12 Deaths That Shook Zimbabwe

Death is never an easy subject. Even if someone is on life support, we always hope, wish and pray for the best. No matter how sick someone might be, their death will always shake us because we are never pessimistic on this regard. These are some of the 12 deaths that shock Zimbabwe.

12. Tongayi ‘Dhewa’ Moyo

Tongayi passed on on 15 October 2011 after battling cancer. He was 43 at the time of his death.  Tongayi was a Sungura Musician whose greatest hits were Samanyemba and Kuchengera Rudo just to name a few. Tongayi was known to be a sharp dresser and he was loved by many. His death hit the music arena the hardest as he was a very loved entertainer.

11. Sam Mtukudzi

Young Sam was the only son of the legendary musician Oliver Mutukudzi. Sam died on 15 March in 2010 together with his friend and sound engineer Owen Chimhare after their car crashed into a bridge in Harare. Sam was a musician like his father and sister and he was poised to rise to their level because he was talented. Sam’s death shook Zimbabwe as he died so young with so much potential.  He was 21 at the time of his death.

10. Lookout Masuku

Lt General Masuku died on 5 April 1986, 2 days before his 46th birthday. In 1982, Lookout was imprisoned together with Dumiso Dabengwa for treason. Though the court acquitted them the authorities decided to hold them a further 4 years citing security reasons. Lookout was released from prison on 11 March 1986 because of his poor health and he died 25 days later. It is believed Lookout while in hospital asked to say goodbye to his friend Dumiso Dabengwa but his request was denied. Lt Gen Masuku was the commander of the ZIPRA Army during the Second Chimurenga. Thousands of people attended his burial including Cde Joshua Nkomo who gave a touching speech and said

He is not being buried at the Heroes’ Acre. But they can’t take away his status as a hero. You don’t give a man the status of a hero. All you can do is recognise it. It is his.

9. Vimbayi Tsvangirayi Java

16 months after her famous father’s demise, the Glen View electorate was robbed of yet another Tsvangirai. Vimbai’s death shook most Zimbabweans as she was young, vibrant and full of life probably at her prime in life. Vimbai died on 10 June 2019 after she had been in hospital following an accident that claimed the lives of the 2 people she was travelling with. She was given a send-off befitting a queen by her constituency and her party the MDC Alliance.

8. Oliver Mtukudzi

Tuku’s death came as a shock to many people. Very few people had been aware of Tuku’s ill health as he had performed in Harare a few weeks earlier. Tuku was declared a national hero who was supposed to be buried at the national heroes’ acre. But his family wanted to bury him at their rural home in Nedziwa. The famous Doek For Tuku Challenge of ladies wearing headscarves to honour Tuku went viral on social media in honour of Tuku.

7. Parrafin

Baba va Sorobhi died on 29 of June 1997 after a short illness. He remains one of the most celebrated icons of Zimbabwe’s film industry whose brilliance is only rivalled by a few individuals such as Mukadota and Mutirowafanza. Paraffin was known for his brilliant hilarious drama and famous sayings such as “…… kudefender ini? Ndiri Bhora ini?…” ( you can’t defend me because I don’t need to be defended). Parrafin died at the prime of his career as Zimbabwe was yearning for more.

6.System Tazvida

Nyasha died when he was only 30 years old and at the prime of his career. System as he was affectionately known, was a Sungura musician maestro. He was so popular for his songs which are still fresh today like Smoko Moto, Anodyiwa Haataure, Ndiridze Mhere just to name a few. System died on 4 February 1999 but his music lives on.

5. Solomon Mujuru

What may have shocked Zimbabwe more was how he died. Gen Mujuru died in a fire at his farm in Beatrice on 15 August 2011. The fire that killed him was suspicious and many publications speculated about the cause of his death. Wikipedia quoting BBC and Mail and Guardian compiled this:

He had stopped at the Beatrice Hotel, 60 km south-west of Harare, where he had drunk and chatted with patrons; he was having an early night before a long journey the next day. A maid and guard at the farm testified they heard gunshots two hours before flames were seen at his farmhouse. Mujuru had left groceries and his cell phone in his car, something he had never done before. The general had taken 40 minutes to drive from the hotel to his farm, a journey of 10 minutes. The lone policeman was asleep at the time, and after he awoke, he had no airtime, and the radio was broken. When the firetruck arrived it had no water.

4. Simba Mhere

Probably the saddest death of 2015. Simba Mhere was a Zimbabwean based in South Africa he died on 31 January 2015. He was a presenter at SABC 3’s flagship show Top Billing, a job every young person would kill for. Simba was killed in an accident when his father was taking him to the airport where he was supposed to go for some awards in Capetown. He died on the spot together with his friend who was in the car together with them. Just like many people on this list he died at the prime of his career.

3. uMdala Wethu

Probably the most beautiful life story that can be told is told about this man. Father Zimbabwe was born in 1917 in present-day Bulilima area. He came from a well up family and went to a private school in Durban before studying Economics at the University of South Africa. When Nkomo came back to Zimbabwe he started working and like Tsvangirai he was also a trade unionist. Though Nkomo died having lived a dynamic full life at 82, his death was shocking to many Zimbabweans as he was loved and adored by many Zimbabweans.

2. Morgan Tsvangirai

On 15 February 2018 when I was in a combi on my way to work, the conductor had forgotten to collect the fare. When he was asked if he didn’t want his money, he said, forgive me for I have lost hope for Zimbabwe I was lost in my thoughts. In as much as Morgan Tsvangirai was the leader of the opposition party, he was more than that. To scores of people, he was hope for them for a shuttered country. Morgan Tsvangirai died on 14 February 2018. He was Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister during the GNU era and was the leader of the biggest opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change.

1. Yogo Yogo

Blessing Makunike died on 13 March 2004 in a car accident when he was coming from a match in Bulawayo. Yogo Yogo, as he was know was a great soccer player who died during his prime time. In early 2004, he attended trials with EPL’s  Arsenal but he passed on before the finalisation of the offer. At the time he was also being pursued by South African Jomo Sono, on behalf of his premier league club Jomo Cosmos F.C.

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Blessing MakunikeSimba MhereLookout Masuku

Blessing "Yogo Yogo" Makunike was a former CAPS United Football Club and Zimbabwe national team midfielder who died in a tragic accident coming from a soccer match in Bulawayo. Read More About Blessing Makunike

Simba Mhere was a Zimbabwean TV personality known mostly for being the presenter of the Top Billing tv show on South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Mhere died at 26 in a car crash in the early hours of Saturday, 31 January 2015 in Johannesburg, South... Read More About Simba Mhere

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


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