zanla fighters.jpgSamuel Mamutse opened the 1972 North-Eastern offensive which ignited an 8-year protracted armed struggle that led to independence.

 

Cde Mamutse, whose Chimurenga name was Mayor Urimbo, was born in Gutu, Masvingo Province on June 12, 1939.

 

 

He attended Whete and Gutu Mission schools and joined the tobacco company, BAT, as a machine operator. The company then transferred him to Zambia.

 

He joined the United National Party which was then fighting for the freedom of Zambia. At the formation of ZANU in 1963, Cde Urimbo immediately became a member of the Youth Wing.

 

Five years later, he joined ZANLA and received military training in Tanzania. 

 

Upon his return to Zambia, Cde Urimbo led an operation that was involved in ferrying weapons to the Mt. Darwin and Mavuradonha areas.

 

During the liberation struggle, Cde Uimbo rose from an ordinary combatant to become ZANU-PF’ National Commissar in 1977. In that influential capacity he mobilized, recruited and oriented thousands of young men and women to join ZANLA in Mozambique.

 

It was his humor and charisma which earned him the title ‘Mutupo we Zanu’ – the soul of the party.

 

He also masterminded the programme that saw the storming and breaking down of institutions of settler power and established liberated zones.

 

At independence, Cde Urimbo was elected Member of Parliament for Zimuto. He was also elected to the Central Committee of ZANU-PF in 1984. 

 

Mayor Urimbo’s political leadership was characterized by complicity and an ability to mix freely with the rank and file of the party, while retaining their complete respect. 

 

A pioneer of the Zimbabwe National Liberation Army – ZANLA and a veteran freedom fighter, Mayor Urimbo died on September 7, 1993 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre.