November 2, 1938
|Died||June 20, 2009(aged 70)|
Patrick Kombayi was a politician who is said to have played a critical role in aiding the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army's (ZANLA) guerrillas during the Second Chimurenga. He was born on 2 November 1938 and he died on 20 June 2009. He was a prominent businessman during the liberation struggle and his club in Kafue in Lusaka, Zambia was used as a transit place by the ZANLA guerrillas. Kombayi, a student of Robert Mugabe, was the first black train driver in Zimbabwe. He joined Rhodesia Railways after pursuing an unsatisfying career as a schoolteacher. Posted to Zambia, Kombayi became involved with the Zimbabwe African National Union..
He was once a former mayor of Gweru, served as a Member of Parliament for Gweru-Chirumhanzi. He later defected from the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) to join the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM), a political party which was formed by Edgar Tekere who was also an ex-ZANU PF senior member. He was controversially shot in 1990 and it was reported that he was shot by Simon Muzenda's (late vice first vice president of Zimbabwe) bodyguards who were pardoned by Robert Mugabe though they were found guilty. He was a staunch member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and was aligned to Morgan Tsvangirai's faction until the time of his death.
Kombayi was a member of ZANU PF during the liberation struggle and he aided the party's military wing financially. He procured arms and ammunition of ZANLA. He is also credited for distributing food stuffs and clothes to both families of the detained ZANLA guerrillas and the party members and the guerrillas who used to collect war equipment from his club. For this sterling work he was doing, Kombayi was appointed as the head of the Food Committee during the liberation struggle.
During the detente period, 1975-1976 (a period when the liberation struggle had gone on abeyance), he filled the power vacuum created by the arrest of senior ZANU PF leaders on the basis that they were implicated in the assassination of Herbert Chitepo in 1975. It was during this period in which he was alleged that he began to harbour ambitions of being the president of the party. He tried to gain the support of the detained members of the High Command but he failed. Mugabe is said to have blocked Kombayi's ascendancy to power as he was also alleged to be harbouring ambitions of being at the helm of the party. This was on the basis that he was a senior member of the party, who had taught Kombayi for his primary education in Gweru.
Mugabe had been coincidentally released from prison at the time when most of the senior party members were being arrested. Hence according to him, he was the ideal candidate. It has been claimed that from then onwards, tension between Mugabe and Kombayi began to blossom to such an extent that Kombayi argued that Mugabe will persecute all his nemesis up to the grave including him.
After failing to clinch the highest and most prestigious post in the party, Kombayi began to demand to be repaid for all what he had done for the party. He however died yet to receive a dim from his former party.
The 1990 Tragedy
In the post independence era, Kombayi defected from ZANU PF and he became a member of ZUM which was formed by Tekere in the late 1980s after he had been expelled from ZANU PF in 1988. He was appointed as the National Organising Secretary of ZUM. Whilst campaigning for the 1990 elections he was shot on 24 March, three days before the elections for campaigning against Muzenda for a parliamentary seat in Gweru-Chirumhanzi constituency. It was alleged that the assassins, Elias Kanengoni who was said to be the Gweru Central Intelligence Organisation's leader, was Muzenda's body guard as well as Kizito Chivamba. The two were found guilty of the crime, sentenced but they were pardoned.
Reports from the police stated that Kombayi incited the violence which turned out to be nasty in the end. It was reported that before the shooting, Kombayi had followed Muzenda's vehicle, shot the tyres before setting the vehicle on fire. Kombayi brushed this, arguing that it was only a pretext for justifying a somewhat heinous crime committed by Kanengoni and Chivamba which left him permanently disabled. He went to the United States of America to seek treatment something which costed him a fortune as a result of an unexpected 'barbaric' event.
Kombayi’s 2006 Case
In March 2006 Kombayi won a defamation suit against Emmerson Mnangagwa for making false claims about his role in the liberation struggle. This had been published in an autobiography of Muzenda. Prior to that, Kombayi had assisted students from the Midlands State University (MSU) who had been expelled from the institution under undisclosed offences which were however suspected to be political.
Kombayi died in 2009. Kombayi was reported to have died from the wounds he sustained from the 1990 shooting though he had survived for about 19 years. The MDC faction under Tsvangirai tried to advocate for him to be conferred a hero status for the role he played during the liberation struggle. But he was unable to meet the criteria used for the hero selection by the then ZANU PF politburo.
Kombayi had a number of businesses both before and after independence. Before independence Kombayi was a "rich business man" in Zambia.
After independence Kombayi owned a number of business in Gweru where he resided, including the city's then largest hotel, the Midlands Hotel.
- , Patrick Kombayi 100 Greatest Zimbabweans, "100 Greatest Zimbabweans":,retrieved:8 July 2014"
- Fay Chung, Re-living the Second Chimurenga: Memories from the Liberation Struggle in Zimbabwe, "Weaver Press", published:2007,retrieved:8 July 2014"
- Patrick Kombayi, Robert Mugabe Challenged By Patrick Kombayi!, "Tekere Talks", published:8 Jul 2007,retrieved:8 July 2014"
- , Patrick Kombayi dies from CIO shootings, "The Zim Diaspora", published:21 Jun 2009,retrieved:8 July 2014"
- , Patrick Kombayi, "Who is log",:,retrieved:8 July 2014"
- Never Kadungure, MDC senator Patrick Kombayi dies in Gweru, "Nehanda Radio", published:21 Jun 2009,retrieved:8 July 2014"
- ,MDC pushes for Kombayi to be declared national hero, "ZimEye", published:23 Jun 2009,retrieved:8 July 2014"
- Fay Chung, Re-living the Second Chimurenga, Memories from the Liberation Struggle in Zimbabwe. Page:99. Weaver Press, 2006. ISBN 91-710655-1-2.