Fidelis Satuku

Retired Brigadier-General Fidelis Satuku was a veteran of Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence and served in the Zimbabwe National Army after independence. Fidelis Satuku died on 19 July 2021.

Background

He was from Nyanga in Manicaland Province.

Career

Satuku received his military training in Britain.[1] He served as ZDF Director-General for Policy and Personnel.

Second Chimurenga Contribution

He was a veteran of Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence, and his Chimurenga name was Comrade George Mackenzie.[2]

WikiLeaks

Fidelis Satuku and Herbert Chingono were quoted in leaked diplomatic cables dispatched in January 2010 criticising Constantino Chiwenga who at the time was their boss. The two described Chiwenga as a “political general” with “little practical military experience or expertise”. The remarks were made at secret meetings with the then US ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray.

According to the cable, Satuku and Chingono took time to explain to Ray the situation and dynamics in the military. They spoke about Chiwenga’s political ambitions, different views and opinions within the army, conditions of service, sanctions and politics.

Part of the leaked cable read:

"Ambassador met privately on January 5 (2010) with Brigadier General Herbert Chingono, Inspector General for the ZNA, and on January 6 with Major General Fidelis Satuku, Director General for Policy and Personnel, ZDF. These two serving military officers took a grave personal risk meeting with us, and their identities should be strictly protected."

[1]

Chiwenga and his backers wanted Chingono and Satuku charged with “treason or subversion” for secretly meeting Ray to discuss Zimbabwe’s “sensitive military issues” and politics in contravention of the Defence Forces Act.

In September 2011, Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent the two army generals were under investigation.[3]

Aftermath

At the time the cables were published, Satuku, who was the ZDF Director-General for Policy and Personnel, was studying in Pakistan. An officer who spoke to a Zimbabwean publication said Satuku was earmarked to run the Zimbabwe Defence College (ZDC) on his return, but was, however, overlooked for the job.

Satuku was laid off and embarked in farming in Odzi, in his home province of Manicaland.[3]

Death

Felix Satuku died on 19 July 2021 at the Military Hospital in Mutare aged 64. Satuku had battled a kidney related ailment for some time.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dumisani Muleya and Faith Zaba, WikiLeaks: Zimbabwe Army Generals face court martial, Nehanda Radio, Published: September 16, 2011, Retrieved: July 20, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mukudzei Chingwere, Decorated military commander dies, The Herald, Published: July 20, 2021, Retrieved: July 20, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 WikiLeaks: Army halts generals’ promotions, The Independent, Published: December 24, 2015, Retrieved: July 20, 2021