Breaking News

Dr Dumiso Dabengwa - 6 December 1939 to 23 May 2019 - A Tribute

by Lloyd Msipa
25 May 2019 | 826 Views
A giant has fallen. Zimbabwe mourns. Dr Dumiso Dabengwa personified the war of liberation. Affectionately known as ‘the Black Russian', in reference to the fact he was one of the few liberation war stalwarts that trained in Russia when it was not fashionable to do so. He was the intelligence supremo of the military unity of ZAPU (Zimbabwe African Peoples Union), ZIPRA (Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army).

ZAPU, a Socialist party formed during the 1960s by Dr Joshua Nkomo, Nationalist Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, Leopold Takawira, Samuel Parirenyatwa amongst others was his vehicle of political expression.  ZIPRA Its military wing was led by Lieutenant -General Lookout Masuku with Dr Dumiso Dabengwa as the intelligence commander. ZAPU was aligned to the Soviet Union in line with its Socialist aspirations.  

In 1980, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa became the home affairs minister under a Robert Mugabe government and later accused of treason together with four others including Lieutenant General Lookout Masuku former deputy commander of the Zimbabwe armed forces for trying to overthrow the government of Robert Mugabe. They were both detained without trial for four years. The basis for the treason charge was that Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, who was a member of the High Command of the Zimbabwe Army after independence, was a letter he acknowledges signing to the K.G.B, the Soviet secret service, seeking to continue the close intelligence links that had existed between his party ZAPU led by Dr Joshua Nkomo and the Russians before the cease-fire that ended the war in what was then Rhodesia.  

The arrest and detention of Dr Dumiso Dabengwa and Lieutenant -General Lookout Masuku provoked the desertion of over 4000 former ZIPRA fighters from the national army. They operated in rural Midlands and Matebeleland were they kidnapped white farmers of whom they used to demand the release of Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, Lieutenant General Lookout Masuku and four others detained with them. These soldiers were later referred to by the government of Robert Mugabe as ‘dissidents'.

A crack team trained by the North Koreans generally referred to as the ‘fifth brigade' was deployed into rural Midlands and Matebeleland to deal with the ‘dissident problem'. The soldiers were not part of the national army, but a crack unit and only answerable to the Prime Minister Robert Mugabe. They were responsible for the massacres of civilians in rural Midlands and Matebeleland which later became known as ‘Gukurahundi' loosely translated as "the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains". It is instructive to note that during training of this crack unity, it was also composed of former ZIPRA fighters who later deserted living mainly ‘Shona' speaking soldiers from ZANLA the military wing of ZANU and elements of foreigners from Tanzania.

Fifth Brigade targets were mainly unarmed civilians, of whom Robert Mugabe referred to ‘as supporters of dissidents'.

Following the atrocities committed and international condemnation Robert Mugabe agreed to talks with ZAPU leader Dr Joshua Nkomo culminating in what became known as the Unity accord signed on the 22nd of December 1987 effectively ‘merging' the two political parties into one calling it the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

Dr Dumiso Dabengwa was to later refer to this agreement as the ‘Surrender Accord' as it effectively swallowed ZAPU as a political party.

In 2009 Dr Dumiso Dabengwa left ZANU-PF and immediately pushed for the revival of ZAPU together with other former ZAPU bigwigs that included at the time Welshman Mabhena (former ZAPU secretary general), former war veterans' leader Andrew Ndlovu and former government minister Thenjiwe Lesabe.

At the time of his death Dr Dumiso Dabengwa was the leader of ZAPU and his death brings to the fore the issue of Gukurahundi. To date the victims of the atrocities, remain unaccounted for and perhaps this is an opportunity for Zimbabweans to have this conversation and bring it to finality. Dr Dumiso Dabengwa ran his race. Through the Dumiso Dabengwa foundation he worked to bring the Gukurahundi issue to finality. A revolutionary per-excellence, they will never be another like him. Affectionately known as the ‘black Russian' or as some would call him ‘DD', he is a hero to all of us. May his soul rest in peace.

Lloyd Msipa Dabengwa Hero

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: Lloyd Msipa


Latest News

EFF applauds Mnangagwa, calls for action

by Staff reporter | 16 June 2019 | 4 Views

Army uniforms for Zanu-PF members saga deepens

by Staff reporter | 16 June 2019 | 5 Views

Austerity should not be just for the poor - Elsewhere on these pages, ...

by Editorial - The Standard | 16 June 2019 | 3 Views

Rising demand pushes the ZSE - The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) clim...

by Fungai Nyaungwa | 16 June 2019 | 2 Views

Zimbabwe runs out of wheat - Zimbabwe has run out of wheat and bakeri...

by Staff reporter | 16 June 2019 | 2 Views

Ingwebu's remarkable turnaround - BULAWAYO Municipal Commercial Undert...

by Sytaff reporter | 16 June 2019 | 1 Views

Chiwenga faces culpable homicide charges - CONTROVERSIAL Harare preach...

by Staff reporter | 15 June 2019 | 850 Views

Chamisa's protests unstoppable - THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC party yest...

by Staff reporter | 15 June 2019 | 591 Views

Zanu-PF rescues apostle Chiwenga from the jaws of death

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 15 June 2019 | 18918 Views

Names of candidates shortlisted for ZACC interviews

by Staff reporter | 15 June 2019 | 3147 Views

Female cop in US$12 000 adultery suit

by Staff reporter | 15 June 2019 | 3958 Views


WATCH: Penny Penny song insults Malema

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 June 2019 | 6990 Views

Mixed feelings over Harare artistes at Econet gig - Econet Wireless' Z...

by Staff reporter | 11 June 2019 | 870 Views

Low turnout at Sulu's birthday bash

by Simbarashe Sithole | 08 June 2019 | 2051 Views

Ivy Kombo drops 14th album - CELEBRATED United Kingdom-based Zimbabwea...

by Staff reporter | 06 June 2019 | 315 Views

The latest slots online in 2019

by Staff writer | 05 June 2019 | 785 Views

Gospel music taken to another level

by Leonard Koni | 28 May 2019 | 320 Views

Thomas Mapfumo, Winky D to headline Zimfest Live in August

by Tidi Kwidini | 28 May 2019 | 1324 Views

DJ Tira jets in for Bulawayo show - SOUTH African wheel spinner DJ Tir...

by Staff reporter | 24 May 2019 | 452 Views

Tb Joshua Worst Enemy Angelique Tonge Exposed

About two years ago, we came out emphatically about those behind the t.b joshua watch. many were those who thought we were framing innocent people up or on a witch hunt. some events have vindicated us and the cat is out of the bag. it is said that no... Read More
pointblank 01 May 2015 ago

Samsung Gear Vr Innovator Edition For S6: The Perfect Vr Intro For Professionals

we're drenched in talk about the impending wave of consumer-facing vr headsets about to hit the market, starting at the end of 2015. by contrast, you can walk into a best buy right now and pick up the samsung gear vr innovator edition for the galax... Read More
Sergey 20 June 2015 ago