Monday, June 17, 2013

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) ‘The rear was a big war front’
Saturday, 08 June 2013 18:30

Born on May 7 1958, Cde Tendai Kuzvidza whose Chimurenga name was Cde Hondo Mushati, joined the liberation struggle when he was 17 years old. From the early days that he joined the armed struggle, death stalked him right until the end of the war as he survived the massacres at Nyadzonia, Chimoio and the attack at Mavhonde. Cde Hondo Mushati tells our Assistant Editor Munyaradzi Huni how he survived these massacres and the attack, he explains the similarities between the war that the Chinese fought against the Japanese and Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and gives details for the first time about the stand-by force that was left in Mozambique as the country attained independence, in case the Smith regime wanted to play its usual dirty games.

MH: How did you make the decision that at 17 years old, you wanted to join the liberation struggle?

Cde Hondo Mushati: I was at a boarding school at Mt Selinda and this was the same time that Mozambique got independence around June 1975. The news about the liberation struggle was all over and, remember, we were just a few kilometres from Mozambique. We used to go to this place called Espungabera on the Mozambican side to play football. This is the exact point that I used as I later crossed the border into Mozambique to join the struggle in July 1975. During that time, there was this wave about the liberation struggle and while at school, we spoke a lot about the struggle. On the day I left, young as I was, there was no time to say goodbye to both my parents and schoolmates. We agreed to leave the school in small groups and we left during the night. I left the school putting on three shirts and three trousers because we couldn’t carry bags. I was in Form 2. We woke up at school around 2am and walked towards Espungabera. I went straight to Mozambique together with two schoolmates, Herbert Marwa (who is now late) and I can’t remember the name of the other student. When we got to Espungabera we were taken by the Frelimo forces to a receiving camp called Machazi together with other recruits who had come from all over the country. This is when we started seeing that life had changed. The living conditions were terrible and the food was horrible. Some colleagues actually absconded and went back to their respective homes. There were no fixed meals, no blankets and we had to construct our makeshift grass-and-pole barracks. After about a month at Machazi we were then taken to a holding camp called Chibawawa where there were thousands of recruits.

MH: Who were the leaders at Chibawawa?
Cde Hondo Mushati: There was Cde Victor Rungani, whose Chimurenga name was Cde Chikudo. At Chibawawa we were put into platoons comprising about 45 people and companies comprising about 120 people for management purposes. There were no trained comrades at Chibawawa at that time except the Frelimo forces. We still had not received any training. After about three months, at Chibawawa, we decided to run away from this camp, about 20 of us, because we really wanted to find the camp where we would receive military training. We walked on foot towards Beira and when we got to Dondo, we were arrested and detained by the Frelimo forces who thought we were agents of the Smith regime. We didn’t have what we used to call a giyademarsh, which allowed recruits and comrades to move from one place to the other. We were released after a week when the Frelimo forces were convinced that we were not agents of the Smith regime. We were then taken to Nyadzonia camp in trucks.

MH: As you left school going to join the struggle, what was your impression about the liberation struggle?
Cde Hondo Mushati: The impression was that once we got to Mozambique, we would be given our weapons, come back as soon as possible, after maybe two weeks or so of training, and start fighting to liberate the country. This was not to be.

MH: So you got to Nyadzonia camp. What was the situation like when you got there?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We got to Nyadzonia, this was now early 1976. This is where most recruits who had crossed the border from St Augustine’s and Mutare were taken to. There were thousands of recruits there and later we were joined by some trained Zanla comrades. There was Cde Everesto, Cde Bhombadiari and many other trained comrades. When we got to Nyadzonia, we were excited at first because we met many recruits from all over the country and it looked like now we were a few days away from military training. Some recruits were taken to different training camps in and outside Mozambique. The comrades said I was too young so I wasn’t picked to go for training until the massacre at Nyadzonia took place.

MH: Comrade, take us through exactly what happened on this day when the massacre took place?
Cde Hondo Mushati: This was early 1976 and the massacre started in the morning just as people were going for the routine parade. Someone just blew a whistle and as recruits we knew that a whistle meant that we were supposed to rush for the parade to hear various announcement that the leaders would make. So the whistle was blown just before 9am and we rushed to the parade area, but before I got there, I heard gunshots. I could see bullets flying all over the place and at first I could not understand what was going on. I saw fellow recruits taking cover and in the confusion I followed suit. The trained comrades, who were I think less than 20, were shouting “take cover! Take cover! Take cover!” There were over 5 000 recruits and so you can imagine the pandemonium. I saw many fellow recruits falling down after being shot and only realised that we were under attack after I saw some recruits bleeding while others were dead. There was chaos. There was smoke all over the place.

