By Munyaradzi Richard Hunda
MY father Ackim Hunda was born in 1948 and in 1962 he was involved in the politics that led to the liberation struggle.
He said the ban on the National Democratic Party (NDP) did not stop him and fellow comrades from attending rallies at Chaminuka Square in Mbare.
It was a time when the black majority were taking action against the ill-treatment by Rhodesians.
Father said that they were attending the rallies with the aim of mobilising people to join in the fight to dislodge colonial rule and create a bright future for Zimbabweans.
The Rhodesians became brutal using their racist police force to disrupt gatherings and arrest the leaders.
Political activists were attacked by police dogs and were tortured by the merciless police.
Many suffered serious injuries not only physically but also mentally.
It was a time when many people went for months without seeing their loved ones; they were either in prison or hiding from the brutal regime.
The propaganda pertaining to people who were going to join the liberation struggle, that included horrible stories of disappearances, did not deter my father, he wanted to go and fight.
Father said one of my uncles, Obert, a taxi driver, managed to obtain information on how one could cross the border for military training.
At one time my uncle got hired to go to a shopping centre called Tambawaguta, in Manicaland, which was near the border.
They met one of the shop owners, Tambawaguta, and he informed them that he was in a position to help those that wanted to cross the border to join the liberation struggle.
They went back and informed those who were ready and waiting for the opportunity to leave the country and receive military training.
Father was already a family man with three children and a wife hence his brothers wanted to leave him out of their plans to be part of the war.
But one of my uncles, Misheck told my father of their plans to join the liberation struggle.
My father needed not much convincing, he was a family man but the situation he found himself in was far from ideal.
His family, he felt, deserved a better life with opportunities and not limitations.
Thus he joined his brothers on their journey to Mozambique.
My father, uncles Misheck, Obert, Manuel, Charles Maredza and Benjamin Manyeza boarded a bus at Mbare Bus Terminus to Tambawaguta.
On arrival they were helped to cross to Machazi where they were welcomed by the Mozambican soldiers.
At Machazi, the interogation started, it was a process that was carried out to avoid sell-outs from getting to the camps and disrupt the revolution.
Once on the bus they realised there was no turning back, they were committed and were ready to fight.
My father’s Chimurenga name became Clover Musanyange and the hope of being re-united with his family lay in winning the war and attaining independence.
They were transferred to Mangundi Base.
And they got their first taste of war.
Privation and hunger were common and so were diseases.
Thoughts of going back home flooded the newcomers but they soon realised that turning back was not an option.
Fighting was the only sensible option for the hardship being experienced was caused by the Rhodesians.
From Mangundi they went to Chibawawa Camp and the struggle continued.