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When bullets became water

06 Aug 2019 at 07:31hrs | Views
In Goromonzi 45 miles from the capital Harare  lies a village called Mavaza village. We arrived in this village at around 10 pm. The villagers were already gathered at the headman's compound. The headman was an old bearded man his name was Josiah Mavaza if I was not mistaken. We did not announce our arrival we just surrounded the village head's compound. We had our code.  If anyone walks into our net we would ask a question.

"Who is it. The answer would be and who are you then the security code is complete. The code will change everyday.
Cde Deska Chatambudza was pumped. It was the start of Operation That year was called the year of Gukurahundi not the Gukurahundi after the war. We named all the years and there was the year of the people then Gukurahundi and the year of the people's power. This was the year we attained our independence. Gukurahundi was the guerrilla led military offensive designed to flush out and destroy the white oppressors and their sympathisers we called Zvimbwa sungata. I started my favourite song which was Muzorewa tomufananidza nani vakomana. Others would say tomufananidza na tsindi. It was a morale booster. This operation was so personal to me. For some reasons I was ordered to operate in my area. Not my really area it was an area where my mother was born. My mother was a Mavaza va Chihera vedzinza ra Nehanda Nyakasikana.   In the morale of the Pungwe  we did not know that we were riding into battle alongside 20 troops of the ZANLA forces.

If intelligence reports were correct, there were between 100 and 250 enemy fighters holed up in the mountains twenty kilometres from us. The Rhodesian soldiers were in Nyaungwe mountains in the Chikupo village. They had very strong binoculars which could see us. The message got to us very late in the morning. We could not hide in the cover of darkness. They were hiding in the extensive cave network buried in the mountain ridges around the valley. We decided to dress up as ladies and put our guns in the water buckets used to fetch water. We would then walk to the primary school which was nearby. We instructed the teachers to continue teaching as normal. We have had reports that we were under surveillance and that helicopters were on their way to the village. Maybe our night Virgil sold us out.   But reports can be wrong. Minutes after the combat-ready troops stormed down the rear ramps of the helicopters, we came under heavy fire from the high ground overlooking our position at the primary school. It was called Mavaza St Judes Primary school.

In few minutes we were pinned down  by nearly 1000 enemy fighters it was at Mavaza primary in Mavaza village in ibchief Chikwakas kingdom. Me and my comrades stared eventual death in the face. My name for the war was cde Kapfumotepa. Eighteen relentless hours of hell were just beginning. With machine-gun bullets kicking up the dust and rock around our feet, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades bursting among us and with a quarter of the cdes sustaining injuries, it seemed that the cdes  had been cut off and trapped. But there was no way Kapfumotepa was going down without a fight. Nor were the men he was with. Holding off the enemy at close range, rescuing the injured, dodging the bullets, counterattacking alone.  We gave all that we had, and more. And as dusk and the enemy began to close in, i was determined i was not going to die on my mother's soil of birth , not at the hands of the white enemies.

This is the gripping true story of how a forgotten hero  fought the fight of his life against the world's deadliest terrorists in the most dangerous corner on earth and came out victorious, a saviour to his fellow troops and a forgotten hero in his homeland. It is the clearest account yet of one of the fiercest engagements in the history of the ZANLA forces war of freedom.

I saw many soldiers coming our direction we had to retreat in the Mountain nearby. Below the mountain was a river called Masekandauya. I looked down to the school the enemy had entered the school fence. I saw the headmaster of the school being pushed to the assembly point. We head a gunshot the head master was down. He died on the spot.  His name was baba Ruth or teacher Matsika. His death was painful. He died protecting us yet we had guns. His death gave us more courage. We clutched our guns and cried out loud. Our cries became a song which said" Tinofa tichienda muzimbabwe kudzamara tinosvika muna zambezi kudzamara tino svika muzimbabwe. Nehanda komborera mhuri ye Zimbabwe nehanda komborera varimumakomo nehanda komborera varimumakomo. We then took courage and ran back to the school. I aimed and fired i saw the enemy troop falling down like a deck of cards.

With support of Nehanda i saw the troops retreating and driving off in a hurry. I continued firing i could not count how many I put down. It was after a while That i realised the enemy had disappeared.
I looked for cde Deska for command. He was not there. I realised he was dead. I looked around my comrades were gone. I was the sole survivor. How i pushed away hundreds of soldiers was not heroic. It was divine help from Nehanda and God almighty.

But now Kapfumotepa the Hero of Mavaza battle sits as nobody all have forgotten him. He fought side by side with General Chiwenga he fought with honourable Shiri. Now no one even looks back at him. He cries. Is this the freedom.
Freedom is yet to come for many comrades who toil and crawl in the poverty they were fighting. This Heroes day may we shed a tear for these comrades.
Yes heavens are looking.

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Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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