor do little and kijana for understanding where i am coming from. all i am saying is that as for now the people of zimbabwe are ripe enough to accept baba dabengwas story and possible take his legacy on. he might now be too old to do anything and therefore it is time he birth children to help him achieve what he and father zimbabwe so much wanted zimbabwe to be. he cant continue keeping it to himself. i might be wrong, but baba we are now ready to hear it and take it on. as for musvina we know what you are talking about and i have always said that the president is to certain extent a tribalist. remember a kalanga woman took his dad away and he and his siblings grew up suffering. for some of us to understand this we might have to read about chakas revenge. he wants to revenge that period of history. after he has dealt with the white he will be coming for the ndebeles in one way or the other and is already doing that. when the gukurahundi were sent here they would say what you are saying. where are our cattle and women. the president and you are up to achieve that. the president views the Ndebeles as colonisors just like whites. so after he has dealt with the whites he is coming to the ndebeles and soon there will be no matabeleland. its unfortunate age is catching up with him. do you know why he wants to rule forever, he wants to achieve such things and he knows he is the only one who can achieve them. in his hearts of hearts he cannot tell anyone that is what he wants to do becoz that was given to him by the spirits.

see - 6 June 2015

Idzakutsaku nhai!

jojo - 6 June 2015

All you guys are a bunch of tribalists. Your contributions won't take this country any where. So you think it was Dabengwa only who fought for this country? Mpoko becomes a sell-out simply because he was appointed VP? You shameless and useless citizens. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans and if you think Matebeleland is Zimbabwe then what can we say about such bigoted minds. Give us a break JB, we all gave you our support and you failed us - typical gamatox sell-out. You are not qualified to talk about Mpoko- he was and still is much more senior to you. Pamberi nekutonga Zimbabwe- Pasi nemachinja ose. Loosers.

MemaZimbo - 6 June 2015

no we are not tribalist at all. we are not saying dabengwa is the only one who fought the war not at all. we are saying there are people who are causing people's suffering who are freely moving in our country. what we are saying is let the truth be known and people like you MemaZimbo seem to be scared and panick when we mention thing like this. is it because the net might catch up with you if such things are mentioned. am not sure. my friend to many things in this country are to be fixed in this country if GOD has to bless us. whether done by shonas or ndebeles. the truth will set us free. are things ok with you not what i am seeing my friend. the good thing is that even the president knows there are not well and his problem is that he want to move the blame away from himself, which is so bad. taking responsibility works so much MemaZimbo. when my family was in difficulty and i took the responsibility than blaming my wife things started to work. it works and i wish the president can go that way.

see - 6 June 2015

Interesting enough that See still thinks that in zim we have shonas and Ndebeles only forgetting that BaKalanga , BaTonga , BaVenda ,Shangani. ,Nambyias and Basothos are in this country and that clearly shows how old fashioned are some people in zim . While i do not want to be stupid like Memazimbo and Musvina here . See can try to paint Dabangwa as good leader here but he is not as his mouth is always zipped he likes to be secretive and some top commanders in zipra who are non ndebele will tell you they were looked down upon by this guy no matter how good they were . He is only fit to be a cio boss nothing else .I can not be surprised if Dabengwa is still meeting zanu in private and assuring them that he will not humiliate them by telling the nation all their dirty ways .

Diibulaanyika - 6 June 2015

i respect dabengwa he should be vice president not mboko i mean err mphoko

Harare - 6 June 2015

So what? Even Mugabe was a sellout to the British that is why they delivered the post on his lap in 1980, gave him advise on Gukurahundi and connected him to apartheid South Africa's intelligence team. The CIA and M16 preferred Mugabe to Nkomo, and that is true

Phaphamani - 6 June 2015

When I was in the struggle this idea of a sellout was the most spoken word. I was young then and did not understand what it meant specifically, on what that person who was a sellout gained. Was it financial gains or was it he/she gained when the people he/she had sold out died or he/she gained from both. It is a chilling experience to hear that someone have even acknowledged that he diverted arms...what else did he sell. Information and secrets pertaining to bases of both refugees and cadres, information on deployment, or operations. This could have happened to both Zipra and Zanla..if arms could travel as far as South Africa what about top secretes. It was terrifying to be attacked by enemy forces using your own guns. These Selous Schouts would pretend they were comrands because they were dressed and carried the same rifles as them, meanwhile after collecting data, they will give information to others who would come and kill. A lot of people and comrades from both Zipra and Zanla perished. The misty word SELLOUT is now clear to me after reading this people were selling comrades/materiel for money. What a shame? Hayi bo! Working or being a logistic commander was a strategic position because all sourced material whether it be weapons or food was directly under you.. This was a position of trust, so if what is written here is true, am very saddened and i will tell you why? Am thinking; sometimes we went without food for days...and would that food have been part of the package of commodities that were sold? A lot of comrades died and am shocked and in disbelief...I wonder when the VP Mphoko would address comrades to clear his name but if his deputy confirms these allegations its pathetic to say the least that, while other people were dying some people were making money out of it. Sellouts so they were really gaining monetary value out of other people's blood.

