Vice President Chiwenga says he knew Tongogara was going to die

“There are a lot of things which I will not be able to say, but I have already talked to maiguru Mai Tongo about what he said to me. But what you want to know is that I knew by that time that this was going to be it. I was not going to see him”; Chiwenga.

Zanu-PF Vice President and Second Secretary General Constantino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga (Rtd) (centre) addresses senior Government officials and Tongogara family members during a memorial service for the late national hero, General Josiah Magama Tongogara, in soaking rain at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday

The late national hero General Josiah Magama Tongogara had a premonition about his death and knew that he was never going to see a free Zimbabwe. This was revealed by Zanu-PF Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd) at a memorial service to mark the 38th anniversary of the death of General Tongogara at the National Heroes’ Acre yesterday.

“There are a lot of things which I will not be able to say, but I have already talked to maiguru Mai Tongo about what he said to me. But what you want to know is that I knew by that time that this was going to be it. I was not going to see him.

“He told me, ‘My brother this is it, go and take the forces there in Chimoio . . . I want you to be in Marondera before the end of this ceasefire’. I said, but when is the ceasefire? Have you agreed?’ And he said we will agree, but it was on the 4th and the ceasefire was signed on the 21st of December.

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“He said, ‘go, but we will not meet’. And I said where will you be and he said, ‘but I told you we will not meet. Ndomirira ipapo,” General Chiwenga (Rtd) told a bemused gathering of the Tongogara family and senior Government officials, standing in soaking rain.

The widow of General Tongogara, Mrs Angeline Tongogara, said she was happy with the recognition her husband had received following the renaming of the King George VI Barracks to General Magama Tongogara Barracks.

The service was attended by various dignitaries who included Minister of Presidential Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister Webster Shamu, members of the Tongogara family and trustees of the General Tongogara Trust.

The late national hero was recently honoured when the King George V1 Barracks was renamed after him.

Tongogara died in a car accident in Mozambique on December 26, 1979, just a few days after the ceasefire.

Writing in his memoirs, former Rhodesian PM, Ian Smith, said then police commissioner and head of special branch “assured me that Tongogara had been assassinated.” The late Smith and Tongogara knew each other from boyhood.