Paul Tangi Mhova Mkondo (23 December 1945 – 9 May 2013) was a Zimbabwean nationalist, academic, and businessman. Mkondo was born in 1945 in Fort Victoria,(now Masvingo). He was the third born in a family of 18 children, the second son of Tangi Mkondo. Paul grew up in Nerupiri Village in Gutu a district of Masvingo Province. He later moved with his father Tangi Mhova Mkondo, who was a very hard-working & disciplined farm manager (who was asked by the white farm owner to relocate with him because he trusted & respected his work ethics), to Schoora Estate in Marandellas (now Marondera) in Mashonaland East Province.Mkondo went on to become a full-time Outward Bound Instructor where he trained another future Nationalist Moven Mahachi who later on was to confide in him in advising & planning the escape of Robert Mugabe & Edgar Tekere to Mozambique alongside Chief Rekayi Tangwena (whom he had befriended as an Outward Bound instructor) to kick-start the Armed Struggle with the assistance of Samora Machel & FRELIMO guerrilla fighters. After a few years as an Outward bound Instructor and Scout in the Eastern Highlands,Mkondo decided to continue his education, as nobody in his family had yet gone to University, yet alone College. He enrolled at Bulawayo Polytechnic College to train in hotel catering, a course that was sponsored by the Rhodesian Breweries (Natbrew) and Anglo American Corporation. He was one of two African students accepted for this course as the rest were Whites and Coloureds. Whoever came first was to be offered a scholarship to study for a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Management at Blackpool Technical College (now Blackpool and The Fylde College) in the United Kingdom. Mkondo came first in the course, but was not offered the scholarship because of his colour. This was his first personal bitter taste of racial discrimination, as this scholarship was a lifetime opportunity to help him become the Family's breadwinner. Mkondo then relocated to Highfields Harare, & was successful in getting a job with the prestigious Park Lane Hotel as an assistant manager in charge of the kitchen. Because of a mishap at a white man's daughter's wedding where he soundly beat up (Mkondo was a trained champion boxer) some Rhodesian soldiers who were later found guilty and fined £25 each, he was barred from being employed by any white catering establishment in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). After being fired from Park Lane Hotel in Salisbury (now Harare), he got another job at the Federal Hotel owned by an Asian businessman. He found himself again at war with the Coloureds who could not accept a black manager.Entrepreneurship and businesses establishment.Mkondo negotiated with the Liquor Licensing Board, police and health inspectors which was approved. He applied for a stand in Highfield which site and plans were later sold to George Tawengwa who put up Mushandirapamwe Hotel, (1972) which stands up to today. He bought Club Hideout 99 in Lochinvar, which was used by fellow Nationalists of Guerilla Fighters as a meeting place to continue to plan the liberation struggle internally.It was also a designated underground weapons storage & hideout for the Guerillas, hence name Hide-Out ( similar to South Africa's Liliesleaf Farm.) Played a significant role in bombing of industrial petrol sites in Epworth.Mkondo in 1970 he was employed by Southampton Assurance Company as an agent selling life policies. From his earnings and commission he acquired two small cars and had them registered as taxis. He applied for a business stand with the City of Harare in Glen Norah, that of a service station. He named his taxi company Sharaude Glen Norah Taxi Services (Pvt) Ltd. He built a very modern garage and service station for his taxis. The taxi vehicles multiplied up to 120 and that made him own the second biggest taxi company in Rhodesia after Creamline Taxis. He was elected president of the Zimbabwe Metered Taxi Operators' Association.
Rhodesian Bush War (Chimurenga 2) Mkondo organised underground meetings for some of the political leadership, as many were his former teachers and colleagues from Thekwani High School in Plumtree. Some he had known since he had lived with them in Highfields Township in Salisbury (now Harare).When the war broke out, Mkondo sent his wife first overseas in order for further medical training in critical care and emergency training, to be a nurse on the frontline. Mkondo was to follow, as ZANU PF led by Herbert Chitepo and Josiah Tongogara were about to open up the Mozambican Front with the help of Samora Machel. Since Mkondo, through his scouting and outward bound training instructor years (where he was Moven Mahachi's instructee) had experience of the area, fewer knew the terrain like Mkondo, and he had decided to go to the frontline to assist the leadership opening up that sector. However, Chairman Chitepo relayed the message to Mkondo, that with Tongogara they had decided that he would be more effective staying within the country,as in the near future self made entrepreneurs like himself would be heavily required in helping reintegrate the thousands of guerrilla fighters, especially in the financial and commercial sector, which was a closed industry to the majority Africans. Paul Mkondo, was then appointed to the ZANU Treasury & Finance Committee responsible for raising Finances(Internal & External) working closely with people such as Enos Nkala, Bernard Chidzero, George Tawengwa, Ben Mucheche, Tobias Musariri Snr. and others in getting funding for the Guerilla Fighters in the frontline, and assisting with the transport and logistics of the new recruits to the Training Bases established in Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, China and Eastern Europe. Mkondo also played middleman between ZANU PF leadership detained in Gonakudzingwa and the leadership in exile. He regularly liaised with Mayor Urimbo, Mark Dube, Josiah Tungamirai & Rex Nhongo at the frontline.With no travel restrictions, and being a well known successful businessman in the international arena, Mkondo would travel internationally to promote ZANU-PF and oppose the Rhodesian government propaganda, where alongside Ambassador Stan Mudenge, Bernard Chidzero,he met with dignitaries such as USA President Gerald Ford, Henry Kissinger, Andrew Young and Pope John Paul II. As a team they were able to influence The American Government to push for talks which resulted in the Geneva Conference & Lancaster House Agreement. After the war, in honour of chairman Chitepo and Tongogara's vision, Mkondo helped many people especially the former guerrilla fighters into re-integrating into independent Zimbabwe especially in the financial and commercial sectors, and in economically empowering them or helping them become educated.He turned down many opportunities to work in multi-national companies overseas, especially in the western world or for foreign government agencies as they continuously tried to recruit him to meet the Nationalist goals he believed in.
Indigenous commercial farming Paul Mkondo was an established commercial farmer. He started farming Zimbabwe's staple maize in the late 1970s in Lochinvar and Southerton in Harare.He also was the first indigenous commercial poultry farmer to have his own brand: Paul Mkondo Poultry.In 1988, Mkondo purchased Inyatsi Farm in the Mazowe area. He joined the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), and was one of the founding members of the Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union (ICFU), formed in 1992 to represent black commercial farmers. Mkondo, as Vice-President – Affirmative Action of the IBDC organisation, was a founding father of the indigenisation and black economic empowerment of the Zimbabwean economy alongside similar business moguls and tycoons as Ben Mucheche (President),John Mapondera (Former President),Strive Masiyiwa,Chemist Siziba (former president),Jane Mutasa (IBWO),and James Makamba.This group worked on indigenisation laws with the support of the President Robert Mugabe, Vice-Presidents Simon Muzenda and Joshua Nkomo which formed the basis of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act of 2007. Death Mkondo, after spending almost a month in intensive care post surgery, died on 9 May 2013, in a Harare private hospital called Avenues Clinic in Zimbabwe.
Legacy First African Executive in Insurance Industry to be registered Life Million Dollar Rountable International.
One of the founding fathers of indigenization of Southern Africa Economy.
Main character Simbai Muhondo in Samuel Chimsoro's book 'Nothing is impossible' is based on Mkondo's biography.