The Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldier
512 Pages
English
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The Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldier

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512 Pages
English

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The Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldier is a riveting spider web story of courage, determination, pursuit of justice and survival against all odds. The reader is taken on a path of unparalleled heroism and determination of a young Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) soldier, Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza. Churchill was born in Johannesburg to a Rhodesian father, Makhathini Bhekisizwe Guduza and Amy Poppy Lottering, a South African. After attending Fatima Secondary School in Rhodesia, with his father in continued political detention and his mother merely scrapping a living in the rural hinterlands of Rhodesia, he was compelled to leave for Johannesburg in early 1973 where his already shaped political consciousness led him to participate in the June 1976 Soweto student uprisings. At just under 20 years of age, Churchill escaped South Africa to join ZIPRA in Zambia, just in time before the apartheid net rapidly closed in on him. No sooner had Churchill joined ZIPRA than he experienced similar injustices which he immediately opposed with resolute bravery. Upon completion of military training in Angola, he was immediately deployed to the battlefields of Rhodesia where his unit gallantly fought against the Rhodesian security forces. Churchill's nom de guerre was Taffy Carlos. From Rhodesia, Churchill returned to Zambia to face off ZIPRA's High Command, from where he fled to Angola. After his incarceration in Angola, he returned to independent Zimbabwe, from where he again escaped to the United Kingdom via Botswana and Zambia. Today, he leads the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF), which seeks to EXIT Zimbabwe, and establish the Federal Republic of Mthwakazi.

