UNBELIEVABLE THINGS CAN HAPPEN IN MAKONI DISTRICT, BUT WHY?

UNBELIEVABLE THINGS CAN HAPPEN IN MAKONI DISTRICT, BUT WHY?

A ghoury incident happened in the Makoni District of Manicaland Province not so long ago as reported by the newspapers of 10 to 15 October 2015. But ghoulish things have been known to happen in the Makoni District for some time within the immediate past. However, the question to ask is, why things as unbelievable as that can now be happening especially in one of the districts of our country?

The story,of a ZETDC, a ZESA subsidiary company employ who killed an unknown man so as to claim insurance money, as told by various newspapers, sounds more like a fiction movie, that can make even those most renown Hollywood script writers and actors look like rank amateurs. Here, is a ZETDC employee, who was its Mutare Manager, who no sensible person would have ever expected to have such nerves of steel, committing such a heinous crime. As one of the four members of the gang later claimed, they saw a drunk old man at Odzi town and one of them, the prime suspect indicated that they should abduct him. They stopped their car, and as it was stated, gagged him with a piece of cloth until he breathed his last.

When he was dead, they took the corpse with them to some place, along the highway, at which they dressed him in the prime suspects clothes, placed him on the driver’s seat, then fastened the seat belt, before pushing the car down a ravine, to make it look like it was a horrible accident that had taken place.

After the car had gone down the ravine or slope, where it was badly damaged in the process, they then set it on fire, so that it could look like it had ignited on impact during the accident. After that, the four suspects then dusted themselves up and proceeded home undisturbed and unnoticed, as they had to complete the plot that they had probably taken quite some time to plan. The idea here, was that the prime suspect, be presumed dead during the horrendous accident. He, therefore, was not supposed to be seen again in public, as the idea of claiming a seventy thousand [$70 000] insurance payment, could never have worked if some people had known that the insured was still alive.

The role to put forward the claim was thrust upon another quite interesting character, ‘the prime suspects young wife.’ And she did so with skill and the nerves of an expert actor, and accomplice to a well planned crime. After the well executed plan, there was a funeral wake at the prime suspects homestead, with the widow howling heartout, uncontrollably like what happens to all of us when a dear partner has been lost. The supposed body of the young unfortunate husband, who had been taken away so prematurely, was then buried in the sacred Mangoromera community graveyard and with each passing day, the family’s unfortunate predicament, slowly returned to normalcy.

On the other hand, the unsuspecting Old Mutual Funeral Services, honoured their contractual agreement, and paid $70 000 to the prime suspects wife, for the untimely loss of her husband. But, where was the husband all this time, when people were gathering at his parents’ home to mourn his departing, in the Mangoromera village in Nyazura?

It is said that, in order to conceal his presence before, he for 6 solid months, hid at a n’anga’s home at Nyabadza Growth Point, and later translocated to Harare where he stayed until his cover was blown in one way or another. But, this is not what concerns me and probably many other people about this case. The main question here is ‘why and how could such a thing happen in a country like Zimbabwe, where the fear of God the Almighty, ngozi and other societal norms run supreme?’Why has Makoni District lost all this fear of God and respect for life?

The truth of the matter is that a lot of things that never happen anywhere else or are unheard of in other parts of the country, happen in the Makoni District of Manicaland. In the past we have heard of ‘movie style robberies’ committed by gangsters with names of wrestlers like John Cena, in Nyanga town, but also from the Makoni District. We have heard of other ghoury cases of murder, some still unexplained up to this day. But those that know Makoni District also know that it had wholly lost respect of human life because of one mysterious reason or another. Groups with names like ‘ The A Team,’ ‘Simudza Makoni’ and others terrorized the district and very few people, ever dared to open their mouths to voice against, or about the scourge that had visited their once well cultured rural setting. Maybe, this prime suspect and his gang, and others that still roam free to commit the same, or even worse crimes, are actually products of an evil individual or group that taught the people of Makoni District not to respect life.

It is clear as day light, from what we read of this horrendous incident, that something has over the years , gone horribly wrong in the Makoni District. Even the bravery of those that harboured them like that n’anga’s family that knew fully well that they had committed a serious crime,but chose to habour them anyway is clear testimony of the rot that has visited the area, and transformed it into something that is totally unheard of in this part of the world.

Indeed, with what has happened in the district, serious retrospection and correctional action, need to be taken by all of its leadership, in order that sanity is brought back to the area, otherwise this will not be the last horrific act that we will hear from it. Maybe, many other families, are harbouring greedy young people, that have done horrible things, under different guises, and only time will tell, when the avenging spirit, will start visiting them and cause unrepairable damage in vengeance.

ADDRESS BY HIS EXELLENCE THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST SECRETARY OF ZANU P.F., COMRADE R. G. MUGABE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 99TH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, ZANU P.F HEADQUARTERS, HARARE, 16TH OCTOBER 2015.

