1.ARCHIVAL DATA - THE CHRONICLE
A summary of events specifically in Nyamandlovu/Tsholotsho),
as revealed by The Chronicle, Bulawayo's daily newspaper, is given
here. This tends to highlight dissident activity, and is a useful
counterpoint to data from other sources.
FEBThe second outburst of fighting between ZIPRA and ZANLA forces
spills over into Nyamandlovu, where army units loyal to the Government
intercept columns of ZIPRA troops heading for Bulawayo from Gwayi
in the north.
APRTwo people are shot dead near Khami, and a third is injured,
by "armed men".
17 MAYA Nyamandlovu farmer is ambushed by dissidents and sustains
a gun-shot wound. Two days later a lorry driver is shot and killed
near Godzo, in Tsholotsho. In the same month, a farmer's wife drives
through a dissident ambush but is not injured.
JUN Dissidents rob a bus, a beer garden and 4 stores in Nyamandlovu.
They also burn out 2 resettled villages in Nyamandlovu, leaving
75 families homeless. "One woman" is also killed.
4 JULThe manager of Grant's Sawmills, Nyamandlovu, is shot at by
dissidents - no injury.
13 JULA police auxiliary constable is shot and injured at Hillmiles
23 JULA local farmer drives through an ambush at the 76 km peg on
the Victoria Falls road (in Nyamandlovu), does not stop and sustains
no injury - perpetrators, dissidents.
23 JULSix foreign tourists stop when ambushed at the 76 km peg on
the Bulawayo Victoria Falls road, in Nyamandlovu, and are abducted.
AUG2 mine-workers are shot dead 20 km north of Bulawayo. 7 off-duty
soldiers are lined up against a wall in Ngoma beerhall, Nyamandlovu,
and are bayonetted: 5 die and 8 are wounded - by dissidents. Three
buses are robbed, and so are "stores", all in Nyamandlovu.
4 SEP2 Swiss tourists witness a shoot out between security forces
and dissidents, 90 km north of Bulawayo.
A curfew is imposed on Northern Matabeleland, banning
buses and private vehicles in the communal areas, and banning reporters.
OCTDissidents rob a bus in Nyamandlovu.
DEC There are several incidents involving dissidents. In Tsholotsho,
Z$2 million of Government equipment is destroyed. In Nyamandlovu,
6 people including 2 children are shot dead in a farm ambush, on
31 December. One unnamed villager and 2 named villagers are also
reported murdered by dissidents in Nyamandlovu.
6 JANThe Government agrees to allow farmers to re-arm, to protect
themselves against dissidents. They had all surrendered their weapons
26 JANStringent curfew regulations are introduced: at the same time,
5 Brigade is deployed into the region, and begins to work its way
northwards, through Tsholotsho, into Lupane and Nkayi.
MARAn elderly commercial farming couple and their 2 young grand-daughters
are brutally beaten and then shot by dissidents on their farm in
5 APRThe curfew is lifted. There are repeated ZANU-PF rallies in
Matabeleland in February, March and April at which people are warned
not to support PF ZAPU, and dissidents are paraded, declaring their
PF-ZAPU allegiance. More than 20 000 PF-ZAPU supporters surrender
their cards and join ZANU-PF.
MAYA forestry commission ranger is murdered and another abducted
by dissidents in Chesa Forest Area, Nyamandlovu.
JUN 30 youths in Nyamandlovu are reported abducted by dissidents,
and are rescued.
NOV2 men are reported murdered by dissidents in Nyamandlovu.
JUN 20 dissidents kill one person and beat others, in Tsholotsho
SEPAn unnamed boy is reported as being killed by dissidents, another
as kidnapped, while unnamed, unnumbered "workers" are
beaten and property burnt, in Nyamandlovu.
OCTInquest into the murder in Feb 1983 of 2 men and 2 women, whose
car was stopped on the Bulawayo - Victoria Falls road by four 5
Brigade soldiers. The inquest finds them reponsible for "exceedingly
cruel" murder. (LCFHR p 40)
NOV Jini Ntuta, ZAPU MP, is reported murdered by dissidents. Other
sources later attribute his murder to CIO (LCFHR, BLPC interview).
MAROne woman is reported murdered and 9 injured, by dissidents
JULDissidents burn a bus in Nyamandlovu.
SEPDissidents burn out a school complex, and kill one person, in
OCTA commercial farming couple and their foreman are shot and killed
by dissidents. Dissidents also kill 3 villagers and 4 Zanu-PF party
officials in Tsholotsho
There are no press reported incidents involving dissidents/armed
men/ bandits specifically designated as occurring anywhere in Matabeleland
North, including Nyamandlovu, in 1986.
JUN2 German tourists are shot and killed in Nyamandlovu, by dissidents
AUGA Nyamandlovu farmer on his way to a cattle sale is shot dead
with his militia man, by dissidents.
EARLYAmnesty is announced for dissidents, and then for security
forces. A total of 122 dissidents surrender.
QUANTIFYING DISSIDENT OFFENCES
According to The Chronicle, dissidents murdered a total of 50 people
in the Nyamandlovu/Tsholotsho region.
These totals are fairly similar to BLPC interview
tallies, which indicate a total of 39 murders either by dissidents
or "armed men".
