Lookout Masuku
Lieutenant General
Native nameLookout Masuku
BornLookout Khalisabantu Vumindaba Masuku
(1940-04-07)April 7, 1940
DiedApril 5, 1986(1986-04-05) (aged 45)
Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare
Cause of deathCryptococcal meningitis
Resting placeReburied at National Heroes Acre, Harare
Other namesMafela
OccupationPolitician, Military Leader
Years active1960s to 26 December 1979
EraSecond Chimurenga, Rhodesian Era
EmployerZimbabwe African People's Union,
OrganizationZimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army
Known forLeading the Army
Notable workLeading the ZIPRA Forces
Home town[[ ]]
Opponent(s)Rhodesian Front Party
Spouse(s)Gift Masuku
ChildrenThokozile, Zakheleni

Lookout Khalisabantu Vumindaba Masuku was a former guerrilla leader and Deputy Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army. To his confederates he was also called Mafela


Lookout Masuku was born on the 7th of April 1940. He married Gift Masuku and together they had two children Thokozile and Zakhelini.

Military Career

During the Second Chimurenga Masuku was the commander of the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army, the military wing of ZAPU. He became commander after the death of Alfred Nikitha Mangena in 1978. Masuku was commander from 1978 up to Independence in 1980. After independence, Masuku served as the Deputy Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army and held the rank of Lieutenant General. He held this post until his arrest in 1982.

Arrest and Detention

In 1982 Lookout Masuku together with Dumiso Dabengwa the Zipra Intelligence chief were arrested for allegedly planning a coup d'état against then-Prime Minister Robert Mugabe. They were detained until 1983. In 1983 the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe found Masuku and Dumiso Debengwa not guilty of the charges. However, the police refused to release them and invoked emergency regulations, holding the for four years. On the 11th of March 1986, the government released Lookout Masuku and Vote Muza, a ZAPU official due to poor health.


Masuku died on Saturday the 5th of April 1986 at 2 pm, at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare from Cryptococcal Menengitis. However, SW Radio Africa expressed doubt over the official cause of death. They described it as "suspicious." The government denied Masuku the status of "National Hero."

Lt General Lookout Masuku was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo on Saturday 12th April 1986. Ten of thousands of people came to pay their last respects. Joshua Nkomo was the main speaker at the funeral and he gave one of the greatest speeches of his life. You can read the speech [here].

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