ADDRESS BY HIS EXELLENCE THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST SECRETARY OF ZANU P.F., COMRADE R. G. MUGABE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 99TH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, ZANU P.F HEADQUARTERS, HARARE, 16TH OCTOBER 2015.

Vice President and Second Secretary, Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Vice President and Second Secretary, Comrade Phelekezela Mphoko,

Secretary for Administration, Comrade Ignatius Chombo,

Politburo ,Members,

Members of Central Committee,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Comrades and Friends

I address this 99th Ordinary Session of the Central Committee in fulfillment of our constitution which enjoins such meetings after every three months. It is an ‘ordinary’ session because it falls within the scheduled time line, and has been convened for a general view of our party business.

I have had to make this otherwise superfluous point of dispel claims by our detractors that, this session is out of ordinary, having, as they claim, been triggered by the so-called factional politics, these detractors allege, are plaguing our Party. Our constitution designates no day as Sabbath day! We can meet any day, in any place, as is appropriate. We remain focused and working very hard for our people and the Party. That is our calling.

Comrades, as we meet, the country is in grip of a heat-wave. Those who mind our weather records tell us the last time such temperatures were recorded was in the 1920s. Our health experts have already warned us against exposing our bodies to the heat-wave, urging us to keep giving our bodies a lots of water. We hope this advice is being heeded by all communities across the country.

Yet the heat, intense though it may be, signals the beginning of another season, heralding the coming of the rains. We must put our shoulders to wheel in readiness, consistent with our earned reputation as a hard working people. Let the weather fail us, but never our level of motivation, preparations, or application. The Party must don the garb of a farmer, take the ashen cooler of pluming dust, bend to break the clod and, like the Biblical sower, commit the seed of the year plenty. I am sure that the God above recognizes and rewards our hard work, rewarding our efforts with abundance.

I want to pay tribute to the Women’s League for taking the initiative to mobilize resources for communities in readiness of the season. The League has also kept the Party alive and vibrant, which is probably why it is now being targeted by enemies of our Party. From the Women’s League, working together with the Youth League, the Party now knows there is no sleep between elections, no time for vegetating.

We all know from these days of the struggle that when challenges mount, when people face hurdles, it is time to be with them. That is the ZANU PF way, and the Party must go to the village so it is at one with the hungry.

I also want to pay tribute to my two deputies who have crisis-crossed the country, on both Party and government business. In between such forays, they have had foreign assignments to content with. The over-arching goal has been to mobilize our people and resources for an economic turnaround within policy parameters set by our ZimAsset.

Like the League, they too, have come under uncharitable scrutiny, with their laudable actions and efforts, often getting impugned by some thankless minds. Such in the world of politics, and I’m sure because of this other ‘heatwave’, they have since acclimatized, they have now adjusted, and even got inured to the harsh gusts of politics, which strengthen a politician.

The goal of our detractors is to keep us disturbed, divided, and detracted from our core objectives. But we are a mature Party, having met worse challenges, battled and prevailed against more formidable opponents. All this is a child’s play, best bitten by a dogged commitment to serving our people, especially now, as they go through a bad patch, arising from drought that has afflicted us, and of course, the continuing challenge of sanctions.

I am also happy that the Commissariat Department is hard at work, restructuring the Party and creating a solid support base, ahead of 2018. As the opposition continues to diminish through in-fighting and splits, our Party must take full advantage to grow its support base and to further strengthen its structures.

And there is ample evidence that we are getting stronger by the day. What with the resounding victory we have enjoyed in the recent by-elections! Those by-elections have been key to testing the strength of the Party, from the point of view of its membership, the efficacy of its organs, rules, and mobilization strategies. We rule the roost.

We have gained foothold, nay, embedded ourselves in those areas hitherto perceived as dominated by the opposition. However, we should never allow complacency to set in. We must remain on out toes, remain on the road, with meetings taking place in different parts of the country every week.

Comrades and Friends,

I want to appeal in every special and direct way, to our cotton growers from various parts of the country. They have had a row deal from those companies which traditionally have bought their cotton. The prices have been discouraging low. Companies, in turn, blame it on depressed international prices. But the Party has instructed the Government to support cotton growers, to ensure we go back to our pole position as a cotton growing country, but this time with a view to ensuring enough feedstock for our various value addition projects in the cotton and textile value chain. Let the Party be at the centre of reviving the ‘white gold’.

We have been building and boosting our food stock through imports, and of course by mopping up grain in the country. I am happy that the Grain Marketing Board has intensified payments to farmers for grain delivered. This should enhance the Farmer’s readiness for the season. More importantly, it should improve our grain stocks in the country so we are able to rescue all those areas hit hardest by drought. No Zimbabwean must die of hunger. Should that happen, we will have failed as Party; indeed, we will have let down our people.

As meet, our next our next Annual People’s Conference has drawn near. As you already know, we have tasked Matabeleland North to host the Party for this crucial convocation. Come December, all roads will lead to Victoria Falls. All our Departments have been hard at work, mobilizing people and other resources towards this event. I’m sure this Session will hear progress reports in the preparations already underway.

