Simbi Mubako
Simbi Mubako.jpg
BornSimbi Veke Mubako
(1936-04-20) April 20, 1936 (age 86)
EducationRoma; London School of Economics
Alma materHarvard Law School
Known forBeing Gen. Josiah Magama Tongogara’s Defensive Legal Counsel in Zambia concerning Barrister Herbert Wilshire Chitepo’s Assassination Trial; Nationalist.
Notable workFirst Zimbabwean Justice Minister post independence
Home townMasvingo
ChildrenTaka Mubako, Pfumo Mubako

Simbi Veke Mubako is a lawyer, former High Court judge and former Ambassador to the United States of America. He was the first Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in independent Zimbabwe.

  • Lecturer in Laws, University of Zambia 1970-1976
  • University of Southampton 1977-1979
  • Professor, and Dean of Law, University of Lesotho 1979-1980
  • Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs 1980-1984
  • Minister Home Affairs 1984-1985
  • Minister National Supplies 1985-1990
  • Minister of State for Regional and Institute Organization Company ordination 1990
  • Ambassador to the USA 2001

Personal Details

Born: 20 April 1936. Zaka. His parents are Paul Vuta and Serudzai Mubako.[1]
Married: 1970, to Hazel Christie (a Medical Doctor) from Jamaica. They have two boys and a girl.

School / Education

He attended Chitungwizha Secondary School (See Seke Secondary School) to O Level.
He graduated with a BA degree in political science and history from Roma College, Lesotho and later obtained law degrees from Trinity College (Dublin) under a Sida scholarship.
Master of Laws (LLM) and Master in Philosophy (MPhil) in constitutional law at the London School of Economics and an LLM at Harvard University and Knightsbridge University, UK. [2] He also obtained a diploma from the University of Oslo. He was a lecturer in law at Southampton University (UK) from 1976 to 1979. [2]

Service / Career / Events

Mubako began his career as a journalist and was one of the founders of the Weekly News and Moto Magazine in 1958. [3]

He was a student in Dublin in 1963 when Zanu was formed, and he joined with most students. He became a personal friend of Herbert Chitepo.

Chitepo died when I was in the United States, and I returned to find that ZANU was in pieces. The whole High Command and Central Committee was in detention and five in Zambia were in jail on the wake of the Chitepo murder.

Simbi Mubako gave legal advise to all of these people. To keep up negotiations to form the Patriotic Front Mubako, Simon Muzenda, and Joseph Taderera would take orders from those in detention and liase with George Silundika, Jason Moyo and Dan Madzimbamuto of ZAPU. He also drove ZAPU commanders such as Nikita Mangena and Ambrose Mutinhiri to confer with Josiah Tongogara in jail. [3]

He also gave legal advice to his party in Malta and Dar-es-Salaam.

He lectured at the University of Zambia where he provided legal advice to detainees from 1970 to 1976.

Mubako worked closely with the late Zanla commander, Josiah Tongogara during the Second Chimurenga.

He played a key role in the crafting of the Mgagao Declaration, authored by young military officers at the main Zanla training camp in Tanzania. The declaration laid the basis for the removal of Ndabaningi Sithole as leader of Zanu. It also laid the foundation for the elevation of President Robert Mugabe as leader of the party at a special congress at Chimoio two years later in 1977.

In 1976, he led the Zanu legal team to the Geneva Conference and the conference leading to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979. He was in a Zanu PF group that included Tongogara, Josiah Chinamano, Herbert Ushewokunze, Eddison Zvobgo, Walter Kamba and Josiah Tungamirai.

Post 1980 Independence

In 1980, he was a member of the Senate.
Mubako was a professor and Dean at the University of Lesotho until he returned to Zimbabwe in 1980 and was appointed Minister of Justice in Mugabe’s first cabinet.

He was later appointed Home Affairs minister in 1984 and held that position until he was appointed Minister of National Supplies in 1985. Mugabe appointed him judge, before appointing him ambassador to the United States.

In the Zimbabwe 1985 Parliamentary Election, Ndanga East returned to Parliament:

In the 1990 Parliamentary Election (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Zaka East' returned to Parliament:

Turnout - 13 371 voters

In 1987, Simbi Mubako was Minister of National Supplies. It was procurement arm of government supplies and provided and maintained government vehicles and equipment. It was also the government tender authority. [4]

Position on 2000's Fast Track Land Reform Programme

In 2005 at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Mubako said the land reform was a “perfectly legal, fair and transparent” process. He said he was also a beneficiary of the land reform programme. Mubako said the land reform programme was justified because it was based on the principle of “abolishing the colonial legacy of racial privilege”.

In a discussion on torture, famine and violence in Washington in 2002 on a radio show on world affairs called Common Ground, Mubako said:

“The government of Zimbabwe does not torture anybody. There might have been some violence, but this violence is committed by individuals, who are punished if they are found guilty by the government of Zimbabwe. So this is ridiculous to say the government itself tortures people. It does not.”[2]

Position on US Sanctions on Zimbabwe

Mubako accused supporters of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 of racism.


Mubako was the Josiah Magama Tongogara Legacy Foundation. In 2012 he proposed that Boxing Day (26 December) be declared Tongogara Day.

Justice Mubako has adjudicated over many arbitration disputes since his retirement. See [[1]].


  1. Justice Mubako’s wife dies, The Herald, Published: 29 May 2013, Retrieved: 19 Oct 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Faith Zaba, Peace commission: Who will carry Zim’s burden?, The Financial Gazette, Published:2 Apr 2015, Retrieved: 25 Sep 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 [Diana Mitchell, African Nationalist Leaders in Zimbabwe: Who’s Who 1980], "African Nationalist Leaders in Zimbabwe: Who’s Who 1980, (Cannon Press, Salisbury, 1980), Retrieved: 16 November 2020
  4. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 3 August 2022