The story of Cde Willard Machivenyika certainly reads like the proverbial cat’s nine lives.

He is one of the few people that havelived to tell the story of two major attacks during the liberation struggle at Nyadzonya as well as Chimoio.

November 23, 1977 is a day that Cde Machivenyika, whose Chimurenga name was Cde Mike Hondo, like many others is etched in his memory.

On the fateful day, the white settler regime attacked the ZANLA’s Chimoio camp, which was located two kilometers north east of the Mozambican town by the same name, sending their entire air force on the mission.

Cde Machivenyika said the day started as normal with no indicator that there would be loss of lives as the general assumption was the Rhodesians would not venture into Mozambican territory.

Cde Machivenyika also has another tale to tell.

On the 9th of August 1976, he survived the Nyadzonya attack where over 1000 people died.

Former ZANLA Commander, Morrison Nyathi had defected to the Rhodesian army and his intricate knowledge of the camp led to the massacre.

The survivor, Cde Machivenyika, who to this day still bears the scars of the Chimoio attack, said all he wants to do is to ensure that those who died did not do so in vain.