Matabeleland North will be the host province, Victoria Falls the venue. But the responsibility for ensuring an effective Conference falls on us, especially those on leadership at various level in the Party. Let us support Matabeleland North, more so against the background on the drought which has affected most of the country.

Comrades,

A Party of our age and experience has learnt many lessons, and has generated many answers. Above all, our Party has evolved standards of behavior and outlook. We never depart or deviate from principle on the alter of expediency, as the late Kwame Nkrumah would say. We fought for this land, and we said the land shall go to its owners. It was a key grievance sitting at the heart of our struggle. It remained a key goal and principle, sacred, continuing, and irrevocable.

Commitment to that key principle tests our membership and defines our membership to ZANU PF. In fact it gives our membership character, the ZANU PF character. Our commitment to resolving the land question puts us above and apart from all other political groupings in the country, making us worthy of the title of ‘sons and daughters of the soil’, making us the ‘Party of the soil.’

We stand unshakeable on the principle that the resources of this land belong and be controlled, as a matter of inalienable sovereign right, by our people. That sovereign right over our resources, expresses itself as the unchallengeable scope we enjoy to choose and determine who to partner in exploiting them, for the benefit of our people.

Let me conclude by calling for a greater discipline in the Party. Disciplined cadres will always respect the Party hierarchy, the decisions and procedures of the Party. We have witnessed lower organs of the Party, or cadres leading them, challenging superior organs or leaders appointed by the Party to lead them. Such actions, in whose ever name they are perpetrated, amount to fragrant insubordination, and indeed a challenge to authority.

Akin to such indiscipline, is an uninstructed interaction with hostile sections of the media. There are too many ghosts wearing the Party garb, yet inspiring negative press for the Party and its leadership. The Party has one mouth. The mouth speaks openly, and through designated channels and organs. When you speak without the authority of that mouth, yet you are serving the Party. You are serving yourself. When you speak through a channel or organ hostile to the Party, you are not defending the Party, you are ingratiating yourself with the enemy of your Party. Stop!

Pamberi neZANU PF

Pambili lokubambana

I thank you.

RGM/gm

THE ARREST OF ZIMPAPERS JOURNALISTS BY THE ZRP

THE ARREST OF ZIMPAPERS JOURNALISTS BY THE ZRP

Is it true, that more than 55 elephants were killed by a mafia style syndicate of poachers whose wanton destruction also annihilated fauna and flora through the use of the deadly chemical cyanide, in the Hwange National Park right here in Zimbabwe? Is it also true, that three Zimpapers journalists have been arrested by the ZRP over the case?

If both of the statements are correct, then something has gone drastically wrong with the intensions, aims and principles of those that died whilst trying to liberate this country. First and foremost, Zimbabwe was fought for, so that the resources that were being plundered by the colonial regime that had invaded our land for close to a century, enslaved its people and robbed them of all the dignity that they had once had possessed could be returned to the people. Great patriots in the mould of Hebert Chitepo, Jason Moyo, Percy Ntini and others had sacrificed their lives for the country, at a time when all odds were totally stacked against them. Many of them had died during the process of liberating their people, and yet many more who survived, bore horrific scars of war. But with the stories that people are now hearing, in this case unfortunately from the media, which is being blamed yet it is the only source available to disseminate information to all corners of the country at the same time, the efforts of those that suffered in order to free this country might have been totally lost. All this effort seems to be in vain.

But all what the people of Zimbabwe simply want to know, is why such things are taking place, contrary to what our founding principles were in the first place? Did these founding principles and revolutionary line for which the war was fought once ever stipulate for plunder of resources by callous minorities and individuals who seem to care less for the well being of the majority? Or did these founding principles ever condone this type of shameful and greed ridden behavior, be ever allowed and go away unpunished.

Yes, it is clear that many elephants, including other species, large and small, fell victim to the evil of whatever group which seems to have no conscience at all. The authority that is supposed to investigate and bring the culprits to book, are the Zimbabwe Republic Police [ZRP] , and the people of Zimbabwe are waiting to hear from them about who committed that heinous crime against the country and its people.

Yes, the scribes could have written what the ZRP was not happy about, but it is upon the policing unit, to apprehend and tell the people of Zimbabwe who actually did it rather than go to the defenceless throat of the scribes. It is not important at all, for the police to be pursuing journalists for mentioning what they were not pleased about, instead of arresting and bringing before the people of Zimbabwe, the culprits who actually committed the deed. By arresting the journalists, and not pursuing the real culprits, the crime remains unsolved and the people will start to ask questions.

Surely, the whole police force could not have been angered to such unprecedented levels by the mere mention that one of their own was amongst those responsible. After all, the ZRP is an establishment that was created by the people to look after them rather than to be an untouchable authority itself.

