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Remembering the Black Russian

26 May 2019 at 13:51hrs | Views
In 1982, Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Khalisabantu Vumindaba Masuku were detained at the behest of the administration of Robert Gabriel Mugabe on what turned out to be trumped-up charges of alleged treason.

In 1983, they were both acquitted as there was no shred of evidence upon which any court of law could have convicted them of the charges, which had been preferred against them.

On their release, they were immediately re-detained under the pernicious and iniquitous State of Emergency Regulations.

As of one the then junior partners of Gill, Godlonton & Gerrans, I had the onerous task of taking up the cudgels on behalf of Dabengwa before the Detainees Review Tribunal. He was subsequently released in 1987.

Two traits, which struck me most about Dabengwa's character was his stoic toughness mentally and incredible lack of bitterness towards his erstwhile war of liberation comrades, who had now become his captors and tormentors.

In June 1998, I bumped into him at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

He was there on official business as our Home Affairs minister whilst my mission was to present a paper on "Arbitration in Africa" as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the 1958 New York Convention.

We had occasion to reminisce about his trials and tribulations during 1982 to 1987 when our country was unnecessarily plunged into abysmal depths of despair.

Lala ngoxolo qhawe lamaqhawe, ndoda yamadoda akoMavakatsha.

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