MH: Did you manage to see where the gunshots were coming from?
Cde Hondo Mushati: There was no time for that. You could not see anything. Remember, we had not yet received any military training. We had been taught basic drills on how to escape in case of an attack and at that time we didn’t have guns. So defenceless recruits were being slaughtered. At Nyadzonia all the gunshots were coming from the ground force. It was terrible, I tell you, because the Rhodesian forces were using heavy weapons. So I went to the ground and started crawling towards nearby bushes. We were crawling over dead bodies, we left some badly injured recruits as we crawled to safety. We got to Pungwe River and I don’t know how exactly because I was not a good swimmer. I just went into the river and swam to the other side. We could still hear the gunshots even after running for almost 10km. Many recruits died while trying to cross this river. I saw many recruits being swept away by the river. They waved goodbye and they were gone. It was heart-rending. The water in the river turned red as injured comrades also tried to swim across. You have never seen such a thing and you will never see that again.

MH: By this time you really didn’t know what had happened? You didn’t know there was some sell-out called Morris Nyathi who had sold you out?
Cde Hondo Mushati: I didn’t know and I didn’t know Nyathi personally. It was only after we had gathered at some place near Chimoio that’s when we were told that Nyathi is the one who had sold us out to the Rhodesian forces. We were told that Nyathi had actually directed the Rhodesian forces to Nyadzonia and he was at the forefront as we were being massacred.

MH: When you look back at the Nyadzonia massacre, do you think there is anything that could have been done to prevent the massacre? I mean do you think it was ideal to have about 5 000 defenceless recruits being protected by about 20 trained comrades?
Cde Hondo Mushati: At that stage I don’t think there is anything that could have been done. No one ever anticipated that the Rhodesian forces could do such a horrible and inhuman thing. From a military point of view, it was not ideal to have 5 000 recruits being protected by about 20 comrades, but I don’t think people thought Smith could be so courageous to come in vehicles to carry out the massacre in Mozambique. Some comrades thought Smith forces would not be courageous enough to come into Mozambique because there were many trained Frelimo soldiers, but then Nyathi deceived everyone.

MH: How many people died at Nyadzonia?
Cde Hondo Mushati: As we gathered, we were told that over a thousand people had died during this massacre. We felt really bad. This is when many of us discovered that indeed the Smith regime was there to kill blacks.

MH: As recruits, after this didn’t you think you could not win the war against this ruthless regime that was armed to the teeth?
Cde Hondo Mushati: No, not at all. Remember, we were not armed. If we had our guns, I think we would have fought back and many of us regretted this. We said, “if only we had our guns” but then we had not yet received military training. If 5 000 men were armed, I don’t think Nyathi would have brought the Rhodesian forces to slaughter us. Nyathi had been to the camps and he knew exactly how the situation was like. He had all the inside information.

MH: Let’s talk about the issue about sell-outs during the liberation struggle. How prevalent was this and how did you feel seeing that a black man had orchestrated the slaughter of so many defenceless blacks?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Sell-outs have always been part of the struggle and even now we have them in different forms. The struggle was really affected by the actions of these sell-outs. By the way, it was not only Nyathi who sold out. There were many sell-outs who came with tape recorders hidden in their clothes and others who came with small cameras so that they could inform the Rhodesian forces about the whereabouts of the struggle. Nyathi was just one heartless, shameless, cheap and stupid sell-out. As we gathered at this place outside Chimoio, we spoke about what had happened. To raise our morale, we sang revolutionary songs saying we now should be trained so that we teach Smith and his forces a lesson. The massacre gave us more courage and it hardened our resolve.