If justice could be done, the ZRP needs to be busy looking for and trying to arrest the actual culprits, other than those three journalists that were not part of the crime. In fact the media like always was only bringing the story to the people, who are the owners of the country, its constitution, its establishments, as well as the all resources for which so many patriots lost lives and limp whilst sacrificing for our freedom.

We should not forget that the Rhodesians that we fought against yesterday are still among us, intending to cause havoc and reverse the fruits of our liberation struggle. Amongst these, are former Selous Scouts, Rhodesian African Rifles [R.A.R.],Rhodesian Light Infantry [R.L.I.], Special Branch, Territorial Army, British South Africa Police [B.S.A.P.] and all those that went for the Call Up, and the Auxiliary Forces who were also known as the ‘Pfumo Revanhu’. Does anyone think that they evaporated into the air? Or are these not amongst the very destructive forces causing havoc all sorts within the country. Surely, they could not have all transformed into liberation war fighters over night or turned into the angles that they want us to believe they are now.

EXAM LEAKAGES AND THE LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH VILE VICES

EXAM LEAKAGES AND THE LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH VILE VICES

If exams continue to leak like water through a sieve, and their credibility is at stake, what can and should the nation do?They said technology should be at the finger tips of every child, who are not yet even able to read and write properly, and yet through gadgets they are producing straight “A” from Grade 7 through to University and beyond. What type of an education system then, is we trying to create and promote in which the recipients have no knowledge but they possess certificates of achievement.

Not a single examination goes by, without it being tainted by allegations of cheating ,starting right from entrance tests of kindergarten, Grade 7 examinations, entrance tests for Form 1 places at boarding schools, Ordinary level examinations, Advanced level examinations, entry into universities, course work assignments at universities, university examinations, going right up to written thesis for Master’s and Doctorate degrees all are being manipulated!

But, the simple question we need to ask and answer in order for us to understand what value examinations have is “What is Education, and what is it intended to achieve?”And the answer is, Education is the continuous acquisition of knowledge of previously unknown things to an individual through instruction impartation, observation and experience. The process of education starts as soon as a child is born and progresses throughout life till when a person dies. But the human being, unlike any other orgasm, has set itself parameters through which achievement is measured by a set of examinations that the human society itself creates and which an individual has to master, before they can be recognized as achievers worthy of recognition for any position of responsibility within the human race. This, therefore, means that the human race becomes the only species on earth that stratifies itself through tests or examinations, resulting in a system in which all are not equal. A system, unfortunately that breeds cheats, crooks, fraudsters and those that vow to get to the top through whatever means rather than through intellect.

All the other species that God the Almighty created, or for atheists or those that believe that it was nature that created the world and its flora and fauna through evolution, the human being is the only creature that set itself parameters through the examination system, that therefore results in it becoming unequal. What the human race, has therefore tried to do to justify each group belong to a particular stratified level, was to create examinations that would attempt to place these individuals of like thinking, into groups, that would identify with each other, and for elitist groups, to look down upon others in order to humiliate them and control them for their own benefit. And this we can call “The Classification System”

Well, after cunningly formulating the strategies that would guide the stratification systems, levels were then set to place individuals into these groups in which intellect was supposed to be the barometer or bench mark qualifying one to fit into any of the created social groupings.

Now, here comes the problem. Everyone wants to be considered up there, at the very summit of the stratification ladder, simply because if you are not up there, you are regarded as a malcontent or simply inadequate. But, here is another problem, how does one get up there and be with the elite so that society can consider them to be adequate too? And then here is created another problem. Who is not supposed to be at the top of the ladder, if being at the top, stratifies or qualifies one to receive the benefits that others of lesser quality in society cannot access? And the answer is “no one would not like to be at the top, and receive the benefits befitting the positions for those at the top.”

And again, here is created the biggest problem of all. If there are so many benefits up there, and it has now become clear that it is only through being at the top of the class or group stratification system that one end up getting those benefits , how then does one get up there? And the answer, as evidenced by what is taking place within our societies and education system, is “by hook or crook”. And then, this phenomenon, for the human race, becomes a catastrophe!The human race should know that it cannot win it all, for with these self creations, it ends up creating crooks , cheats, thieves, social misfits and other decadents, who unfortunately end up manipulating the system and end up rising to the top, undeservedly.

The hook or crook phenomenon, can take anyone up to any level of that stratification ladder, but will a product of this hook or crook game end up producing the results that the human race desire for its survival? And the answer is a great No! And yet this hook or crook phenomenon is what we are daily witnessing within our midst, as through cunningity the decadent and malcontent individuals within the human race grope to rise to the top, and get recognized as achievers that they unfortunately are not, whilst at the same time, destroying the country’s potential for future development and advancement. This, unfortunately is a decadent phenomenon, which will only destroy us as a nation in the long run, because the examination system that we are using to stratify members of our genus is flout with loopholes, that the decadent in our society are only too happy to capitalize upon and abuse, in order to achieve what they are not supposed to have achieved in life, if the system had been full proof.