BLPC data also refers to 5 crossfire incidents in
which 4 villagers are killed and 3 sustain gun shot wounds in shoot
outs between dissidents and security forces: whether dissident or
ZNA bullets are responsible is not clear.
The Chronicle specifies a total of 30 assaults by
dissidents in Nyamandlovu/Tsholotsho.
Specific news reports also identify as taking place Nyamandlovu/Tsholotsho
the following: 2 rapes; 31 abductions; the theft or destruction
of 94 properties. 75 of the property offences involve the burning
of homesteads on a mine in Nyamandlovu, and the destruction of Z$2
million-worth of government equipment, being used to build dams
in the area.
BLPC and CCJP data refer to 32 assaults by dissidents
on civilians in Tsholotsho, invariably related to people being accused
of being "sell-outs". They also record 3 gun shot wounds
and 3 incidents involving mutilations. These totals are again very
similar to The Chronicle, which suggests civilians are not inclined
at this stage to protect dissidents, and reported their offences
to project personnel.
Other BLPC interviews make reference to dissidents,
often in passing, when villagers are beaten by 5 Brigade after being
forced at gun point to feed dissidents the day before.
2.DATA INTEGRATION - CCJP ARCHIVES AND INTERVIEWS IN 1995/96
There is a vast amount of information in CCJP files on events in
Tsholotsho. For a complete outline of what forms such information
takes, see CCJP as a data source in Part One. CCJP data remains
invaluable and is more reliable than most other sources where dates
are concerned. Details given in the archives have frequently served
to confirm accounts given in interviews in 1995/96.
A total of 910 named victims in Tsholotsho was collected
through interviews, many of whom suffered more than one human rights
violation. For an outline of the interviewing procedure in Tsholotsho,
see Part One, II, page
Data from both CCJP archives and recent interviews
were integrated in a "village by village summary", with
village as the common parameter, allowing for the integration of
named and numbered victims, without their being counted twice, once
with and once without a name.
The "village by village summary" of events
proved to be a very productive strategy when analysing data on Tsholotsho,
and helped reveal the broad patterns of events. In addition to facilitating
the quantification of atrocities and their perpetrators, this method
also revealed the location of Army units at different times, in
particular 5 Brigade. Tsholotsho was therefore divided up into approximately
4 parts, to correspond with the concentration of 5 Brigade in the
various parts of Tsholotsho. In fact, as is clear from the summaries,
5 Brigade reached most villages in the area, and camped in small
groups in many different locations: the 4 rough divisions indicate
location of larger units and interrogation centres, from which patrols
appear to have set out. In addition, the rest of Nyamandlovu was
divided into 2 sections, one consisting largely of commercial farms
in the south, and the other of the forestry areas in the east.
The sub regions of Nyamandlovu are:
1. Western Tsholotsho, around Pumula Mission
2. Southern Tsholotsho, around Mbamba Camp
3.Central Tsholotsho, including Tsholotsho Town and Dhlamini Rest
Camp to the west
4. Northern Tsholotsho, around Gwayi and Sipepa.
5. Commercial farms in the south.
6. Forestry, resettlement and commercial farmland in the east.
A map of Nyamandlovu, inclusive of Tsholotsho Communal Areas, begins
the "village by village" summary, showing the areas into
which the entire region has been divided for the purposes of this
summary, and indicating the major centres.
Five larger scale maps of Nyamandlovu, corresponding
to the divisions in the text, have been included in the body of
the "village by village" summary. These indicate not only
the villages but also the general type and number of offences experienced
in the vicinity of each village. Approximate numbers killed, beaten
or having homesteads burnt is thus visually represented on the maps.
Three of these maps show Tsholotsho Communal Land
and its rough divisions into four parts. The other two maps show
commercial farmland, and the forestry and resettlement areas in
3.SUMMARY OF 5 BRIGADE IMPACT IN
The commissioning, training and deployment
of 5 Brigade has already been dealt with in detail in Part One of
this report. To summarise, 5 Brigade was deployed in Matabeleland
North in January 1983, coinciding with the imposition of a severe
curfew in the region. Thousands of atrocities, including murders,
mass physical torture and the burnings of property occurred in the
ensuing 6 weeks. 5 Brigade was withdrawn for a month in the middle
of the year, then redeployed. Disappearances and detentions became
more common than other offences. Mbamba Camp in the south of Tsholotsho
is frequently referred to as a detention centre. 5 Brigade was mainly
deployed in Matabeleland South in early 1984, although a platoon
of 5 Brigade was in Matabeleland North at this time too. However,
there was no curfew in force in Matabeleland North in 1984, and
5 Brigade activities were centred on the southern half of the country.
The presence of the 5 Brigade in an area in 1983
meant an inital outburst of intense brutality, usually lasting a
few days, followed by random incidents of beatings, burnings and
murders in the ensuing weeks, months and years. It meant that any
community which had once experienced 5 Brigade lived in a state
of intense anxiety and fear, unsure where and when it might strike
again, or who its next victims might be.
The terror and insecurity throughout the region
also led to many hundreds of people, especially young men, fleeing
to urban centres such as Bulawayo, or to Botswana. To stay in the
area if you were a young man meant almost certain victimisation
by 5 Brigade, who assumed that all such people were ex-ZIPRA and
Many communities suffered massive material loss
in the initial onslaught, losing huts and granaries. They also lost
village members who had been killed or abducted, and were frequently
forced to watch others close to them dying slowly from injuries
sustained from beating, burning, shooting or bayoneting. Villagers
were warned not to seek medical help, and risked being shot for
curfew breaking if they did seek help.