The Kijana - 6 June 2015

Fowethu kinjana you went to war so that Mugabe would personally own this country and rule it until donkeys grow horns . Similarly many people lost their lives and properties so that Mugabe can be life president .Now we as zimbabweans must be united no Tonga no Ndebele no Kalanga no Venda no Suthu or Shangani remove Mugabe bcoz he is the tumbling block and is jamming every progress in this country then we can move forward . This could have been achieved in 2013 but sellouts like Jabulani Sibanda blocked it .He must stop saying Mpoko sold out 40yrs down the drain when he Sibanda did it 22months ago and we are in this situation we are in now bcoz of him .

Diibulaanyika - 7 June 2015

its either mugabe in power endlessly or tsvangirai in power endlessly. our choice appears between these two since we do not want to be democratic. in a true democracy, leaders of both ruling and opposition parties have limited terms. tsvangirai is in his 4th term from a possible 3. how did he by-pass the constitutionally legal 3 terms? he changed the constitution. so, the choice is ours in choosing who leads forever. unless we address the issue regarding limited terms of office, we have the same scenario even after mugabe irrespective of which party is in power.

zvirozviyedzwa - 7 June 2015

Here's journalistic inconsistency at its worst! So, all of a sudden, Cde Jabu is now fearless!? Daily News, please be serious! What is your agenda?

Lance Kajokoto - 7 June 2015

It is not like Mphoko donated some of the weapons to the Rhodesians. Rhodesians used to capture some weapons during bombings in Zambia and Mozambique, and also during some battles in Zimbabwe. Does Sibanda not know this basic fact?

machakachaka - 8 June 2015

I would like to challenge all who are in the know of the liberation war.My question is I am yet to come across a documented battle where the guerillas defeated the rhodesian army. Does such a battle exist?

Zvomukonde - 8 June 2015

Zvomukonde the war areas were designated as op hurricane op thrasher op repulse and op tangent. In op tangent which was the Victoria falls area the Rhodesian' s losses were said to be greater. In the other areas the loss rate favored the Rhodesian 's who obviously had use of air support.

C/S 9 - 8 June 2015

Zvomukonde: Yes, such battle exist. You know what, the problem, is those who actually fought the war have stories to tell but their position in society has been reduced to beggars and some of them have passed on. These you see are and who are occupying positions and purporting to be ex-combatants are pretenders. They remained behind some even eloped to study abroad. People in positions and those who occupy positions were given advantage during the integration at the expense of those who were in the front. I will tell you why? Those who were left behind were trained as regular forces, in any case at modern warfare, yet those who were fighting were trained at guerrilla war fare and they were not in intact units as those who were left behind. So when integration came a person who commanded regular units would go with all his troops and retained his rank. Those who were at the front were in small units and that meant many of their commanders were assimilated into the regular arm thereby loosing their influence or ranks. At that time most of us we were not educated and we did not understand the rank structure and the status they carried. I remember at integration those at front were taken to logistics where ranks were kept. They were asked to pick any rank one wanted to be. People ran to pick the sergeant's rank because it was common to them, those who were trained for regular picked officers' ranks. So many of the commanders whom you see making a lot of noise know little or nothing about the operation areas. Anyhow thus history now, but also signifies that the story of the real Abafana/bakomana has never been told...that is why there a few battle stories...they are suffering in silence and some have developed psychological problem.

The Kijana - 8 June 2015

Zvomukonde. Yes such battles exist. Without air support, Rhodesian ground soldiers were at par with guerillas and thus lost some battles. On 22 November 1976 at Zizhou dam near Silveira Mission in Bikita, a Rhodesian truck was attacked by Zanla guerillas and all occupants were killed and their weapons were captured. We know the names of the attackers and we know the names of the victims. Is that not a battle won by guerrillas? It is true that the guerrillas won less battles than they lost, but they achieved their main objective, winning the war.

machakachaka - 9 June 2015

I hate people who are tribalistic and racist.....

hey - 9 June 2015

I don't want to talk much about war issues, but am worried about corruption within top government officials and the side-lining of people from Matabeleland at institutions of higher learning. The issue raised by Priscillah Misihairambwi and seconded by Madubeko in parliament is correct. It appears only colleges in Matabeleland are National by enrolling students from all over Zimbabwe. Some colleges enrol exclusively from their regions. Am challenging the government to investigate this and furnish the nation with the statistics.

bbwindi mabelo - 11 June 2015

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