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PHOTO: Meet the first Ndebele 'President' of Zimbabwe

08 Sep 2019 at 08:03hrs | Views
Zimbabwean often skips some major events and characters. One such person who has remained unknown to the majority of Zimbabweans is the President of the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. History dedicates volumes of pages to talk about Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Chief Chirau among others and yet the President was one Josiah Zion Gumede from Mbembesi in Matabeleland Sound.

A quick online check of the biography of this man gives the following:

Gumede was born in Mbembesi, in the Bubi District of the then Southern Rhodesia.

It is said Gumede went to  David Livingstone Memorial Mission and Matopo Mission before finishing his studies in South Africa in 1946.

One John Ndhlovu wrote on Facebook that  Gumede was also a Headmaster Mtshede Primary, Njube in the mid to late fifties and was appointed First Secretary at Federal High Commission, London in the Sixties, Superintendent Mzilikazi/Barbourfields with BCC in the Seventies.

He is said to have joined the Ministry of External Affairs between1963â€"1965.

Wikipedia says Gumede was at one-time general secretary for the then African Teachers' Association of Rhodesia; a member of the Wankie Disaster Relief Fund's Board of Trustees; a director of the Tribal Trust Land Development Corporation; and a board member of the National Free Library of Rhodesia. He was also an ordained elder of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa.

Gumede was President of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia between 1 June 1979 â€" 12 December 1979.

Source - Online
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