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'Josiah Magama Tongogara was a South African'

by Mandla Ndlovu
05 May 2020 at 09:51hrs | Views
The celebrated Rhodesian bush wartime General of the ZANLA forces Josiah Magama Tongogara was born in South Africa to South African parents, biographer Ibbo Mandaza has revealed.

Mandaza's revelations pour cold water on a long-standing historical reports that the late General was born in Shurugwi and was a Karanga.

Said Mandaza, "it is said both his father and mother were South African, born in 1938 in South Africa; subsequently his mother married the Zimbabwean man after whom he was to be known; at age of 9, Tongogara moved with his mother and step father to Shurugwi/ Selukwe, the latter's home area; and the family would have moved to Northern Rhodesia/ Zambia in the early 1950's or thereabouts."

Mandaza also states that Tongogara did not join ZANU PF willingly but was conscript into the army as the case many Zimbabweans who were doing menial jobs in foreign lands.

"All I know is that Tongogara was recruited. - possibly forcibly, as in the case of Ernest Kadungure and others then working in Zambia - while working as a barman at Chainama Golf Club in Lusaka in the early 1960's." Mandaza adds. "I am afraid I don't have any more information on Tongogara than that which I picked up in the course of my research in Zambia in the mid 1970's. There is need for a biography on the man by someone with the requisite interest."

In 1973, the fearless General Tongo as he was affectionately known, became Chief of Defence in the Dare reChimurenga, the ZANU executive council charged with responsibility to direct the liberation war that brought Independence to Zimbabwe.

When the party was reorganised in 1977, he was re-elected to the Central Committee as Secretary for Defence, and he continued to chair the High Command until his untimely death.

Source - Byo24News