Kuda Bwititi – Chief Reporter
President Mugabe fasted and did not shower for days in a bid to get himself, Vice-President Joshua Nkomo and other nationals released from detention during Ian Smith’s reign of terror, newly-released archival material reveals.
An exclusive photograph sourced by historical heritage proponents Friends of Joshua Trust shows Cde Mugabe seated in a section of Wha Wha Detention Centre without shoes and with unkempt hair.
In the photograph – taken in 1962 by archivists with special access into the centre – President Mugabe appears rather morose while engrossed in a book, some distance away from fellow inmates.
Friends of Joshua Trust chief executive Miss Beverly Pullen told The Sunday Mail that it had been established that the President was fasting at the time.
She said FJT’s research indicates that VP Nkomo was later temporarily released and tried to visit Cde Mugabe at Wha Wha, but was turned away at the gate by Smith’s agents.
“That photograph shows a very important story and depicts the man that President Mugabe is, as well as his commitment to the struggle and welfare of his colleagues.
“I, personally, was moved by the photograph. I hope when the President comes for our planned exhibition, he will reflect more on it and share that special moment with other people so that it can be properly recorded in history.”
Miss Pullen said her organisation will showcase this and other photographs at the 21st February Movement celebrations in Victoria Falls this Saturday.
The photo exhibition will capture President Mugabe’s history, starting from his early life.
“The exhibition is structured under 11 titles: Zvimba — the family home; his years as a teacher in the 1950s; the early years of nationalism in the 1960s; detention; fight for independence; the agreement on the Victoria Falls Bridge; dawn of independence; the entry of First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe; the First Family; the Amai Grace Mugabe ‘Stop it’ Campaign and moments he has shared through the 21st February Movement.”
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