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Published 04 January 2021
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EAN13 9789956551446
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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involved, highly politically conscious and committed freedom fighter. This book is a rare window of
liberation movement for its strategic mistakes and political miscalculations. No prisoners are taken as painful events are narrated. The book is as disturbing as it is revealing. Indeed, a priceless gift to political thinking, challenges and visions of liberation.’’
of the insights related to the lack of strategic thinking by leaders of ZAPU. Guduza captures well the contributions of ZIPRA to the liberation of Zimbabwe. This history has largely been marginalized in official historical accounts. In addition, the book offers a deeper understanding of internal struggles within ZAPU. It is a welcome addition to the history of the liberation struggle.”
The Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldier
bravery. Upon completion of military training in Angola, he was immediately deployed to the battlefields of Rhodesia where his unit gallantly fought against the Rhodesian security forces. Churchill’s nom de guerre was
From Rhodesia, Churchill returned to Zambia to face off ZIPRA’s High Command, from where he fled to Angola.
 currently lives in Mafikeng, South Africa and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and
The Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldier
- Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza -
The Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldier Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher:LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaa-rpcig.net
Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookscollective.com
ISBN-10: 9956-551-78-3
ISBN-13: 978-9956-551-78-1
©Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza 2021
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or be stored in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher
DedicationTo Jessica Zikhali and her brave and loving children: Joel, Rejoice, Jimmy and Lovemore. And to all my beloved children, both biological and fostered: Ndabezinhle, Nompumelelo, Carol (Nomthwakazi), Sharon, Mbuso, Nkosithabile, Fikile, Belinda, Nontokozo, Kimberly and Churchill Junior. And to my late parents: Makhathini and Poppy. And, finally, to ZIPRA’s brave and best of the best comrades, both dead and alive.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ........................................................... vii Foreword ........................................................................... ix Chapter 1 My Family History ............................................................ 1 Chapter 2 Early Academic Years and Returning to South Africa ................................................. 29 Chapter 3 Rejecting Apartheid and Joining the Liberation War ............................................................ 57 Chapter 4 Military Training in Angola .............................................. 71 Chapter 5 From Military Training to Zambia and Deployment to the Front................................................... 85 Chapter 6 The Battlefields of Rhodesia............................................. 103 Chapter 7 Arriving Back in Zambia and Taking a Stand.................. 133 Chapter 8 Taking on the Zipra High Command .............................. 153 Chapter 9 Living as a Fugitive in Lusaka.......................................... 189
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Chapter 10 The Zipra High Command Makes its Move Against Me ......................................................... 203 Chapter 11 Fleeing to Angola .............................................................. 239 Chapter 12 Initial Life in Angola: Capture and Integration into an Angolan Army Unit ............................................... 267 Chapter 13 Arrival in Luanda, Angola ................................................. 279 Chapter 14 From Luanda to Lusaka and Going Back Home in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe...................................... 307 Chapter 15 Life in Zimbabwe .............................................................. 349 Chapter 16 The Matebeleland Genocide Unfolds ............................... 393 Chapter 17 Escape from Zimbabwe to Exile ...................................... 439 Chapter 18 Escaping to the United Kingdom ..................................... 477
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Acknowledgments First and foremost, I would like to express my special thanks to my friend and mentor, Dr. Mkhululi Nyathi, without whom this book would never have been written. After listening to the many stories about my life that I kept telling him over the years, Dr. Nyathi encouraged me to write this book. In fact, to say he encouraged me is an understatement; as he made sure that I finally ran out of excuses. When I eventually started working on the book, not only did he keep pushing me, but he was with me every step of the way - from the beginning to the end. After finishing every chapter, I would send it to Dr. Nyathi who would then go through it with a fine tooth-comb, editing it and providing me with the most helpful guidance and comments. Dr. Nyathi did the same with the final manuscript; and he also guided me through the publication process. My thanks also go to Lifaqane Nare, for being part of the team that looked at the final manuscript and provided language editing and proof reading. This book is about my participation in the struggle for liberation against apartheid and colonialism and other forms of injustice in South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from a very early age until long after Zimbabwe had acquired political independence. It chronicles those formative political experiences, as a child whose father was deported from South Africa and incarcerated at Gonakudzingwa restriction camp in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and how those experiences emboldened me to actually participate in the liberation struggle, under the Zimbabwe Peoples’ Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) from 1977 to 1980. This book provides an inside story of a ZIPRA soldier who, together with his comrades, stood firm for the principles of freedom and justice, not only against colonialism, but against tyrannical rule within ZIPRA. This book, therefore, provides me with an opportunity to honour all those comrades with whom I fought against the well trained and resourced Rhodesian military in the battlefields of Rhodesia; and chronicles how despite all odds, ZIPRA forces emerged victorious in
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several battles resulting in the establishment of semi- liberated zones throughout most of the rural hinterlands of the country. Those battles and the victories against the Rhodesians, were a product of continued interaction, planning, strategizing, and cooperation by the comrades under my command, as well as cooperation with other units. I would, therefore, like to record my most profound and deepest gratitude to have been with great and selfless heroes like Majuta Ncube (John Chironda ,nom de guerre), Mphathwasi Ndlovu (Magwadla,nom de guerre), Stoney (nom de guerre), Oscar Gwebu (nom de guerre), Captain, (nom de guerre), Chiwota, (nom de guerre), Mahambangenduku (nom de guerre), Napier Ncube (Akim Dube,nom de guerre), David Chirodza (nom de guerre), and many others who are mentioned in this book. I owe a special debt to Fidelis Ncube (Masunga Muswe,nom de guerre), aka General Nandinadi, who has been with me through thick and thin from the battlefields of Rhodesia until today. He has also provided insightful comments on the book. While I would like to acknowledge the role played by all my ZIPRA comrades that I fought alongside of, without exception, both the departed and living; my special gratitude is particularly directed to the comrades with whom I took a decisive stand against the tyrannical ZIPRA High Command at the Nampundu Camp in Zambia, whom I refer to in the book as the group of 15 out of approximately 400 guerrillas who were at that camp at the relevant time. I am also deeply indebted to Jessica Zikhali and her brave children for ensuring my survival by providing me with safe refuge and doing everything within their powers, to make sure that I was not harmed. I am further grateful to Jessica Zikhali’s daughter, Rejoice Nkomo for reading and commenting on the manuscript. Lastly, I would also like to thank my friend Ray Charles Masuku (Jabulani Ndlovu,nom de guerre) with whom I have continued to share reflections and experiences regarding ZIPRA for close to four decades. I have no doubt that one day his story shall be told and heard.
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Foreword Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza’sThe Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldieris a most welcome and meticulously crafted, and delivered, political tale on the trials and tribulations of those who sacrificed for the liberation of the oppressed African people from colonialism. Like all memoirs, the life of Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza occupies the centre stage of the dynamics of the history and struggles for liberation of the oppressed people from colonialism. However, Guduza is consistently generous in situating his self, not only in the broader extended social family, but liberation politics. Socially, Guduza reveals how his grandfather created and presided over a very expansive family enabled by polygamy. Through Guduza’s powerful narratology one gets some insights into how African people continued to be located and live within a context of a tradition-modernity dialectic with all its vicissitudes. Guduza was born not only into an expansive family but also into a political family. His father (Makhathini Guduza) was a leading nationalist politician who suffered political detention in Rhodesia and persecution after attainment of political independence, alongside his comrades who belonged to the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), led by the veteran nationalist Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. Hence, what is offered to us by Guduza is not social history but riveting and complex political history by an active actor in the dramatic political and military dynamics of a liberation movement known as the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), and the heroic Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA)—its military wing. But Guduza is also a child of two nations—South Africa and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). This was due to the fact that his father became exiled to South Africa from Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) where he met his mother—a South African. Thus, Guduza’s political formation and consciousness is fed from colonial and apartheid developments and experiences in Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa, respectively. The two countries shared the experience of repressive, abusive, and, indeed, dehumanizing white settler colonialism, within which black African people were
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