Remembering Cde Welshman Mabhena

With wounds that are still fresh and cheeks wet with tears following the recent death and burial of national hero, Cde Ephraim Masawi, fate has dealt another cruel blow to the nation - this time taking away a man moulded in the fire of the liberation struggle, Cde Welshman Mabhena.


Born on June 26 1924 in Nkayi, Cde Mabhena attended Zinyangeni Primary School before proceeding to Inyati Mission School for his secondary education.

 

Cde Mabhena then moved to Tiger Kloof in South Africa for further studies and returned to Inyathi Mission before joining active politics.

 

A shoemaker by profession, Cde Mabhena was jailed and detained from 1962 to 1979. During that period, Cde Mabhena attained an Advanced Level Certificate and Fellowship of the Association of Certified Bookkeepers of South Africa.

 

In 1985, he was elected Member of Parliament for Nkayi on a Zanu PF ticket and also became the party’s secretary-general.

 

After the signing of the Unity Accord between Zanu PF and PF-Zapu in 1987, Cde Mabhena became the Matabeleland North Provincial Chairman of the united party.

 

In 1990, he was elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament and was later appointed Minster of State for Political Affairs, before being appointed Secretary for Transport and Welfare.

 

In 2000, he was appointed Matabeleland North Governor- a post he held until his retirement in July 2000. At the time of his death he had joined ZAPU led by Dr Dumiso Dabengwa.    

 

Cde Mabhena collapsed and died at his Four Winds home in Bulawayo after suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

 

He has been bestowed with national liberation hero status.

 

 

 

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