Our examinations system has proven to be a source of total abuse, which, unfortunately, usually ends up benefitting the undeserving rather than the intended. Children, just out of infancy are assisted to get into kindergarten without following set principles. They are then swindled into primary schools of their parent’s choice, without the desired merits. And then serious cheating usually begins when they write Grade 7 examinations, as well as when they go for secondary school entry examinations. At times, instead of the intended student seating for Form 1 entrance examinations, decadent parents, entist the use older siblings or friends to write the tests in place of correct candidates. The assisted student then passes with flying colours and progresses to the desired secondary school, where they do not perform as expected of them. These cheats then end up becoming problematic and usually disruptive to other students as they fail to cope with the pressures of competition at these chosen institutions.

What is surprising though for many Zimbabweans now, is the scurge of examination leakages, which are reported year after year, especially for the Ordinary Level Examinations. Each time these examinations are being written , Zimbabweans are waking up to very disturbing disgusting and unbelievable news of examination papers being discovered in rubbish dumps, with prostitutes, left on busses, and some even found in the possession of either students or other unauthorized individuals at a time they are expected to be well secured. The question is how do they get leaked? Surely something is drastically wrong at the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) despite its spirited denials, and efforts to defend itself.

Another recent phenomenon is of students being found with answer papers with exactly the questions that are being examined just before the exam commences during and after when they start boasting. Some have even been caught with answer papers, pasted all over their bodies, which they access whilst visiting the toilet on suspiciously frequent occasions. And yet, others have been caught with questions and answers on their cellular phones, which takes us to another controversial development, that of using the internet to access information.” Technology , well and fine, , but when these technological innovations are being abused to such unprecedented levels, are they of any benefit for the development of the human race anymore, especially when they are being abused by those whose tender minds still require strict monitoring and assimilation skills? Children, right from birth, need to initiate their faculties of learning into operation naturally. But, when these learning skills are tempered with and not allowed to develop naturally simply because they are being introduced into criminology, right from the onset, the human race would be progressing towards self destructing.

Why has there suddenly been so much cheating during examinations especially here in Zimbabwe? The answer to that question is that the practice has been allowed to flourish, by the powers that be, as many at the top of various institutions have also benefited from it . If parents pay for their children’s drivers licenses obtained fraudulently, when that child also knows that they had not passed ,then the next thing for the children is to use the same decadent behavior, throughout other institutions like schools, to obtain what they aspire to get illegally.

Since examinations are themselves an instrument of human stratification, and since they are meant to place the human race in packing orders, starting from the very lowest going up to the very highest intellectually ,everyone would fittingly also aspire to go to the top , since it is at the top at whatever the cost that there is comfort,money,power,respect,prestige,authority,credibility,recognition,belonging,love,satisfaction, abundant favours, precedence, and last but not least all forms of materialism associated with being at the top.

But then, what can be the solution to this pathetically shameful and destructive situation we now see ourselves in? If, with all the means at their disposal, set examinations are still finding their way out of Zimsec and Fidelity Printers high security zones, our examination system will never, ever, be secure. The solution then might be to use the ‘open book’ system in which student enter into an examination room with all their books, calculators, cell phones and scrapes of papers, to answer about three hundred [300] questions in about fifty [50] minutes. In this way, the element of cheating would have been completely eradicated as it would have be one’s knowledge against race of time.

The other unfortunate option, would be to revert back to Cambridge School Examination System which are against our principles as a sovereign state, but which were not cheated upon in the way our Zimsec Examination system is subjected to.

REMEMBERING THE CHIMOIO MASSACRE OF 23 NOVEMBER 1977

REMEMBERING THE CHIMOIO MASSACRE OF 23 NOVEMBER 1977

On Wednesday the morning of 23 November 1977, Chimoio Camp, which was the pride of Zimbabweans in exile, woke up to the horror of incessant bombings and shootings, by the Rhodesian colonial regime’s special army forces, that had penetrated deep into Mozambiquean territory, in order to cause untold mayhem. It was a period of horror, pain, death and suffering, in which each individual victim, can best sum up what they actually experienced in their own words, as no individual writer, can bring out the true picture of what individuals who were present went through during those painful long hours [or couplet days] in which the camp was under brutal attack.

But first, we might need to go back to analyzing what Chimoio Camp was like before the attack, and the build up to the real day of attack –Wednesday 23 November leading to 24 November 1977. Chimoio Camp, by guerilla war or any other war camp standards, was a splendid establishment in which exiled Zimbabweans probably wanted to create a real home from home. As a military camp, everything was daily hectic, save for one or two days in the week [Saturday and Sunday], when the camp’s atmosphere, transformed into a near carnival. This, was especially so because on Sundays, usually rules and regulations were relaxed in order for the fighters to move around bases interacting with each other- males and females. There was therefore a lot of movement between bases, a thing that might have compromised the security of the camp.