Many who were beaten were left with permanent disabilities,
ranging from paralysis, blindness, deafness, miscarriage, impotence,
infertility, and kidney damage, to partial lameness and recurring
back and head aches. These injuries have left victims with impaired
ability to work in their fields or do any of the heavy labour, such
as carrying water, on which survival in the rural areas depends.
Inability to work in the fields is a recurring theme in interviews.
In addition to the physical injuries, it is clear
from interviews that large numbers of people in Tsholotsho suffered
some degree of psychological trauma, leading in extreme cases to
insanity, and in many cases to recurring depression, dizzy spells,
anxiety, anger, or a permanent fear and distrust of Government officials.
Wives were left without breadwinners. Children were
left without one or both parents, and with the trauma of having
witnessed appalling violence against those they loved. Families
were left without the consolation of truly knowing the fate of their
kin, or their burial places.
Communities were left to deal with the trauma of
having seen their parents, husbands and community leaders harmed
Many families have had to face practical problems
arising from the number of dead for whom death certificates were
never issued. This has meant problems gaining birth certificates
for children, or drawing money from bank books in the name of the
deceased. Other people who fled employment in the area, in order
to protect their lives, have been denied pensions for having broken
their service without notice.
4.OVERVIEW OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES - NYAMANDLOVU
DEATHS AND DISAPPEARANCES
Deaths have been assessed in terms
of both sex and age of victims, with 3 age categories being used,
for each sex:
MALE: 83% of all deaths
FEMALE: 17% of all deaths
Under 20 yrs: 4% of all deaths
Aged 20 - 60 yrs: 70% of all deaths
Aged over 60 yrs: 9% of all deaths
Under 20 yrs: 4% of all deaths
Aged 20 - 60 yrs: 9% of all deaths
Aged over 60 yrs: 4% of all deaths
Men aged between 20 - 60 yrs are of `breadwinning
age' (ie 70% of all dead). However aprroximately 30-40% of them
can be assumed to have had no dependants, as many had just returned
from the war and had not yet married. Many others, at the top end
of this age group, had fully grown children.
This means between 42% and 50% of all those killed
can be assumed to have had dependants.
In addition, a few of the women killed were widows
with dependants, whose children were henceforth orphans. Around
2% fall in this category.
Total Breadwinners killed is likely to be around
45% of total deaths.
In terms of current figures on Nyamandlovu/Tsholotsho:
TOTAL Deaths: approx 900+
BREADWINNERS Dead: approx 400
The vast majority of these were self-employed farmers,
who supported themselves from their fields and occasional labour
on surrounding farms and in nearby towns.
PROPERTY LOSSES: HOMESTEADS BURNT:
This constitutes the largest category of property
Reported burnt: 345 homesteads, with others implied.
(Involves burning of 26 villages either entirely or substantially)
This is the largest category of offence, involving
both isolated beating incidents and also at least 60 incidents in
which most or all villagers in a village were beaten. Both men and
women were beaten, with no obvious preference for beating men in
the mass beatings. Preference was sometimes shown to the elderly,
who would be beaten less severely or not at all.
Individual or small group assaults: 314
Mass village beatings: 70 villages
Mass railway siding beatings: 4
If approx 50 villagers is assumed per mass beating,
3 400 villagers can be estimated to have been beaten.
Most common beating technique: People would be forced
to lie face down on the ground, and then would be repeatedly beaten,
often for several hours, with thick sticks or gun butts.
Most common complaints:
Permanent back\arm\leg\neck\hand aches, inhibiting any heavy work.
Fractured fingers\arms and other bones
Permanent scarring of buttocks and back
Recurring headaches, dizziness and high blood pressure
Permanent eye damage and hearing disorders
Jaw damage including loss of teeth
Permanent uterine disorders
Permanent kidney damage, also male impotence
Numbers in brackets: indicate source numbers of BLPC interviews
from which information was derived.
** indicates source document is in a CCJP file
**** indicates an incident involving dissidents. For all other incidents,
the perpetrators are identified as Army units or other Government
agencies such as the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), or
Police Support Unit (SU).
5 Brigade (5B) may be assumed as the perpetrator
unless another unit is mentioned.
Tsholotsho has been roughly divided up into four
regions for this section, each one being an area within the vicinity
of known 5 Brigade Base Camps. In practice some villages were affected
by more than one of these units, and in early 1983 the far south
of Tsholotsho was probably affected by the unit based in Tsholotsho,
as the one at Mbamba Camp appears to have been established later
in 1983. The four regions are:
1Pumula Mission, covering the whole western area
and much of the south.
2Mbamba/Nanda, in the extreme south and east
3Tsholotsho town and the central part of Tsholotsho, west towards
Dhlamini Rest Camp.
4Gwayi/Sipepa region, in northern Tsholotsho.
The spellings of names of "villages" or "lines"
have been standardised in accordance with the 1975 Surveyor General's
map of the Nyamandlovu region (Sheet SE-35-15).
