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Mnangagwa awards Chemist Siziba liberation war hero status

by Staff reporter
14 Mar 2024 at 16:32hrs | Views
The funeral service of the late Zimbabwean businessman Chemist Siziba, who died last Saturday, was held this morning at his Borrowdale (Hogerty Hill) home in Harare.

Siziba died of kidney failure at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare on 9 March 2024.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has awarded Siziba - one of Zimbabwe's pioneers in mobile phone technology with the likes of telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa and James Makamba - liberation war hero status.

This followed representations and testimonies on his largely publicly unknown history and contribution to the liberation struggle from Zapu and Zanu liberation movement colleagues.

Although he was well-known for his business activities as he participated significantly in corporate affairs and the 1990s black economic empowerment issues, Siziba also had another side of his life as an intelligence operative that he did not hype.

He participated in the liberation struggle as a Zapu cadre and intelligence officer under the National Security Organisation (NSO) led by the late Dumiso Dabengwa, popularly known as the "Black Russian" due to his wartime undercover exploits.

While NSO was Zapu's intelligence arm, Zipra was the military wing.

The first Zipra commander was Akim Ndlovu, while the last was Lookout Masuku.

Dabengwa was the overall commander of Zapu's security forces by the end of the war in 1979 into 1980.

The other wing of the liberation movement, Zanu had its own armed force Zanla and  intelligence structure.

The last wartime Zanla commander was Josiah Magama Tongogara who died in a road accident on the eve of independence in 1979, before being replaced by his deputy, the late former army commander retired General Solomon Mujuru.

Siziba started his political activities as a student activist at the University of Rhodesia in the early 1970s.

Before going to university, he had attended Gwabila, Lubuze, Wanezi, Matopo and Fletcher primary and high schools in Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces.

He then went to the University of Bombay (Mumbai) before relocating to the United Kingdom where he was recruited into Zapu's  intelligence structures.

He worked in the UK and did further studies while there.

As the war intensified, Siziba was summoned to Lusaka, Zambia, where Zapu was based.

He worked in Lusaka until 1979 when the Lancaster House ceasefire and transitional talks paved way for the return of Zapu and Zanu back home.

Siziba was part of the Zapu delegation when they returned home in 1979 ahead of the first majority elections in 1980 won by Zanu.

He will be buried today at Glen Forest Memorial Park in the capital.

Source - newshawks
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