Basically, Chimoio Camp, was made up of 21 bases two of which namely Pungwe 1 and 2 which were situated more than 60 kilometres away to the north. These 21 bases were The Headquarters [HQ], Matopos, Percy Ntini 1, Percy Ntini 2, Takawira 1, Takawira 2, Chaminuka , Chitepo College, Parirenyatwa, Electronics, Nehanda, Chindunduma, Zvidozvevanhu Garage, National Stores, The White House, Kumazee, National Armoury, Mudzingadzi, Tambawakachenjera, Pungwe 1 and Pungwe 2.

As one approached the camp from the southern direction, having come from the city of Chimoio, they would first come to a heavily guarded boom gate, which seemed to have sprouted from the middle of nowhere. This boom gate was the only official entrance into Chimoio Camp and as I stated, was heavily guarded by immaculately dressed young guerilla guards.It is important to understand that most guerillas were still very young having left school to join the armed struggle.

About a distance of about 800 metres to the east and the right side of the main gate, as one would be entering Chimoio Camp, was a base known as Percy Ntini 2. That base was in a heavily wooded area, which was not be visible from the main road. The baseitself was for housing fighters that had been injured in battle at the front line, as well as those that would would have returned to the rear, to pick up resupplies or for any other business, and would therefore be waiting to go back to their operational areas. Occupants of Percy Ntini 2, were not often seen around the main camp and also did not interact much with guerillas in other bases. Since most of them were injured and coming from war front, they were a bit ill tempered and preferred to stay in isolaation as they also feared to compromise their own security. We can say that they were very vigilant, as they saw the possibility of war or an attack breaking out at anytime. Because of that, they viewed other fighters as being too relaxed and lacking the battlefield experience that they had.

To the left side of the main entrance, situated at a distance of about 400 metres from the main road, was the Matopos base. This was the second of the security bases, and dealt mainly with the daily security of the main camp, as well as conducting vettings of those that were coming to stay in the camp. It also dealt with minor security issues that happened on daily basis as well as undertaking periodic patrols inside and outside the whole Chimoio Camp.

About 800 metres to the west of the Matopos base, was the Takawira 1 base. This base had been the initial training base when Chimoio Camp was first established in 1976. By mid 1977, it had been transformed into a holding base where those that were in transit to various training camps, or waiting to be deployed to the front, after completing their military training or were returning from various missions, were accommodated. It was a base for male fighters only. In 1977, it had held quite a large number of cadres that had come from Doroi and Chibawawa camps who had been cleared by the Matopos security department and were waiting to go for training at Takawira 2 or Tembwe training camps.

And again, about a kilometer to the west of the Takawira 1 base, was the Percy Ntini 1 base. This base, was where injured fighters and fighters that were coming from the front were initially housed, before they were translocated to Percy Ntini 1. The base was by mid to late 1977 being used mainly as a guarding post though I am not quite sure why its initial occupants were translocated to Percy Ntini 1, but the other reason was that commanders wanted to have better control of these veteran fighters, that had returned from the front as they were usually a bit indisciplined maybe due to boredom. At times these fighters would leave their base, without permission to go and look for goodies like cigarettes, tobacco, sweets, biscuits and beer from the Mozambiquan population that lived in the surrounding areas and yet taking things like beer, were totally forbidden during the liberation war.

A distance of about one kilometer to the north from the main entrance gate, was the base known as the Headquarters [HQ]. The HQ base was like the nucleus of the whole camp. It was situated about 200 metres just off the road to the west of the main road that cut through the Chimoio Camp going right up to Takawira 2 and was visible from the main road. Identity features of the HQ base, were a brick under iron building, which had probably been a former colonial Portuguese farm house. A distance of about 20 metres to the west was a structure that looked as if it had previously been used as the farm’s storehouse, but which was being used as additional offices by the command structure at the HQ base.

Another structure of significance at the HQ base, was a huge pole and dagga, grass thatched building, which was used as a conference hall and dining facility for the leadership. It was situated a few metres to the northern side of the farm house, and that is where the Party’s Central Committee meetings and other meetings were held.

Two huge mango trees that were a few metres apart to the south added to the common features of the HQ base. It was under these two mango trees, that leaders assembled and addressed fighters, if there was need for such gatherings. At the HQ, was a noticeable red tractor with a white roof canopy and a number of small fruit trees scattered around the surroundings.

Just across the main road about 800 metres to the south east of the HQ base, was the Electronics base. The base was anew development at the camp, and was for the purpose of providing electricity generation and telecommunications throughout the camp’s bases. By the time Chimoio camp was bombed and attacked on 23 November 1977, bases that have been electrified included the HQ, Chitepo College, Parirenyatwa Hospital, Chaminuka and the Electronic base itself, a phenomenon, which might have added to the explosure of the camp to the enemy, hence compromising security.

About a kilometer or so to the east of the Electronics base, was the Chitepo College of Commissariat. Before it was called the Chitepo College, it had been named Wampua an ideological school, from the era of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic [USSR], where notable leaders like Cho en-li of the Communist Party of China and Chiang Kai Shek, of the renaged party Kuomintang were trained. The Chitepo College of ideology, produced a big number of wartime political commissars , who were also to train other commissars throughout the many ZANU Camps.