5.1.PUMULA MISSION AREA (WEST TSHOLOTSHO)
In general, this seems to have been very badly affected
by 5 Brigade, who set up camp close to the Mission, from late January
1983. From interviews, it is clear that many settlements within
a very wide radius of the mission experienced mass beatings, or
were burnt to the ground because villagers had fled the area.
A few parts of this area, to the west of the Mission
( eg Korodziba, Soloboni), have been entirely resettled since the
early eighties, so reports on 5 Brigade activities here trickle
in from other locations in Tsholotsho, wherever people have been
resettled to. Fortunately, events around Pumula Mission were well
documented by CCJP, and File H also has comprehensive accounts of
events in some villages. It has therefore been possible to place
those few interviews which lack detail in context within the broader
NESHANGO LINE (next to Ningombeneshango
3 FEB 1983: Mass beating of villagers and shooting of 2 young pregnant
girls, followed by their being bayonetted open to reveal the still
moving foetuses. These two girls (already pregnant) and several
others had been raped by members of the ZNA in November of 1982,
who reportedly left by helicopter after several days of raping these
(1146 - 1168 inclusive, also file H).
Beaten: 6 named victims, 50 estimated total
KUMBULA SCHOOL, PUMULA VILLAGE (approx 5
km SE of Pumula Mission)
13 FEB 1983: Whole village beaten, and 7 shot dead, including a
teacher, after digging their own grave. Witnesses refer to a fountain
of blood from the pit. (file H, all named,** CCJP case files confirms
1 name, also 298-9, 310-11)
APRIL 1983: Several ZAPU officials badly beaten, one named victim
Beaten: 50 estimated (January), plus 10 estimated (April).
DINGANDAWO: (near to Kumbula School):
11 FEB 1983: The villagers were rounded up and beaten, and then
some were shot dead at 7p.m. (458-9).
**CCJP case files has name of 1 dead here, 1983
Dead: 3 named, plus others
Beaten: 50 est
SAHLUPEKA (approx 7 km due South of Pumula
FEB 83: the whole village was rounded up in the evening and very
severely beaten. 5 members of 2 families were chosen and shot to
death in a shallow mass grave.(file H has all names)
Beaten : 50 est
PATALIKA: (2 km south of Tankahukwe)
2 men were abducted and their decomposed bodies were later found
in the bush. (319, also file H)
Another villager from here was abducted from Bulawayo, where he
had gone for safety, and was later shot dead at Tshitatshawa in
PELELA: (approx 8 km due South of Pumula
FEB 83: Man killed coming home from a beer drink. A stranger to
the village was also tortured and left for dead. He managed to crawl
almost to the village and died - nobody knows who he was. (File
FEB 83: Man accused of supporting dissidents and killed. (320).
FEB 83: a villager from here fled to Plumtree, where he was killed
by 5B. (294).
APRIL 83: villagers who were in church were forced to leave by 5B
and made to sing and dance all day. 5B also killed and ate 3 goats.
DANDA: (approx 9 km due South of Pumula
FEB 83: 3 ex-ZIPRAs from Mkubazi were among many taken to the pan
here and shot. One escaped with gun shot wounds to Botswana and
one was killed. The other went missing. (3246/7/8)
MUZIOMUTSHA (10 km South of Pumula Mission)
14 FEB 1983: 4 villagers were badly beaten, then 3 were taken to
Pumula Mission. One was tied to a tree and was later shot. The other
2 had to bury him. (257, 2259-60)
CAWUNAJENA (10 km SW of Pumula Mission):
8 FEB 1983: Entire village rounded up, and many were beaten very
severely. 12 men and women, including 2 school teachers, were shot
dead. This happened during the night. The 5B camped nearby and the
dead were not buried until a year later, by which time many bones
were scattered around.(File H has all names, also 479).
2 other men abducted and killed here in FEB. (315, 318)
A woman was also abducted into the bush and shot with her baby on
her back. (314)
Another woman was also abducted in FEB and shot. (481)
Beaten: 50 est
TEMBILI: (adjacent to Cawunajena)
FEB 83: People here were beaten by 5B after church and made to cook
daily for the soldiers, who killed and ate some of their livestock.
APRIL 83: a man visiting from Patalika was shot by 5B. (3256)
GULAKABILI (approx 20 km SSW of Pumula Mission)
12 FEB 1983: Whole village abducted from nearby to the Pumula Mission
area, where they were beaten. Some were then forced to dig a mass
grave, made to climb in, and were shot. They were buried while still
moving, and villagers were made to dance on the grave and sing songs
in praise of ZANU-PF. Number of dead given as 12. (File H has all
names, also BLPC 300, 305-9 incl)
One victim locked in a hut and burned to death. (296)
MARCH 83: 5B burnt 5 homesteads one morning. (3246-48)
ZNA soldier killed while trying to visit his mother, on leave. (304)
2 others from this area also killed by 5B, circumstances unclear.
A woman was accused of cooking for dissidents and was shot dead.
