1963 National Councillor, PCC.
1973 National Organising Secretary, ANC.
1975 (Sept.) Member Central Committee, ANC (Nkomo).
1975 (Sept.) National Organisation Secretary (2), ANC (Nkomo).
Killion Bhebe was born at Hogo in the Gwelo (Gweru) District on 1 May 1928. The second child in a family of seven, he was brought up to be a farmer like his father. He attended numerous primary schools: Shaungwe at Selukwe (Shurugwi), Hogo at Gwelo (Gweru), Dadaya Mission, and Hanke Mission. He then returned home to Gwelo (Gweru) where, as a mature student, he repeated and passed Standard VI at the mission school. He later farmed in the Chitombo Rwizi Purchase Area in the Sinoia (Chinhoyi) District.
While at Gwelo (Gweru) Mission he had become involved in political discussions with several of his teachers (including two American missionaries, Miss Collin and Miss Walen) as well as the headmaster, Mr Shanda. Withthe growth of political consciousness in the country it was a logical step for Killion Bhebe to join the NDP on its formation in january 1960. Soon afterwards he was appointed a branch chairman in the organisation. When the NDP was banned in December 1961 he joined ZAPU. When this, too was banned (September 1962) he remained with Joshua Nkomo, becoming a National Councillor1 in the PCC.
He was restricted to Gonakudzingwa in 1964 but moved to Gwelo (Gweru) Prison in 1966. From there he went to Wha Wha for a year, returning to Gwelo (Gweru) in 1967 for a further period of three years before being released in 1970. While in prison he studied bookkeeping, obtained General Certificate of Education ‘O’ Level passes in British Constitution and Commerce, and secured a diploma in Poultry, Piggery and General Business Management. During his spells at Gonakudzingwa he showed his ability as an organizer, being placed in charge of all camp activities.
On leaving prison he followed his family to Chirau where they had established themselves after his farm had been repossessed by the Government during his absence.
When the ANC was formed in December 1971 he became the Organising Secretary for Mashonaland. He was later placed in charge of defence and legal affairs. With the arrival of the Pearce Commission he was at once involved in the sort of organisational work that he liked best. This led to his arrest, but after a period of 20 days he was released. In 1973 he was appointed National Organising Secretary of the ANC.
In September 1975 he was ‘expelled’ from the ANC (along with Joshua Nkomo and Samuel Munodawafa) ‘in order to protect the integrity, unity and security of the Council’.2 He was active in the preparations for the congress held at Gwanzura Stadium on 27-28 September at which he was elected one of the four Organizing Secretaries and a member of the Central Committee.
Killion Bhebe is married, with seven children – six of whom are at school. The eldest (by his first marriage) looks after the family farm while his father is absent on political work.
1 One of a large group attached to the central committee.
2 The Rhodesia Herald, 12 September 1975.