Mark Nziramasanga Zimbabwe Rhodesia African Nationalist Politics

Mark Nziramasanga

1960 Provincial Secretaryfor Manicaland, NDP.
1963 External Representative, PCC.
1972 Secretary for Labour, ANC.
1975 (Sept.) Publicity Secretary (2), ANC (Nkomo).

Mark Nziramasanga was born on 11 April 1931 at Chikaka Kraal, Zvimba Reserve, Sinoia (Chinhoyi) District. His father was a peasant farmer and a herbalist. Nziramasanga completed his primary education at Pakama Mission School in 1950 and then went to Kutama Secondary School for Forms I and II. After leaving school in 1952 he worked as a trade union official until 1961.

He joined the Bulawayo Branch of the (old) ANCongress in 1954. When the fusion of the ANC and the ANYL occurred in September 1957 he became Branch Secretary in Umtali (Mutare) of the re-formed ANCongress. He served a nine-month prison sentence in 1959 but was released in time to allow him to take an active part in the foundation of the NDP. He was appointed Provincial Secretary for Manicaland on a full-time basis. With the formation of ZAPU in December 1961 he was given the task of devising a party policy in regard to trade unionism1

In 1962 he was sent to Ghana “for ideological studies” and was away for eight months. When ZAPU was banned in September 1962 he was restricted for three months. In July 1963 he was appointed an external representative of the PCC and during the next year he travelled widely in Europe, Asia and America. Following the banning of the PCC in August 1964 he was at first detained at Wha Wha but subsequently restricted to the Tribal Trust areas for 12 months.

When the ANC was formed in December 1971 he was appointed Deputy Secretary for Labour (subsequently being promoted to Secretary). When the split occurred in September 1975 he adhered to Joshua Nkomo and was elected Deputy Secretary for Publicity at the congress held on 27 and 28 September.

Mark Nziramasanga is married with three children, one of whom is a nurse. He describes his interests as “football, church singing, trade unionism, politics, history and newspaper reporting”.

1 He was also active during this period in opening up new branches and in preparing and presenting papers on a wide selection of policy matters.