A woman and her child were taken from here to Pumula Mission and
killed (292, also file H)
7 others from this area met individual deaths - one was detained
trying to get to Plumtree and was never seen again, another went
missing from a house in Bulawayo, and his wife and child were apparently
killed by 5B, while trying to flee to Botswana. Another man had
his throat cut and bled to death. (file H)
Dead: 25 named victims
Beaten: 50 est
Destroyed: 7 known homesteads
MPILO: (due west of Tankahukwe)
OCT 82: ZNA took the store-keeper and killed him and assaulted his
JAN 83: 2 men from here were killed by 5B because they ran away
when they saw 5B coming. (3262-3)
TANKAHUKWE (7 km SW of Pumula Mission) FEB
All the villagers were rounded up and severely beaten. 12 were selected
and shot after being forced into 2 mass graves. One of the chosen
managed to run away, so his younger brother was killed instead.
5B came back in 1984 and stabbed the escapee to death, also severely
beating another brother at this time. Another villager who was badly
beaten ran away but died later of his injuries. (file H has all
names, also 295, 297, 312, 324, 455, 3264-6)
Beaten: 50 est
EGOMENI (5 km almost due west of Pumula
FEB 1983: Villagers were rounded up and beaten. 5 were then shot
and buried in one grave. (301-2, 321)
A villager was shot dead in February and then had his hut burnt
One villager killed trying to return to work in Harare (314)
Another villager was abducted in a truck as a dissident and shot
at a nearby farm (483)
Another villager was killed in the Sonqinyana area. (463)
13 FEB 83: One villager shot at dawn at his home. (460)
FEB 83: woman shot dead by 5B who also burnt the homestead. (461)
** CCJP case files report 1 named death here, could be 1st incident.
A man was also detained and never seen again here, February 1983.
Beaten: 50 est
MAZHOU: (near Egomeni?)
FEB 83: 4 villagers were abducted to the bush, and were tortured
with sticks and knives. One villager attacked his assailant, allowing
another to escape. 3 were then killed. (file H)
ST WILFRED'S SCHOOL ( Pumula Mission area)
2 FEB 1983: Some of the ex-ZIPRAS in this area ran away in January.
The mothers of 2 were tortured for "parenting dissidents",
and were then shown 5 men including their sons. These 5 were taken
to Tsholotsho town, and 2 weeks later one returned, with serious
gunshot wounds. He had climbed out of a mass grave in which he had
been shot with many others, and had made his way home. He died a
day later. (609-11)
Dead: 5 plus possibly others
Beaten: 2 plus possibly others
MANALA: (West of Pumula Mission, resettled)
29 MARCH 1983: 1 beaten, bayonetted, finally killed the next day,
and his body burnt, by 5 Brigade. (1230)
SALANKOMO ( approx 5 km NW of Mission):
**28 JAN 1983: 20 5B soldiers came in the morning and killed the
village ZAPU chairman and 2 schoolboys, one aged 14. They were beaten
in front of the villagers first, and all the adults present were
also beaten. (Comm of Inquiry Statement, also file H).
**28 FEB 1983: same soldiers rounded up people in the village and
put 2 men, 7 women, 2 with babies, and 3 children into one hut.
They set fire to the hut, and the men inside forced the door open.
As the 12 ran out, 6 were shot and killed including a baby and a
girl, and 1 was shot and left for dead.
**CCJP has on record the Medical Cards and Comm of Inquiry statement
of the victim who suffered a GSW to the stomach in Feb 83 incident
- records start from May 83 by which time wound is very infected.
(file A, also file H)
Two more homesteads were burnt at a later date. (BLPC 338-9, 457,
Beaten: 5 plus possibly others
Homes burnt: 3 known
NDAWANA (6 km west of Pumula Mission):
FEB 83: 2 villagers from here were curfew breaking and their tracks
were reported by villagers from Egomeni nearby, who did not know
who they were. 5B prepared to beat and destroy all at Egomeni, and
had already dug mass graves. However, the 2 from Ndawana were caught
before this happened, and they were killed instead. (file H, also
3273-6). The soldiers then moved to Ndawana, where the commander
ordered the whole village into a hut and set fire to it. Once the
commander left, another 5B soldier let the villagers out of the
hut, so they were spared. (file H)
MARCH 83: an old man from here was taken to Pumula Mission, tied
to a tree and forced to make animal sounds. 5B also killed his ox.
Burnt: 2 homesteads
SOLONKWE: (4 km north west of Pumula Mission,
**JUNE 1983: CCJP Comm of Inquiry report of 22 villagers including
women and children burnt to death in a hut, after being brutally
beaten first. The owner of the hut begged for the lives of his 4
youngest children to be spared, and this was allowed, although the
life of an older daughter was not spared. (file A, file H also refers,
also 316-17, 322, 462)
Burnt: 1 hut
PELANDABA (west of Pumula Mission):
29 JAN 1983: 5B rounded up many men from the area, tortured them
until they couldn't walk and shot them. File H names 8 victims,
**CCJP case files also reports 11 other named deaths here in 1983,
probably same day, and 1 death in 1984. BLPC names 2 more victims
from Jan incident. (342-346)
3 others killed, including a married couple who went to report dissidents
in the area. (345, 348)
Dead: 25 named victims
Beaten: 50 estimated
SEQWINI: ( approx 15 km due north of Pumula
15 APRIL 1983:1 person killed by 5 Brigade, bayonetted to death.
TANKENI: (NW of Pumula Mission)
1983? a villager from here was one of 6 men beaten and then machine
gunned by 5B at Mzimwatuga. 5B also burnt homesteads in the village
and destroyed crops and livestock. (403)
Burnt: several homesteads.
