Home » Governance » Cde Nyagumbo Fought From Prison

Cde Maurice Nyagumbo, one of Zimbabwe’s veteran nationalists in the struggle for independence, died in Harare April 20, 1989. The former Senior Minister of Political Affairs and Secretary for Administration of the ZANU (PF) Politburo and Central Committee was buried at the national Heroes Acre on April 23. Born in Makoni, near Rusape on December 12, 1924, he went to St. Faith’s Anglican Mission in the same district and St. Augustine’s, Penhalonga for his primary education.

He then worked in South Africa, where he developed an interest in politics and became a member of the Communist Party.

He was deported from South Africa because of his political activities and, back home, became a founder member of the Youth League in 1955. In 1959 he joined the African National Congress and later he was detained, subsequently beginning what was to be his long career in prison.

On his release in 1963, he joined ZANU and at its inaugural congress of 1964 was elected to the party’s central committee. When the party was banned later that year, Cde Nyagumbo was one of its leaders who were not arrested.

He became a link between the detained party leaders and members of the central committee in Zambia and Tanzania and, later, between the Revolutionary Council in the Zambian capital and guerrillas who had entered the country after the Chinhoyi Battle of 1966.

From 1967-1973 Cde Nyagumbo was detained at Salisbury and Que Que prisons. On his release, he got involved in the recruitment of cadres for the armed struggle, for which he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released in 1979.

In all, he spent about 21 years in prison or detention for his part in the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe. While in detention, he spent most of his time writing: the result was a book- With the People-published soon after independence.

Cde Nyagumbo was elected to the House of Assembly in 1980 and subsequently appointed Minister of Mines. He later became Minister of Political Affairs until 1988, when he was appointed Senior Minister of State for Political Affairs.

He was elected to the ZANU (PF) Central Committee and appointed Secretary for Administration in the Politburo in 1984. After the signing of the Unity Accord by President Mugabe and Dr. Joshua Nkomo in 1987, Cde Nyagumbo was tasked to supervise the integration of ZANU (PF) and PF-ZAPU.

Cde Nyagumbo resigned from his cabinet and party posts on April 13, 1989 following the publication of the Sandura Commission Report on the sale of motor vehicles to the public by Willowvale ‘Motor Industries.

At the time of his death, Cde Nyagumbo was survived by a wife and six children.

Source : The Herald

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