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Who is Who in Zimbabwe: Lookout Masuku

Lieutenant General Lookout Masuku (April 7, 1940 – April 5, 1986) commanded the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army, the militant wing of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union, during the Rhodesian Bush War.

Lookout Masuku (right)
Lookout Masuku (right)

He served as the deputy commander of the Zimbabwe National Army until his arrest in 1982 for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.

In 1982 Zimbabwean police arrested Masuku and Dumiso Dabengwa, the ZIPRA intelligence chief, for allegedly planning a coup d’état against then-Prime Minister Robert Mugabe.

The Supreme Court found Masuku, Dabengwa, and four others not guilty in 1983, but police detained them again under emergency regulations, holding them for four years.

The government released Masuku because of poor health and Vote Moyo, a ZAPU official, on March 11, 1986.

Masuku died on April 5, 1986. A spokesman for Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare said General Masuku was suffering from cryptococcal meningitis, an inflammation of membranes covering the brain.

Judith Todd, in her book Through The Darkness, expressed doubts whether the “specialist who attended to him was “indeed a specialist or even a registered doctor at all”.

At the funeral on April 12 1986 Joshua Nkomo summarised Masuku’s contribution to the struggle when he said “Mafela, Lookout after all his sacrifices, died a pauper in our own hands, we cannot blame colonialism and imperialism for this tragedy”.

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