KORODZIBA (west of Pumula Mission, now resettled):
FEB 83: 5B came to the school and took about 60 pupils aged over
14 years. They were all beaten and asked about dissidents. 20-30
girls were raped and then ordered to have sex with some of the boys
while the soldiers watched. They were beaten for 3 hours. (3311)
4 MARCH1983: 5 villagers were murdered at night for being PF-ZAPU
members. (1223-27 incl)
Also MARCH: 2 children out of a group of children died of starvation
trying to run away from 5 Brigade in this area. They were trying
to reach Ngamo railway siding, which is about 100 km NE of Korodziba.
The dead were aged 9 and 14, the survivor was 15. (1234-5)
Dead: 5 plus 2
SOLOBONI (west of Pumula Mission, now resettled):
23 FEB 1983: 5 Brigade rounded up entire village to the borehole.
6 people were chosen at random and were bayonetted to death, and
buried in one grave. Everyone was then beaten. 5 people were beaten
to death, and one person died years later, partly as a result of
injuries from this beating. Another man who wept to see his brother
killed, was severely beaten and died a few weeks later from his
injuries. One old lady who was found in her hut was raped, and 5B
then set fire to a plastic bag and burned the old lady with it,
setting fire to her blanket. She died 3 weeks later from the burns.
1 hut was burnt. (1238-42 incl, 1282-87 incl)
Beaten: 50 est
Burnt: 1 hut
GIBIXEGU (NW of Pumula Mission, now resettled)
2 FEB 1983: 5B entered the village in a truck and rounded all the
villagers up. 2 women were tortured and a man taken away was never
seen again. 6 people were beaten to death, including 4 women.
(275, 697-703 incl)
Beaten: 2 known, plus others
EMANALENI (7 km NW of Ematetshaneni)
On the same day that 5B beat and killed people at Gibixegu, they
"did the same" at Emanaleni (698).
A villager was taken by the Army and killed with bayonets, because
he asked "World Vision" to film atrocities in their area.
MARCH 1983: 5B killed a headman from Filabusi and chopped off a
woman's head. (1228 9)
EGAGWINI (approx 25 km due north of Pumula
Mission): MARCH 1983:
One young man was taken by 5 Brigade, badly beaten, returned, and
while his parents were washing his wounds, 5 Brigade came back and
shot him. (1236)
EMATETSHANENI (approx 24 km due north of
FEB 1983 School treasurer beaten and then shot for not handing over
funds, 500 m from his home.
SIHAZELA (30 km NNE of Pumula Mission)
FEB 1983: an old man was shot 500 m from his home by 5B. They came
back 3 days later and killed the old man's wife and daughter, and
burned down the homestead. They also kicked a year-old child and
broke his back. (599-603)
Burnt: 1 homestead
MKHONYENI ( Between Dzimidza-Sihazela, approx
20 km NNE of Pumula Mission):
END JAN 1983: the first woman to die in this area was accused of
feeding dissidents. She was pregnant and was bayonetted open to
kill the baby. She died later. (350)
FEB 1983: All the villagers were forced to witness the burning to
death of 26 villagers, in the 3 huts of Dhlamini. (326-37 incl,
347-49, 605-7). Women and children died. There was only one survivor.
File H lists all names of victims. The same report says that a few
days before the hut burning, many men were killed, in punishment
for having failed to catch a local thief the 5B wanted. (5 names
in file H, 7 more in **CCJP case files)
**CCJP case files also name 9 who died here, probably same incident
Just before the hut burning, at least one woman was beaten to death.
MARCH 1983: many men were shot dead at Mzimwatuga Pan. This was
in punishment for having failed to catch a local thief 5B wanted.
This report also mentions the hut burning (file H, also 604)
Another villager was stabbed to death at Tshiyakwakiwe, near the
pan. Another villager also died in this area. (332, 353)
**CCJP also report 1 missing here in 1983.
Dead: 1(preg): 26 in the hut: 12 named victims at the pan: 3 others
****JULY 1984: Dissidents killed the ZANU chairman
as he was addressing a meeting. (1231)
SEMAWURU/ CUSECULU/ NINGOMBENONZI (10 km
NE of Pumula Mission):
FEB 1983: All the people from these villages were rounded up and
beaten and some were killed. Name of one dead victim. (600, 1125)
JUNE 83: 5B shot 2 cows who ate their washing off the line. (3211)
**** JULY 83: as dissidents passed through the village of Semawuru,
the army arrived and started shooting. The villagers ran away and
a woman was shot in the foot. Her husband took her to hospital and
in their absence Army vandalised the house. (1248) Genuine crossfire.
OCT 83: A villager was asked about dissidents by "Nai Ka"
and then hit in the mouth, losing all his teeth. A villager found
milking and the headman of his village were taken to Pumula Mission
by the Commander whose nickname was "Nai Ka", and the
villager was killed. (658, 590)
An old man from the neighbouring kraal of EMPISINI was hit with
rifle butts. (608)
A villager was assaulted when he asked a soldier to pay for goods
taken from a child. (1120)
Dead: 1 known victim.
