Speaking during a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Task-force on Enshrinement formed to develop a shrine known as Trabablas Trail at the Masvingo Railway station in remembrance of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s liberation war history yesterday, Roman Catholic priest Father Emmanuel Ribeiro revealed how Mnangagwa escaped the death sentence following his arrest together with other members of the Crocodile Gang.
Members of the Crocodile Gang were sentenced to death for bombing the Rhodesian locomotive at Fort Victoria railway station. Other members of the gang were executed but Mnangagwa survived because of his age. Father Ribeiro revealed how he played a part on the removal of Mnangagwa from death row. Said Father Ribeiro:
I went to his (President Mnangagwa) holding at Harare Central Prison and asked him whether he had written a letter to the president (Rhodesian president at the time was Clifford Dupont) and he said to me why should I waste my time writing the letter, what will it change. I went to his cell again when things had really gotten tough in the country and looked at him and said to myself, but this is just a boy. I don’t want to say much about the other things, but I went to the doctor at the prison Dr Lavaccoco and told him that he (President Mnangagwa) was just a boy and he went and looked at him. After looking at him and he was convinced that he was indeed just a boy he (Dr Lavaccoco) wrote his report that was attached to the other papers that were sent to president Dupont. I was surprised to see him after two weeks walking freely inside the prison complex having been removed from death row his sentence commuted to some years in jail. He then started his education, which he continued after his transfer to Khami Prison where he completed his sentence before being released.
Fort Victoria was founded in 1890 and was Rhodesia's first town. In the early years it was also the first town reached by the visitor to Rhodesia, but was soon eclipsed by Bulawayo once the railway arrived there in 1897 and henceforth that city became... Read More About Fort Victoria
Rhodesia was a British colony established in Southern Africa which was established in the early 1890s. The colony was christened after Cecil Rhodes who was the founder of the British South Africa Company (BSAC) which effected the colonisation of the Shona and Ndebele communities of... Read More About Rhodesia
Khami is one of the five districts of Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. Read More About Khami