MH: After the attack at Nyadzonia, where did you go?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Like I told you, we gathered at this place just outside Chimoio. After a few days, we were then taken to Chimoio at Takawira One, which was a training base. There we were trained by Cde Agnew Kambeu, Cde Chocha (now Commissioner Chihuri) and others. This training was at first about physical fitness, toyi-toyi in the morning, bayonet fighting, individual tactics for self defence, shooting using the semi-automatic rifle, then using the AK-47, the light machine guns and I was also trained on how to use a bazooka. This training took four months. I left home really looking forward to this training and after what happened at Nyadzonia, when I got my chance for training, I really went all out for it. This made me one of the best students during training. I trained with Cde Kangara, Cde Darlington Munyaradzi (who was once PA to Cde Mujuru), Cde Santana Tongai (now Cde Kaneta, who is still in the army) and many other comrades. After excelling during this training, we were selected to go for the instructors’ course so that we could become trainers. The comrades I mentioned above were part of this group of about 25 comrades who were chosen to go for the instructors’ course which lasted for about two months. After this training, we then started training some recruits at the same camp. After a short while, we were chosen to go to China at the Nanking Military Academy.

MH: Why were you now being sent to China?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We were sent to do staff officers’ course, which was basically a special training for people that had good grounding in terms of politics and military training. This was now in 1977. About 50 of us went for this course led by Cde Kenny Ridzai and his deputy was Cde Kennedy Zimondi, whose name was Cde Tapera during that time.

MH: How were you received in China and how did your training go?
Cde Hondo Mushati: The Chinese really surprised us. We were received very well. The first two weeks, there was no training. We were taken on a tour of China to give us a brief background on how China attained independence. We went to all their historical places where major battles were fought, where Mao Tse Tung used to command his troops, where Chiang Kai Shek, the great traitor in China, commandeered over one million forces to attack Mao and we went to Mao’s mausoleum. This tour gave us a picture of how the Chinese fought their struggle against the Japanese who had colonised their country. We were really inspired to continue with our struggle. The Chinese made us believe that we could defeat the enemy despite our challenges.

MH: If you are to compare the way the Chinese fought for their country and how our liberation struggle was fought, what would you say were some of the similarities and differences?
Cde Hondo Mushati: The similarities were that like us they fought a guerilla warfare which was later transformed into almost a semi-regular warfare. Their war was supported by the peasants, the common people. The other common thing was that they first mobilised the general population. They fought from the rural areas and went to attack the urban areas later. They made sure that the average person understood the reason to fight the war before they fought their war. This is how the Zimbabwean struggle was later executed.

MH: From what you saw, what you learnt and these similarities between the Chinese struggle and the Zimbabwean struggle, how would you describe the historical bond between these two countries?
Cde Hondo Mushati: The Chinese were oppressed by people from outside, the Japanese. The Japanese recruited traitors within the Chinese populace just like Smith did here. We have many lessons that we learnt from each other and we went through the same struggle. The Chinese gave us a lot of assistance materially and that bond remains strong up to this day. That’s why when things come to a head, the Chinese will always stand by us and we will do the same for them. Cde Tongogara also went to this Chinese military academy, but he went much earlier than us. We were in China for six months and we returned to Mozambique. First we went to Maputo then to Chimoio.

MH: What were you doing in Maputo?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We were taken to a place called Xai-Xai where we had to brief senior Zanu leaders about our training in China. There were members of the High Command like Cde Kenny Ridzai, Cde Agnew Kambeu and Cde Joshua Misihairambwi. After this briefing that’s when we got instructions to go to Chimoio as instructors. At Chimoio I was personally responsible for special training in individual tactics which was part of self-defence and attacking the enemy.

MH: Was Chimoio a training camp?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Chimoio was a big place. There was a training camp at Takawira Two, there was a place called Osibisa for pregnant women, we had a place for young recruits, matoto, who were too young to go for military training, there was a security place, there was the Wampua Political Training Centre and many other various places for logistics and armament. Chimoio was a vast place and I was based at Takawira Two, which was a training camp. I was an instructor with people like Cde Seven Tembazvako, Cde Santana Tongai, Cde Remigio Zimondi and others.

MH: You told me earlier on Chimoio was also attacked while you were there. Take us through what happened on this day?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Like I said, Chimoio was a vast place composed of various camps. Some of the camps were about 2km apart. On this particular day, we were busy training the recruits at Takawira Two and suddenly we saw jets hovering above. In the blink of an eye, serious bombardment started. There was no time to really understand what was going on. Bullets were flying all over and bombs falling all over. People were screaming and crying. People were running stark naked so that they could not be easy targets of the Rhodesian forces. This bombardment started well before lunch time.