Beaten: 150 est
BONKWE/NYANGANYUNI (15 km NE of Pumula Mission)
FEB 1983: A young woman from Bonkwe going to buy mealie meal was
beaten for wearing her husband's watch. Her husband was summoned
to Nyanganyuni and beaten to death. Every bone in his body was broken
- he is referred to as being "like a cloth". (612)
Another local was abducted to Pumula Mission and killed there. (file
FOLOSI (7 km due east of Pumula Mission):
3 FEB 1983: Whole village beaten with sticks. Boys were made to
fight each other, while other villagers were forced to dig a mass
grave. 4 men were made to lie face down in the grave and were then
shot. (1169-1174 incl)
2 other men were abducted and tortured to death and buried in shallow
graves. (file H).
Beaten: 50 est.
LUBESI (10 km SE of Pumula Mission):
7 FEB 1983: The entire village was rounded up, was
forced to sing songs and was then beaten. 3 men were made to dig
a grave (2 were "curfew-breakers" from neighbouring Nxuma).
They were made to jump in to the grave, and were then shot. They
were buried while still moving. 5 Brigade also killed and ate a
cow and some goats around this time, while camped at Lubesi Dam.
(1135-7 incl, 1139, file H also refers to 2 of these dead)
Beaten: 50 est
MBIRIYA and NXUMA (15 km SE of Pumula Mission):
END JAN 1983: All villagers in these two neighbouring settlements
were assembled in Mbiriya. They were accused of cooking for dissidents
and everyone was beaten, after being placed in small groups. 10
people were shot dead at the dam (9 names). 4 were beaten to death,
while others were badly beaten, including a 4mth old baby. Some
of the injured went to Pumula hospital. After the beating, the villagers
of Mbiriya deserted the village for a while, and 5 Brigade came
back and burnt 15 homesteads to the ground.
10 others were killed at Nxuma, and buried in 1 grave (all names,
In another incident in February 1983, 2 teachers at Mbiriya School
were badly assaulted, one was killed, and a house was burnt down.
(1182-4, 1199, 1186-92 incl, 1257, 1262-1268 incl, 1292-93, 2016ff)
APRIL 83: an army Puma carrying villagers after a rally where Mugabe
spoke, was fired at and people were injured near Nxuma. (3273)
Beaten: 100 est
Burnt: 15 homesteads
BUMBU (just east of Mbiriya):
END JAN 1983: A councillor and a man back from working in South
Africa were shot dead. 11 homesteads were torched to the ground.
When other villagers saw the fires, they ran away, but 5B fetched
them back. 1 man was made to bury the dead and another was taken
away and never seen again. (628, 634, 1116-18 incl, 1128-32 incl,
JAN 1983: a man trying to return to work in Harare from here has
never been seen again. (1272).
**CCJP case files names another man who went missing in 1983.
Burned: 11 homesteads.
BUTSHENA (just West of Mbiriya):
11 FEB 1983: The villagers moved out of their houses after witnessing
what had happened in neighbouring villages. On 11 Feb they saw 5
Brigade burning all their homesteads. (1143)
Burned: 22 homesteads, 9 granaries
SANDAWANA (approx 10 km East of Mbiriya):
4 FEB 1983: A man accused of telling others to bury their property
to save it was taken to Pumula Mission and killed. (1279)
10 FEB: all the villagers assembled and some were selected and beaten.
At least one was taken away and killed. (1275)
After this, the villagers deserted the village, and 5 Brigade found
it empty and burnt down 30 homesteads - names of 28 owners given.
(Exact date not clear - reports say variously Jan, Feb, April, -
Feb seems most likely, as the curfew was still in force). On this
same day, a girl found near the homesteads were severely beaten.
She was hidden by her parents and then smuggled by scotch cart 30
km southwards to Ndolwane clinic. (1179, 1254-58 incl, 1288-91 incl,
1300-17 incl, 1261)
2 men killed after being tortured at a borehole in this area. (file
MAY 1984: a villager from here was among 5 taken from a bus for
having no ID, and was apparently tortured and killed at Bhalagwe
Camp in Kezi. [see Part Two, II for Bhalagwe Camp].(1278)
NOV 1984: a man from here had his house burnt down, ran away and
was never seen again, although rumour had it that he was buried
at Empandeni Mission, in Bulilimamangwe. (1280)
Dead: 5 known
Beaten: 1 named, plus others
Burnt: 30 homesteads
KALANE: (near Sandawana)
18 FEB 1983: The day the villagers saw neighbouring Sandawana go
up in flames they ran away. One villager came back to let his cattle
out and was badly beaten. 11 kraals were burnt down that day. (1261)
SEPT 1983: a villager was beaten to death and 3 homesteads were
Burnt: 14 homesteads
TSHOMWINA and DZOKOTZE (5 km due south of
JAN-FEB 1983 All the villagers of Tshomwina were forced-marched
to Dzokotze nearby. They were beaten, and 5 were killed. One man
died after terrible mutilations which included having his jaw broken
and his tongue cut out. This man ran away and was found by his family
in a neighbouring village. He took 8 days to die, without medical
20 homesteads in Tshomina were burnt down. (1186-98)
A ZNA member home on leave was taken to Pumula, tortured, taken
from there in a car and never seen again. (1144)
Another interview refers to 6 villagers from TSHOMWINA detained
in Jan 1983, taken to Pumula Mission, where they were beaten and
released after 6 weeks. (1140-41)
Beaten: 100 est
Burned: 20 homesteads.
