Robson Manyika was a Zimbabwean nationalist. During his political career he held various positions in both ZANU and ZAPU.


Manyika was born in 1935 in Goromonzi. His father was a farmer in the Msingesi African Purchase Area.[1]

Wife and Children

He met and married his wife in Zambia and they had two children. She followed him to Mozambique during the war years.[1]


Robson Manyika went to Chikwaka Primary School and was a boarder at Chiwiza Secondary School near Marandellas now Marondera. He went to Que Que United Mission School and then completed his secondary education by correspondence.[1]

Second Chimurenga Contribution

His interest in politics started in 1958 when he joined the ANYL which was the first organised political grouping in Salisbury.

Manyika also joined the NDP, a union of the Mashonaland and Matebeleland early political groups which was formed in 1960. He was subsequently elected organising secretary for youth.

He continued in his role as organising secretary for youth in ZAPU, the party formed after the beginning of the NDP in December 1961.

Manyika was arrested in 1961.

Manyika later joined the armed struggle. In 1965 he was appointed Chief of Staff in ZAPU and operated in Zambia and Tanzania where he recruited and trained Freedom Fighters. Manyika worked with Dumiso Dabengwa, Achim Ndhlovu and others who later became top commanders in the Liberation Armies. He received his military training in the Soviet Union between 1964 and 1965. He was also sent to Cuba for a 15-month refresher course.

In 1970, Manyika left ZAPU and joined ZANU. He was placed on probation for six months while in Zambia where he joined the military wing of ZANU. By 1972 Manyika had been appointed as a military and political Commissar and operated between Zambia and Tanzania.

1n 1973 Robson Manyika was appointed chief commandant of training and personnel and by 1976 he was able to move into Mozambique. During this early phase of his military career, he had been a member of the High Command (beginning in 1965) and of the military council to 1976. Manyika was arrested in Zambia following the death of Hebert Chitepo.

He served as Central Committee of ZANU and Secretary of Manpower, Planning and Labour between 1977 and 1979.

He began to play an important role in the political as well as the military organization in ZANU. He went to Geneva, and had attended the talks at Malta and finally at Lancaster House with Josiah Tongogara to advise the politicians on the military aspect of the settlement discussions.[1]

After Independence

After independence, Manyika was elected into Parliament under a ZANU (PF) ticket in the Mashonaland West constituency. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 ROBSON DAFORD MANYIKA, Colonial Relic, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: January 22, 2021