MH: As an instructor, when such bombardment starts, what is your first instinct? What did you do?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We shouted to the recruits to take cover and gave them instructions to crawl to safety. Fortunately, at Takawira Two, we had many anti-air machine guns. The enemy did not manage to para-drop, to drop paratroopers. In other bases, the enemy dropped paratroopers and they shot defence-less women and children at close range. I remember at some camps, the Rhodesian forces even slept overnight executing the injured comrades and only left the next morning.

MH: The first time you were attacked at Nyadzonia you had not yet received military training and you didn’t have guns. Now you were an instructor and you had your gun, what did you do?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We were not supposed to shoot at the enemy. Remember, I said in our area, the enemy was using aircraft. We had many recruits and so the more we exposed ourselves through shooting back, the more we would put the recruits at risk. We didn’t want to do that. Our anti-air machine guns fired back while we tried to find a way to escape with all the recruits. The enemy quickly realised that around Takawira Two there were anti-air machine guns and they stopped the heavy bombardment around that area and concentrated on the camps where there were children and pregnant women. I remember very well that at Takawira Two, the casualties were not more than 50. We crawled out of the camp and escaped. However, we managed to come back to search for people who had been injured and to see those who had died. We were with Cde Mupunzarima and other members of the general staff. We walked through the area and the sight was horrific. Bullet-riddled bodies were strewn all over, body parts could be seen all over and some people were put on stretchers and taken to Gondola. The situation was just unbelievable. We could not identify who was who and the only solution was to put all these people into mass graves. As an instructor I felt really bad. Very, very, bad.

MH: Do you think there is something you could have done?
Cde Hondo Mushati: War is about people dying, people being attacked and being injured, but what happened at Chimoio cannot be described properly in words. We did the best that we could. We had learnt lessons from Nyadzonia, that’s why we had mounted anti-airs around Takawira Two where we had so many recruits. Some of the comrades who were defending the recruits with the anti-airs actually died after they were bombed.

MH: You escaped death for the second time. What do you do after this? Do you sit down and pray and thank God for saving you?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We thanked God through the spirit mediums. Remember the spirit mediums were an important part of the struggle. They even directed how to fight the war and sometimes they could even warn us to move away from a place if an attack was imminent?

MH: So why didn’t the spirit mediums warn you about the attack at Nyadzonia and Chimoio?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Some comrades still tell me that some senior people were warned about these attacks, but, like I told you, people were sort of relaxed. Some people just didn’t take advice, they didn’t respect the advice from the spirit mediums. Some bases had even been electrified and I don’t think in a serious war situation this was safe. After the attack at Chimoio that’s when we learnt never to put too many people in one place and not to hold people in one place for too long.

MH: So after the attack at Chimoio, where did you go?
Cde Hondo Mushati: After Chimoio I went to Tembwe. Training was now part of my way of living. I was called to go to several training camps to train comrades individual tactics. I trained over 5 000 comrades at Tembwe. I was at Tembwe until the end of 1978. Chimoio was attacked in 1977 and Nyadzonia in 1976.

MH: You told me that at some point you were assigned to train Cde Herbert Ushewokunze and Cde Sydney Sekeramayi. How did this come about?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Yes, I was still at Chimoio when I was assigned to train these senior party officials. I trained them in individual tactics and bayonet fighting.

MH: Comrade, these were qualified medical doctors and they were senior party officials and you were given the task to train them. Didn’t they look down upon you and did you really take them through the mill just like any other recruit?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Let me talk about the late Cde Ushewokunze. He was really excited to be trained. He was really excited to handle the gun. He was just like one of those recruits. Cde Ushewokunze we used to call him Mangurenje. He liked that a lot. He would say “Ndini mangurenje, chitima cheHwedza.” He took things easy. They all didn’t show that they were highly educated and that they were senior party officials. I won’t talk much about Cde Sekeramayi because he was, as he is today, a cool guy. They were just part of the group we were training.