OCT 83: **** DISSIDENTS shot dead 4 and injured a 5th, accused of
conniving with the Army. (1295-99incl)
GARIYA - near BUTABUBILI (12 km due south
5 Brigade referred to as raping all the women in the village,
and forcing them to cook for them. (Time not given, but probably
early 1983). They are then said to have returned some months later,
posing as dissidents and beating people.(569)
Another interview refers to 3 killed by 5 Brigade, including the
kraal head, in 1983. (569-70)
JUNE 1983: a few villagers found at a nearby dam were beaten and
9 villagers were killed. (1292-4)
SEPT 1983: 5B came at night and took away 4 men in the village,
who were then shot at a nearby kraal. One survived.(575)
OCT 1983: 6 homesteads are burnt, and 3 villagers are beaten. The
woman who was ZAPU chairwoman for the area was burnt to death in
her hut. (1270-71, 1279)
DEC 84: 5B interrogated villagers about dissidents. They injured
one man, and woman had her leg broken . They then burnt one villager
to death in his hut. (576-7, 670)
Beaten: 6 known plus others
Burned: 6 homesteads
MGODI MASILI: (5 km east of Butabubili)
2 FEB 1983: villagers heard 5B coming and ran away. 2 who stayed
behind were bayonetted and beaten to death. An old woman was also
killed, and 7 huts and 2 granaries were burnt. (555, 557, 581) Young
men were taken from the villages in the area to train as "youth
patrol" to look out for dissidents. Some youths were shot dead
by 5 Brigade during the training exercise. (1259-60)
15 FEB 83: an ex-ZIPRA was picked up and never seen again. (1253)
FEB 84: a man was picked up and stabbed 32 times with bayonets by
5B, and thrown in a pit - he survived. (554)
1984: a man and his wife were picked up at the shopping centre and
beaten, then were taken to an Army camp in Plumtree for a week,
before being hospitalised. (1723-24)
1 other man was also killed. (546)
1 other man also beaten. (574)
Dead: 6 known victims plus others
Beaten: 3 known
Burnt: 7 huts 2 granaries
SIKENTE (approx 10 km due south of Sandawana):
END JAN 1983: The whole village was marched to Sekatawu Pan. Many
were beaten and some were accused of being dissidents and were shot
and buried in one grave. Number of dead not given, one named victim.
Early 1983? Villagers were gathered at Sikente School and beaten.
Some were shot dead, others were shot and injured. Details including
time are vague. (558)
**2 FEB 1983: CCJP reports store keeper and one other shot dead,
also one woman with a GSW
3 teachers were also robbed and told to leave the area, and all
the homesteads along the Nata river were burned down. (file B -
this sounds the same day as 558)
LATE 1983: one man detained at night and never seen again. (560)
JUNE 1984: a man was taken off a bus in this area, was never seen
Dead: 3 known - plus several others from Jan incident
Beaten: 100 est (incl 2 incidents)
Burned: Most homesteads - more than 10 estimated
Another incident, SIKENTE area, time not clear,
but probably not during early 1983, but later. 5 Brigade are accused
of posing as dissidents, collecting a group of men and women, taking
them into the bush and chopping them with axes. Interviewee suffered
serious injuries - unclear how many others died or were injured.(568)
Another incident, SIKENTE area, time not clear - or perpetrator
- this might have been dissidents although it sounds more like an
early 5 Brigade incident. An unspecified number of villagers is
referred to as having been "killed while worshipping"
in the bush. 5 Brigade could well have killed people here as curfew-breakers
- the dissidents almost without exception kill only sell-outs and
usually make their motive clear. Is this possibly the same incident
as the one above? Or it could be same as a church shooting incident
among the Plumtree reports? (567) (Plumtree is 544)
Dead: 2 named victims, plus others
Injured: 2 named, plus others
JALUME (5 km NE of Sikente)
1983: a man was killed on his way back from a cattle sale. He was
tortured with burning plastic and then shot. (580).
6 NOV 1985: 5B in plain clothes badly beat a woman, and axed her
husband. They then burnt him to death in a hut along with his eldest
child. Their footprints led back to the army camp nearby. (571,
TSHIBIZINA (between Nengombenshango and
3 FEB 1983: mass beating of the village, by 5B from Dlamini Camp,
and the headman was shot dead. 2 women who were beaten too badly
to walk were also shot dead. At least one homestead was burnt. (1122-3,
**** FEB 83: 6 dissidents are referred to as beating 2 villagers
in Tshibizina (1133-4).
1983: 5B shot dead a man in the village, and then next day the commander
** CCJP reports closure of school here after the Headmaster was
beaten up in front of the pupils, after which he fled the area.
SEPT 83: 3 taken to Pumula Mission for interrogation, one then killed
**** NOV 1985: dissidents pulled a man out of bed and shot him dead.
Beaten: 50 est
TSHAKABANDA (approx 20 km due east of Pumula
7 FEB 1983: the whole village was beaten by 5 Brigade, and 2 were
Another interview refers to 2 people found chopping wood, who were
accused of being dissidents and were bayonetted to death in front
of the other villagers - it is not clear when this was. (497)
SEPT 1983(?) Tshakabanda: 3 homesteads were burnt, villagers were
beaten, and one victim was beaten to death.
Beaten: 50 est
Burnt: 3 homesteads