Kenneth Vhundukai Manyonda

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Kenneth Vhundukai Manyonda
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BornKenneth Vhundukai Manyonda

Kenneth Vhundukai Manyonda was a Zimbabwean politician and member of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

He died on Wednesday, 9 November 2022 at Marlborough Clinic in Harare where he was admitted for an undisclosed illness. He was 88 years old at the time of his death.[1]

Personal Details

No information was found about his age, place of birth, or family.


He studied industrial relations in the United Kingdom in the 1970s.


Manyonda worked in various jobs in the industrial and commercial sectors after he completed his education.

He joined the African National Congress of Rhodesia soon after its formation.

Later, Manyonda joined the National Democratic Party after the banning of the ANC. He became the local branch secretary of the NDP in Gweru.

Manyonda left the country for Zambia either in the late 1950s or early 1960s and worked for a short period in Livingstone.

In 1962, he returned to Gweru, where he was asked to become chairman of the Gweru branch of ZAPU.

Trade Unionism

Manyonda first became involved in trade union activity when he became a member of ZAPU.

He obtained a post as an accounts clerk for Charles W Hall Ltd, a hosiery manufacturing company. Manyonda was then elected chairman of a branch of the Textile Workers’ Union of Rhodesia which was formed by the workers at Charles W Hall Ltd. The union’s name was changed to the United Textile Workers Union of Rhodesia at a national meeting in Kadoma. Manyonda was elected its president.

When ZAPU split and ZANU emerged as its rival in 1963, Manyonda joined ZANU. He became vice-chairman of the Gweru branch and was increasingly involved in both political and trade union activities.

1966 Arrest

Manyonda was arrested in 1966 and began what turned out to be over two years of detention. On his release in 1968, he found himself unemployable in industry.

He then obtained a full-time position with his union, first resigning his presidency which had continued during his detention. Manyonda organised the publication of a union newspaper, which led to his election as publicity secretary for the African Trade Unions Congress.

British Scholarship

Manyonda left Rhodesia in 1970 after obtaining a British government grant to study industrial relations in the UK.


He returned to Zimbabwe after independence and worked in various Government departments until his appointment as [[]Manicaland]] Provincial Governor. He also served as the Deputy Minister of Industry and International Trade.

The Zimbabwe 1985 Parliamentary Election, Buhera North returned to parliament:

Defeating Morgan Tsvangirai

In the 2000 Elections, (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Buhera North returned to Parliament:

  • Kenneth Vhundukai Manyonda of Zanu PF with 12 850 votes,
  • Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC with 10 316 votes.


Manyonda's nephew, Misheck Mugadza, who was Mutasa South MP, revealed Manyonda's death to the media on 9 November 2022. Mugadza said Manyonda died in the early hours of 9 November 2022 at Marlborough Clinic in Harare where he was admitted. He said he had been unwell for some time.

Manyonda was the acting Chief Nerutanga at the time of his death.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, on 11 November 2022, announced that Kenneth Vhundukai Manyonda had been declared a national hero. [2]


Manyonda was buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on 19 November 2022. The funeral was presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Further Reading

  1. Former Governor Manyonda dies, Cletus Mushanawani, published: 09 November 2022, retrieved: 12 November 2022
  2. JUST IN: Manyonda declared national hero, C Mushanawani, published: 11 November 2022, retrieved: 12 November 2022

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