MH: No special treatment?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We had been told about who they were in terms of positions in the party, but we were told to treat them like anybody else. But you know when you deal with such people, you use your discretion on how to treat them, you tone down your language a bit but still achieve the same objective. We took them through the mill. Toyi-toyi and everything. They related very well with the other comrades. During the struggle, we didn’t talk much about our education. Once you crossed the border, you assumed a new name and you became a new person. So we were all equal. Their training, where I was, took about six weeks. I also trained Retired Colonel Katsande later at Tembwe. I also trained people like the late Mike Munyati and even one of your photographers at Zimpapers, Lee Maidza. I trained thousands of people.

MH: Comrade, there are reports that you the instructors made the recruits to go through hell, ill-treating recruits during training, and that some female recruits were sexually abused. How far true are these allegations comrade?
Cde Hondo Mushati: I am not sure about ill-treatment. Life during the liberation struggle was very tough. If someone came from home as a recruit, he or she went through various processes before they were admitted for military training. They would be secluded from others for the purposes of vetting to make sure that these people have genuinely come to join the liberation struggle with no other motives. That process was necessary, but maybe one could say this was unfair treatment. This vetting was done by the security department. This was quite a rigorous process and, true, some agents of the Smith regime were caught. As for the sexual abuse of female recruits, these were isolated cases. But remember during the liberation struggle we had rules that we had to follow. It was not allowed to have sex. It was taboo during the struggle to sleep with a woman. But I cannot deny that some people broke the rules, but they were punished. The female victims of this abuse, which I said was not very prevalent, were then taken to Osibisa if they got pregnant. I know that Cde Meya Urimbo was given the responsibility to talk to those who would have engaged in such acts. He would counsel them and if the female comrade got pregnant, it was a rule that the responsible comrade was to become the husband once the country became independent.

MH: After Tembwe you said you were sent to Mavhonde camp?
Cde Hondo Mushati: Yes, I was chosen to go to Mavhonde to train some recruits there. There were thousands of recruits there also being trained and deployed to the war front. Mavhonde was very close to the border. I trained many recruits who included people like Cde Chinx and Marko Sibanda the singer. Some of the instructors there were people like Cde Seven Tembazvako, Cde Remigio Tapera and others. The training programme at Mavhonde was hectic. Mavhonde was Mavhonde.

MH: What do you mean Mavhonde was Mavhonde?
Cde Hondo Mushati: This was at the height of the struggle around 1979. The enemy was really feeling the pinch and Smith agreed to go to Lancaster for the talks. All his bravado talk that “not in a thousand years” was gone. Despite the talks, we were churning out more and more comrades to the war front.

MH: And once again, death followed you at Mavhonde. Tell us what happened.
Cde Hondo Mushati: The Rhodesians wanted to make a statement at Lancaster through the attack at Mavhonde. They came with all the heavy weapons and they wanted to really bring Mavhonde to the ground. Fortunately, experiences in the past had taught us a lesson and at Mavhonde, we were prepared for the Rhodesian forces. We were well equipped and surrounded by anti-air machine guns. That’s why I am saying Mavhonde was Mavhonde. Even the training here was rigorous.

MH: When the attack started, what were you doing?
Cde Hondo Mushati: I was busy training the recruits. The comrades who were manning the anti-air machines guns spotted the jets and they started shooting. Everyone was shouting “ndege, ndege, ndege!” Bombs, including napalm, were thrown all over. In no time the base was turned into a burning furnace. Fortunately, we had dug many trenches at Mavhonde and when the attack started, we crawled into these trenches that we used to call mahandaki. Once again the Rhodesian forces were using jets and we could not fire back using our light machine guns. The anti-air comrades took care of business. We instructed the recruits to crawl into the trenches, but unfortunately some comrades died. I remember, even now this picture still comes to my mind. I saw Cde Dhuma, who was a member of the General Staff, a dark guy in complexion, quiet and cool, I saw him lying there buried inside one of the trenches. One of the bombs had uprooted a big tree and this tree landed right on top of this comrade together with two others.

MH: Yes, Cde Chinx spoke about this incident during my recent interview with him.
Cde Hondo Mushati: These comrades were buried alive by this big tree. This was really painful. We dug up the trench and found Cde Dhuma and these comrades. No scratch, no nothing. They were dead. Mavhonde was attacked towards lunch time and the attack didn’t last that long. We were able to re-assemble after three hours. The jets were gone. It was quite a quick but fierce battle. I can’t remember the exact number of the comrades who died at Mavhonde. I was very close to Cde Dhuma and his death really affected me. Up to now I still see his image lying lifeless in the trench. There was no time to mourn except to sing our national anthem facing home to salute the fallen hero. After this we buried the comrades and the struggle continued.

