Dr Strike Mkandla ‘s Profile One of The Contestants For The ZAPU Presidency


Political experience and involvement
• Was elected Secretary General (SG) of Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) in August 2016, after serving as Alternate Secretary General (ASG) from December 2012 to the 2016 Congress. Prior to the ASG appointment I was the Southern Region Chairperson of the ZAPU Advisory Committee (Think Tank), having resumed direct political activity upon retiring from the United Nations (UN) in 2010, and brought in by D. Dabengwa to dra0ft the ZAPU manifesto.
• ZAPU candidate for Mpopoma-Pelandaba in 2013 Harmonized Elections and also 2015 by-elections as well as 2018 elections.
• Had very early and accidental access to political meetings through being a young helper to famous politicians, climbing trees and football goalposts to mount public address systems (PAs) loud-speakers for them in Pelandaba and Iminyela (Bulawayo) during the National Democratic Party (NDP) in 1960 and Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) in 1961! Luminaries thus accompanied included Steven Nkomo, Amos Todd Msongelwa, Booysen Mguni, and Albert Nxele (later ZPRA military instructor in Morogoro, Tnanzania).
• After ZAPU was banned, I was recruited to set up cells and help coordinate them among students in Bulawayo schools, mainly primary).
This was an initiative of the Pelandaba Branch where Norman Mabhena, Public Nkomo, Josiah Jemelele Nkomo, and Gibson Nkomo (among others in the youth movement) lived and used as a base for networking with Bulawayo and other provinces of the underground movement. I was interrogated by police during the 1964 riots in schools against fee increases in Government schools but released for lack of evidence.
• In 1965-66 was organiser of the ZAPU network in Empandeni Secondary School, Plumtree, and was unearthed during disturbances. Was expelled from this Catholic school in August 1966 and subsequently banned through a government gazette from attending school (for life) in Southern Rhodesia.
• Combined running a study group (to complete studies to GCE “O” Level and beyond in 1966-69) and intense activity in the ZAPU underground youth network.
Was picked up from home in Pelandaba for interrogation and detained for short periods. Was at this point a Ndebele radio poet and character in radio plays.
• In 1969 the ZAPU underground decided to make two-way communication with ZAPU President Dr Joshua Nkomo instead of waiting for instructions carried by released detainees from camps in Gonakudzingwa Restriction Centre or smuggled through visiting family members.
Josiah Jemelele Nkomo and I spearheaded this perilous assignment under the political oversight of Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu. My assignment extended to conveying Dr Nkomo’s word to the leadership of ZAPU in the Lusaka external Headquarter in January 1970.
• In Zambia I was moved from Lusaka and was put in a special program at Luthuli Camp and later at Nkomo Camp.
Following sharp differences among the top political leaders there was a brief takeover by ZAPU guerrillas in March 1971 that led to the convening of the Mboroma Conference by Zambia.
One of the outcomes of Mboroma was the detention of 42 perceived leaders of the revolt (in which I was included).
After three years detention by Zambia on behalf of frontline states and a freedom campaign authorised by Joshua Nkomo, we were released on condition of getting admission to British learning institutions (the colonial power).
I ended up in UK universities in the period 1974-83after studying and teaching in detention in jails in Milima (Kasama) and Livingstone during detention, north and south in Zambia respectively.
• In UK I was active in ZAPU, National Union of Zimbabwe Students (NUZIS), Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), and associated with the Namibia Support Committee.
Was invited to be the first Coordinator of the Journal of African Marxists (JAM) which I did from 1979 until I got a job at the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) in1985, based in Lusaka. 2. Salient competencies and experience
• Over twenty years experience in policy development, analysis and presentation
 Rich experience in inter-organizational relations and partnership development (regional and global).
 Track record in organizing and managing complex, inter-disciplinary teams and processes.
 Experienced in developing, managing and promoting strategies, programmes, projects and packages.
 Varied experience in information management and communication, both internal and external, including production of books, manuals, journals, newsletters and roles in radio programmes.
 Demonstrated skills in working with inter-governmental, government, academic/research, non-governmental and civil society institutions and organizations. 3 Highlights of professional experience (2010 backwards)
 Occupied various positions in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1991. Was posted to Addis Ababa in March 2003 and served until retirement in March 2010 as UNEP Representative to AU, UNECA & Ethiopia
 Joined the newly created UNEP Division of Environment Policy Implementation (DEPI) in1998 and became Head of Technical Cooperation in the Capacity Building Branch (based at HQ in Nairobi), before being posted to Addis Ababa.
 From the UNEP Executive Office, joined the Information and Public Affairs Branch (IPA) later reorganized into the Division of Communications and Public Information (DCPI), ending up as Coordinator for Outreach (Agenda 21 Major Groups and other Stakeholders as well as UNEP National Committees globally).
 Served at UNEP headquarters as Consultant in the Office of the Executive Director (OED) for seven months in 1991, prior to becoming a regular staff member. Worked with and deputised the Policy Advisor and Coordinator for Outreach Activities.
 Prior to joining UNEP, was Head of Information and Documentation at the UN Institute for Namibia (UNIN), 1985-1990, a training and research institute that was wound up after Namibian independence.
In this capacity I was responsible for comprehensive socio-economic database (used as research back-up), institutional profiles and newsletters, press releases and media events, and management of documentation/abstracting and statistical services.
4. Educational qualifications
 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in International Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, 1983. (Theses on Guinea-Bissau).
 Master of Science (MSc) in International Relations, University of London, UK, 1978.
 B.A. (Hon) in Humanities (majoring in History and Philosophy), Middlesex Polytechnic, Enfield, London, UK, 1977.
5. Personal details Date of birth: 17 March 1948
Place of birth & Nationality : Mzingwane District, Zimbabwe. Marital status: Married (Dr. Mildred Mkandla) with three children Contact: strikemkandla@gmail.com Tel: +263773579326

Robert Tapfumaneyi


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