1979 – Delegate for ZANU to Lancaster House

1980 – Member of Parliament for Victoria Constituency, ZANU PF

1980 – Deputy Minister of Finance, Zimbabwe Government

Oliver Munyaradze was born on 17th October 1933 at Morgenster Mission Hospital near Fort Victoria (Masvingo)1

He was one of five children; two boys and three girls.  His parents were members of the Dutch Reformed Church.  Oliver later broke away from this church and became a Methodist.  His father was an agricultural demonstrator, trained in Domboshawa.

He received his early education at Kwenda Mission in the Charter District.  He showed an early aptitude for the sciences and after secondary education at Goromonzi School he qualified as a doctor seven years after he entered medical school at the University of Natal, Durban.  This was in 1963 when Oliver was 30 years old, and he returned to serve his housemanship and to become Senior Registrar at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo and then he transferred to Harare Hospital in 1968.  Between 1969 and 1970 he went back to his studies and obtained his F.R.C.S in General Surgery (Glasgow and England).   He returned to Harare Hospital until 1973, this time as Senior Registrar in Surgery. He went to Bulawayo as a government consultant surgeon in 1974 and returned once more to Salisbury (Harare) as Consultant Surgeon in 1975. 

He was detained in August 1976.  The reason? None was given, but he believes that to be black and a sympathiser in touch with ZANU was enough.  He had shown some opposition, too, to the system, before Zimbabwe’s Independence, in the medical field. 

Oliver Munyaradze was subjected to solitary confinement at Buffalo Range for two months, and then he spent two months in Gatooma prison.  Here, he remembers, he shared his lot with Enos Nkala, the veteran ZANU official. 

Released on 22nd December 1976, he returned to his previous job.  There was some dispute among the authorities about his reinstatement and Oliver is pleased to report that his supporters won.  But there was an atmosphere of suspicion in which he could not continue to work and he resigned in 1978 and joined the staff at the University of Rhodesia.  Here he was put “on ice” for 18 months. 

In August and September 1979 Mr Munyaradze was practicing surgery when the Lancaster House Conference began.  At its conclusion he was asked by ZANU PF, the Party he says he has always supported, to contest the Victoria Province.  He won his seat and was appointed Deputy Minister of Finance. 

Oliver Munyaradze expresses no surprise at the outcome of the struggle which has yielded a resounding victory for ZANU PF but he insists that the struggle is not yet over.  It has to be won in the economic and social field, he says. 

He has played his part in the social field in the past in working with welfare organisations: Christian Care, the Council of Churches and Jairos Jiri

He is married and has three sons.  His wife is Matron at the Harare Maternity Hospital. 

1. “I am the only one of us (ZANU PF leaders) born at Zimbabwe,” he jokes.