The Sunday Mail
National Hero and intellegence guru Cde Zenzo Ntuliki was a true hero as he sacrificed a lot for Zimbabwe before and after Independence, President Mugabe has said.
At Cde Ntuliki’s burial at the National Heroes’ Acre yesterday, President Mugabe said some of the heroics could not be disclosed due to sensitivities around the security services.
The President said: “We have a comrade, a comrade that went through the grill, that suffered alongside the rest of us. Those whom are now departed, whom he joins, but others who are still alive. From the obituary that has been published and the testimonies given since last week, self-sacrifice was one of Ntuliki’s strong attributes, self-sacrifice.
“The struggle demanded that if anyone was truly to fight for the liberation of the country, first and foremost, you must sacrifice. And sacrifice did not mean just going out to join the other comrades.
“It meant that at heart, in your own mind, as a comrade, you were truly dedicated, come what may, to fight for the country. He vividly demonstrated it by his preparedness to forego his secondary education as he joined the liberation struggle alongside other youths.”
President Mugabe went on: “In the early 1970s, quite a number of youths, boys and girls, streamed out of the country, some through Botswana, others through Zambia, Mozambique and to join that assemblage of our youth who later became Zanla and Zipra.
“So he, like his colleagues, was determined to fight for a liberated Zimbabwe alongside others, he sacrificed in the same spirit as others. Well, what do I mean? I mention that he had to sacrifice like others.
“It meant that the hardships of the struggle, whatever they maybe, hunger, the sacrifice of illness, attack from the enemy. If these ills visited you, they will find you ready. Ready to assimilate them, let them come, I am prepared to die for my country.”
President Mugabe said Cde Ntuliki served Zimbabwe remarkably, undertaking sensitive duties.
“He had acquired new experience which made him a suitable person for the role of intelligence and security; and this is what he had also studied in Bulgaria alongside 14 others (during the liberation struggle).
“He was to continue now practicing what he hand learnt. We know that it’s not an area where we can reveal the many things that this area does. Intelligence and security doesn’t allow us to do that.
“The protection of the country, the protection of its leaders, protection of the economy and the defence and protection of the nation, these factors demand the greatest amount of secrecy.
“Haungomwauka urikoko, aiwa, and discipline, which I referred to as one of the qualities he had; he continued to exercise it. I mentioned the protection of the leaders. Isusu zvatiri pano, hatingomhanya-mhanya tichingodauka-dauka zvisiri mugwara rinoonekwa nevaongorori vedu, nyanzvi dzedu dzine maziso, nyanzvi dzedu dzine nzeve, nyanzvi dzedu dzine ruzivo rekuti apa patsvene, apa pane nyoka. Musafambe nepapa, pane nyoka mungarumwe.”
President Mugabe added: “Saka tinopihwa nyanzvi dzine maziso anoongorora zvirikure, vane nzeve dzinonzwa zvose zvinonyeyewa. Ndokurarama kweduka sevatungamiriri. Haungovhaira kuti zvandakasarudzwa kuCongress zvakwana.
“Saka (Cde Ntuliki) akanga anzi ndiye achava nzeve, ndiye achava muongorori waVaNkomo (Vice-President Joshua Nkomo), Umdhala Wethu varipano.
“Ndiko kwaakashanda kwenguva refu. Handingafungi makanga muchiziva. You don’t have to know, but that is the work of our intelligence.”
Cde Ntuliki died at Mater Dei Hospital, Bulawayo on April 21 after a long illness.
Named Cde Maphekapheka Robson Shongoto during the liberation struggle, he was born in Matshethseni, Esigodini in Gwanda.
He could not complete his education as he skipped into Botswana to join the liberation struggle under the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army.
Cde Ntuliki was initially based at Selebi Pikwe in Francistown, but was later transferred to Nampundu base in Zambia under the command of Cde Ahmed Gutu.
In 1978, he received military training at Mgagao and Morogoro camps in Tanzania under the command of Cde Sam Fakazi.
Upon his return from Tanzania, Cde Ntuliki was deployed to Chakwenga Guerilla Training Camp which was under the command of current Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda.
His duties included screening recruits before training and provision of security to trainees.
In 1977, Cde Ntuliki was selected to undergo specialised security intelligence training in Bulgaria, and the curriculum included Very Important Persons’ protection.
He was later deployed to the Eastern and Southern Fronts under the command of Cde Sam Madondo.
Cde Ntuliki was later recalled to Zambia to reinforce VP Nkomo’s security, and protected Father Zimbabwe from several enemy attacks.
Because of his exemplary leadership, he was promoted several times, rising to the rank of Detachment Commander.
He returned to Independent Zimbabwe in 1980 as part of a VIP protection contingent under the command of another National Hero, Cde Albert Nxele.
Cde Ntuliki joined the Zimbabwe Republic Police and later the President’s Department where he rose to become Assistant Director (Western Region responsible for Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Bulawayo, Masvingo and the Midlands).
Among those at his burial were First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Cabinet ministers, service chiefs, senior Government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.