MH: Why do you think the Rhodesians chose to attack Mavhonde at this time when the Lancaster talks were in progress?
Cde Hondo Mushati: What I remember very well is that the hardcore Rhodesians, including Peter Walls, were not interested in talks.
They didn’t want the war to end to the extent that they had even planned to attack comrades who were in assembly points.
At one stage during the Lancaster talks, they wanted to put comrades into three assembly points — one for Zipra, one for Zanla and one for female comrades from these two fighting forces.
The idea then was to come in and bombard these assembly points. That plan was there, mooted by Peter Walls, but it was thwarted.

MH: Let’s continue with your journey. After surviving at Mavhonde, where did you go?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We went to a place called Samakweza in Inhaminga towards the route to Malawi. Zanla established another base there.

MH: Why were you going to this new base instead of preparing to come back home after the Lancaster talks?
Cde Hondo Mushati: This is where that group that was to remain in Mozambique waiting for any eventuality during and immediately after the elections was stationed. We were given instructions that we were not going to be part of the comrades going to assembly points. We were to remain in Mozambique in case Smith was trying to play some of his dirty tricks. I was one of the battalion commanders in this group.

MH: What instructions were you given?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We were told that we were not to be part of the people who were to witness the lowering of the British flag and the hoisting of the Zimbabwean flag.
For strategic reasons, we were to remain in Mozambique. Many people were not sure what Smith would do next.
We were told to remain at Inhaminga and keep on training so that we remained fit and ready for battle. We even had some female comrades among this group.
The information about this group was only privy to very few senior leaders of Zanu.
Cde Tongogara had given the advice before and after the Lancaster talks that not all comrades were to go to the assembly points.
Even those who were at the front, not everyone went to the assembly points for strategic reasons.

MH: How big was this force and how equipped were you?
Cde Hondo Mushati: We had a big force there of between 5 000 to 8 000 comrades.
Most of the comrades in this force were those who had received training in different parts of the world.
This was like an elite force led by Cde Zvinavashe. We were very confident that if Smith and his forces had tried to do anything funny, we would overrun them.
We had the capacity to wage a serious war and we were very ready. We were armed to the teeth.
We were being updated about developments that were taking place in Zimbabwe by people like Cde Gurupira and Cde Kasikai, who would shuttle between Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

MH: How did it make you feel that you were fighting to free the country but now you were not going to see its birth?

Cde Hondo Mushati: I felt a bit discouraged because I really wanted to be there.
This event was being broadcast live on radio and we could feel that we were missing something. We followed everything on radio and the mood was just unbelievable.
We were happy. We sang and rejoiced but still on high alert.

MH: After realising that indeed Smith’s dirty games were over, how did you come into Zimbabwe? Did you sneak into the country secretly?

Cde Hondo Mushati: We came into Zimbabwe by rail through Machipanda Border Post.
We were later taken into trucks and we drove in convoys. There was nothing to hide now.
This is when the Rhodesian forces knew that we had been put on standby in case of any eventuality.

We came into Zimbabwe in June 1981. We felt so good coming to a free Zimbabwe.
I can’t even describe the mood.

MH: So, comrade, did you ever go to the war front and are you happy with the role that you played at the rear?

Cde Hondo Mushati: No, I didn’t, but the major war was in the rear. All the major battles you want to talk about during the liberation struggle, happened in the rear.
That’s where most of the people died. For people to be at the war front, it started with the training, which was my specialty.

The other thing that I want you to know is that the rear was a big war front. The most dangerous war front, where you could be attacked without any warning.
At the war front one would expect to engage in a battle any time, but not at the rear.
But Smith brought the war front to the rear through the numerous massacres, that’s why we have many people who died at the rear.

MH: When you came back you joined the army? Tell us briefly about that.
Cde Hondo Mushati: When I came back, I went to Llewellyn Barracks in Bulawayo.
I was in the army until I became a captain. While in the army, I was deployed to Mozambique in 1983 to deal with the Renamo menace and secure our fuel pipeline.
Of course I was later deployed to other army operations and I then left the army in 1992.

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