About 800 metres down slope to the east of Chitepo College, was the Parirenyatwa Hospital at which the sick and the injured were treated. It was a quite specialized war time medical facility which also offered medical training to both male and female cadres so that they would give treatment to injured fighters as well as the masses, at the rear and even at the frontline. Parirenyatwa Hospital though being a makeshift structure of pole and dagga under grass thatched buildings, was at that time even offering specialized medical processes that are usually done in orthodox hospitals. And these are amputations and various types of theatre operations, trauma management, oral health care, pediatric treatments, gynecological services and many others, which one could not normally expect to see taking place in a hospital of that type.

A short distance of about 800 metres to the east of Parirenyatwa Hospital base, was the Chaminuka security base. This base, dealt with the more serious and specialized security issues such as interrogations of enemy agents caught whilst having been sent on spying missions by Rhodesia, to undertake espionage, reconnaissance and sabotage. The base was also an archive for highly classified security and intelligence documents before they would have been taken to Maputo, where they were deemed safer. There was also an underground field prison, facility at the base, where those awaiting interrogation, being interrogated and those that would have been arrested for breaking revolutionary laws, were detained for various lengths of periods time, depending on the seriousness of their cases punishment.

About another 800 metres to the north of the Chaminuka Security base, was the Chindunduma educational base and school. It was a base for those that were deemed too young to undertake military duties, and so an educational program was formulated to enable them to advance with their schooling. There were so many children who had joined the liberation war, and ages ranged from as young as six years. Some of these had gone to war with their parents , whilst some had been born within the war itself from cadres that had joined the war whilst already pregnant, and from those that were married whilst within the armed struggle. The educational needs all of these children ,needed to be taken care of through an institution like the one at Chindunduma. Teachers were selected from those that had been teaching back home, and those that had acquired a good education.

Whilst Chindunduma was for the young cadres who were also dubbed ‘Red Guards’ a name that originated from their counterpart in the Chinese Communist Party, the base that was about two hundred or so metres, to its west, and named the Nehanda base, was a preserve for female fighters only. Some of these female fighters had joined the armed struggle from as far back as 1973 in Zambia, and had been very instrumental in transporting ammunition to the frontline from the Chifombo base, where they had also been staying then. The other female fighters staying at the Nehanda base, were those that had joined the armed struggle during Mozambique’s transitional government period, and after its independence on 25 June 1975. These were mainly very young girls that had also left primary and the early stages of Secondary educational mainly along the boarder areas, which stretched from the south of the country, to the north, when the wave of those leaving Rhodesia to join the armed struggle, turned into a ‘critical mass’ action.

Because some of these girls left when they were still in primary school and were still children, they were housed in the Chindunduma base with the other very young boys. But those that were at that time still in their teens, [and these were the majority], were accommodated at the Nehanda base,with the older girls and with some going to Chindunduma everyday to attend school.

For the rest of other female cadres at the Nehanda base the daily programmes included political orientation, exercises, day to day running of the base, as well as undergoing training and retraining programmes. This base was specifically under the command of female commanders.

Separating the Chindunduma and Nehanda bases , from the Chaminuka base, was a dirt road, that originated from Mudzingadzi base some fifteen or so kilometers to the east of Chimoio main camp. The road cut through these bases on an east westerly direction, and joined up with the main road that cut through the camp from south to the north, near the Zvidozvevanhu garage, where it proceeded to finally end at Takawira 2 base.

Moving northwards from the HQ base along the main road, one come to Zvidozvevanhu garage which was a transport base. The base itself, which was a distance of about three kilometers to the north of the HQ base and in the centre of the whole camp, just after the point where the east west road joined the main road, was where the few vehicles that serviced the ZANU and ZANLA war effort, were kept, repaired, serviced and supplied fuel. Those that ran this establishment included drivers, mechanics, panel beaters and stores personnel that had been chosen from amongst the cadres.

The Zvidozvevanhu transport base, was to the west of the main road, just off the road itself, but in the centre of the whole Chimoio Camp. It had been regarded as a sort of privilege for one to work within the transport department,t as that would enable one to travel to many places outside the confines of the usually tough and restrictive camp area lifestyle.

A distance of about 3 kilometers to the north of Zvidovevanhu garage, at a point along the main road where the road took a sharp turn leftwards towards Takawira 2 base, was the National Stores base. The buildings of the storage base, were constructed on either side of the road just along the road itself at that very point where the road curved west northwards.

It was at the National Stores, where all logistical supplies for the war effort, were kept and distributed all over ZANU camps and the many Chomoio bases. There were about three or four huge buildings, that served as store houses, for items like food, clothing and toiletries, situated on either side of the road. And to have control there was very strict rationing and distribution of these scarce commodities, so that they could go along way in servicing the huge numbers of people that were daily finding their way into the armed struggle, as well as the whole war effort itself.

