Timeline: The life of Nathan Shamuyarira

NS TitleUntitled-2Former minister and retired Zanu PF Information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira died on Wednesday night at West End Clinic in Harare. He was 85.

Here is a timeline of his life and career.


  • Born on 29 September 1928.
  • Attended Waddilove Institute and qualified as a primary school teacher.
  • 1950-53 he taught animal husbandry at Domboshava and then in 1953 Shamuyarira got a job as a cub reporter with African Newspapers Ltd.
  • Become the first black African editor of the Daily News in 1956.
  • From 1959 to 1962 he was editor-in-chief of African Newspapers Ltd, at which time he left journalism.
  • Left Southern Rhodesia in 1964 to study Political Science at Princeton University in the United States – graduating in 1967.
  • Appointed a lecturer at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, where he doubled up as ZANU’s secretary for external affairs.
  • In 1970, he and Cde James Chikerema engaged in deliberations on unifying ZANU and ZAPU in Zambia resulting in him resigning his lectureship to take up the post of treasurer for the new Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe in 1971.
  • In 1973 he resigned from his position as treasurer and returned to his lectureship in Dar-se-Salaam.
  • Appointed Minister of Information and Tourism in 1980.
  • 19 October 1980 he reimplemented the screening of foreign journalists. Journalists had to have a work permit approved monthly by the government.
  • He retired from active politics in 2010 due to deteriorating health.

What he said:

In March 2005 he referred to prominent government critic and archbishop Pius Ncube as a

Ncube Piuss
Pius Ncube

mad, inveterate liar. He has been lying for the past two years. He, however, fits into the scheme of the British and Americans, who are calling for regime change and are feeding him with these wild ideas. Archbishop Ncube’s open call for an unconstitutional uprising shows he is an instrument of the West’s illegal regime change agenda.

In October 2006 Shamuyarira, making reference to the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s, sparked outrage when he declared Mugabe and the late cabinet minister Edison Zvobgo were wrong to apologise for the North Korea-trained 5 Brigade massacres in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands. He was quoted as saying,

'They made us sing' painting about Gukurahundi by Owen Maseko

No, I don’t regret. They (5 Brigade) were doing a job to protect the people.



He later said his comments were taken out of context, but refused to condemn the incident, saying,

That’s a situation that we would like to put into history. It’s not a fair question to put to me, why should I be answering this 25 years later?


Portfolios held in government

Zimbabwe's ruling party spokesman Nathan

 Additional information: wikipedia

Additional pictures: osisa.org and colonialrelic.com