Wilf Mbanga is a journalist founder, editor and publisher of The Zimbabwean weekly newspaper. The paper is published in the United Kingdom and Johannesburg, South Africa. Mbanga was jailed in 2001 after being accused of fraud by the government. Before founding the Zimbabwean, Mbanga founded the first truly ndependent newspaper, The Daily News in 1999. He later relocated to the United Kingdom where he does his journalism work. One of the most experienced journalists, Mbanga had reported not only about Zimbabwe but on the region as a whole in countries including Mozambique and Zambia. While in the UK, he was told he that he was an enemy of the country and would face prosecution on his return to Zimbabwe. It was then that he decided to stay in the UK.
Wilf Mbanga started as a temporary teacher at in the 60s at St Peters Kubatana School a Jesuit founded community school in Highfield. At this School, Mbanga taught alongside now prominent people like Fay Chung.
Four years after founding of the Daily News, the paper was closed by the government. Known for criticising the government especially Mugabe. Mbanga was also arrested in 2001. The state-controlled media declared him an enemy of the people leading him to flea to the Netherlands. Whilst in the country he received a letter telling him the same and that he would face persecution on his return to Zimbabwe. He then decided to settle in the UK. After 40 years of extensive reporting Mbanga launched The Zimbabwean, a weekly newspaper. The paper started well with a modest circulation of 5,000 copies in the UK and South Africa.
Meeting with Mugabe
A young journalist then, Mbanga said his first encounter with Robert Mugabe was marvelous. In fact he said Mugabe was like a dream come true. He had common interest with him both being Catholics and loved their country.
Baba Jukwa Involvement
Mbanga reportedly wrote emails to the person behind Baba Jukwa. Some of them encouraging journalists to like the page as they would get story ideas there. One of Baba Jukwa's replies was to ask Mbanga if he could pay him if he could market his paper, The Zimbabwean. The full conversations between the two can be read on this link
As a result, Mbanga alleged lost an undisclosed amount of money. It had emerged that Mbanga agreed to pay Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio (alleged Baba Jukwa) for the latter to run a column on Mbangwa's newspaper not knowing that the duo were already correspondents for the newspaper.
Mbanga's parents were in the Rhodesia government's police intelligence division, The Special Branch. Special Branch JOC Officer. Dan Stannard said in an interview in 2008 when he was asked if there had been a tradition of sons working for the BSAP because their fathers or older relatives did,
That happened on many occasions, Wilf Mbanga for a start: his family, his brothers were all in CID, Special Branch with me and his uncle was a fantastic bloke. He was a Senior Warrant Officer in CID in Umtali when I was there and then he had a brother who was later OC, CID and very strong police background so yes, from that point of view there were families that traditionally carried on and joined the police but generally speaking it was the RAR who came from one area.
- Fay Chung, Re-Living the Second Chimurenga: Memories of the Liberation Struggle for Zimbabwe, 2005, ISBN: 1779220464
- Chris Kay, Wilf Mbanga: 'Zimbabwean government realised that burning the news attracts world headlines', 'Journalism', Published: 26 Nov 2009, Retrieved: 12 May 2014
- Chiara Caprio, Interview with Wilf Mbanga: so far, so close to Harare, 'Afronline', Published: 16 Feb 2011, Retrieved: 12 May 2014
- Wilf Mbanga duped, 'Sunday Mail', Published: 11 May 2014, Retrieved: 12 May 2014
- Dan Stannard, University of West England Rhodesian Forces Oral History Project, Retrieved: 10 April 2018