It was from the National Stores, that another road branched off the main road to the east towards the Mudzingadzi base. But, before the road reached Mudzingadzi, it first reached a base that was called the National Armoury,where the war effort arms and ammunition, were kept. The National Armoury base, was a distance of about 8 kilometres to the east of the National Stores along the Mudzingadzi road.

About another 8 kilometres to the south east of the National Armoury, and a total of about sixteen kilometres or so from the National Stores, was the Mudzingadzi agricultural base. It was at Mudzingadzi that a spirited effort for self reliance through projects ,was being carried out by the Zimbabwe African National Union [ZANU] party, aimed at producing enough food for itself before Chimoio was finally bombed.

The most important role,however, for the Mudzingadzi base, was that it was fulfilling the aspirations of what a‘complete revolutionary fighter’ ,would be, which was to be a fighting force, teacher and a production force, all in one. And it was at the Mudzingadzi base,that al of these three attributes, were being natured, so that when one got deployed to the war front, they would be ready to fight and defend the masses, as well as to teach them political orientation and lead them in the effort to produce food especially within those areas that had become semi and liberated zones.

Just about five kilometres northwards, though going down slope , from the National Stores was a secluded VIP base, on the right hand side of the road that led to Takawira 2 base. This base was the one dubbed the ‘White House’ contrary to the belief of some that the main house at the HQ was the White House. The secluded Very Important Persons [VIP],base,was situated in a heavily woodland area about 400 metres at the end of the short road that branched to the right side along the road to the Takawira 2 base. The base itself, remained unknown to many cadres resident at Chimoio Camp, as it was usualy occupied on normal days, by heavily armed guards only. It was dubbed the White House, taking the name from that of the residence of the American President, which is officially known as the “White House.”

That White House, building was only occupied by top leaders of the party, whenever they visited the camp on very important occasions. After the Chimoio Camp was attacked, a new base had been constructed to the northern side just beyond the grounds of the wooded area of the White House, though we did not stay long at that base, as the enemy had planned to bomb it too.

Right across the length and breath of Chimoio Camp, and to its extreme central west, was the base that was known as Kumazee, meaning a place of the elderly. To access this base, one had to take a left turn at the National Stores towards the west. It also was a base where elderly fighters and spirit mediums stayed. It was a base that very few people ever visited and which, like Percy Ntini 2 base, whose occupants did not tolerate interactions as they were guided by very strict cultural norms. These men and women, could just not mix with the rest of the young ordinary fighters, who probably due to immaturity,were capable of transgressing against norms.

The base itself, was in the vicinity of the old Takawira 1 training grounds ,to the south of the Takawira 2 training base. It was here, at Mazee base, that warnings were issued some days before Chimoio camp was attacked, warnings that are said to have not been heeded by those in the camp leadership anyway. It is said that the elders or spirit mediums, had warned that they had foreseen metal birds attacking the seemingly invincible camp and that the camp needed to be evacuated,immediately and they transmitted the warning to mortals who unfortunately, did not take heed.

The next base, was the Takawira 2 training camp popularly called or dubbed, ‘By the Yellow River’. This base was the furthest to the north west of the main Chimoio camp, at a distance of about 3 kilometers from the White House, just across the little bridge which was across the so called Yellow River to the south of the camp. To get to Takawira 2 from the HQ base, one had to pass through Zvidozvevanhu Garage, National Stores and then the White House.And from the main gate to Takawira 2, was a distance of about 10 to 12 kilometers.

Takawira 2 was a training base and one can imagine the hustle and bustle of training activities that went on there on a daily basis .Surrounded nearly halfway, by the Yellow River, the base itself, was more of order in chaos, as groups comingled all over as they came and went about their vigorous training activities on a daily basis.

The last of the main Chimoio Camp base, was the Tambawakachenjera base. It was situated about twenty kilometres to the north east of the camp, and had no visible approach access roads. Those that entered into it and exited it, had to use different routes each time for security reasons, so that no visible tracks could be left. The base itself was used as a strategic reserve base, where arms and ammunition were stashed in various strategic positions through out the jungles rather than in buildings. And very few people, even amongst those in leadership, had knowledge of that base.

Before Chimoio was attacked on the morning of Wednesday 23 November 1977, it had become a bustling establishment, for Zimbabweans and if not for the attack, it would have grown to even greater heights. But as fate would have it, its fall began to manifest, during those early hours when nearly all bases save for the school and hospitals, were assembling on parade as was usual . After the attacks that had covered about two days,and were later transfered to Tembwe training camp in the north west of Mozambique on the Zambezi River , those that had survived the Chimoio attack, returned to account for their losses, assist the injured as well as burry their dead . But the unfortunate and painful thing however was that the once mighty Chimoio camp had horribly fallen.

The only exceptional bases that did not suffer from the cannage that took place at the once great Chimoio Camp,were the Pungwe 1 and Pungwe 2 bases that were about 60 kilometres to the north, but which were part of the overal Chimoio Camp set up.