1980 – Member of Parliament, ZANU PF, Victoria Constituency
1980 – Deputy Minister of Health, Zimbabwe
Simon Mazorodze was born at Nhamo Kraal in the Mondoro Tribal-Trustland, Hartley District on 29th November 1933.
His father was a postman and his mother was an active church member, being chairman of the Methodist Sangao rural area. She had poor sight and he says he learned a great deal of religious knowledge while at school because he was obliged to read the Bible for his mother.
He attended several primary schools: Mufuka, Chibero, Marshall Hartley and finally completed standard 6 in 1949 at Waddilove. He went on to become a successful scholar at Goromonzi Secondary School, joining in the Boy Scout movement, and becoming the school’s Head Boy. He says he had no deep interest in politics at this stage but was a member of the non-racial Capricorn Africa Society and met members of the MRA.
He became involved with student politics while studying medicine at the University of Natal in Durban, but concentrated on qualifying with an MB. Ch.B. in 1962, and later, while a Senior Registrar at Harare Hospital, specialising in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1967.
In 1963 Simon Mazorodze became a founder-member of ZANU but as a civil servant he had to work underground, giving support in finance and assisting refugees leaving the country under the prevailing political system.
In 1967 he was transferred from Harare Hospital to Ndanga in the Victoria area as District Medical Officer to Ndanga Hospital and associated rural hospitals in the Ndanga, Bikita and Gutu districts. He was involved with administrative and forensic work as part of his duties.
Simon left the government service in 1974 when he set up his won private practice in Fort Victoria (Masvingo). he could now become more actively political and was soon in touch with the ZANU headquarters in Mozambique.
From now on, life was to become very different for Dr Mazorodze. He risked death in giving all the assistance he could to wounded guerrillas. Working as an ordinary doctor by day and organizing the Party by night – there was an underground organisation in the townships – he often crept out of the town to attend to a wounded guerrilla, and would have to work under unusual bush conditions. He learned, like Dr Ushewokunze, to administer what he called “cocktail anesthetics” (intravenously) for the amputation of limbs, digits and even opening the abdomen. He says he lost “only one bloke, due to excessive bleeding. There were no transfusions.”
Part of his task was to bury medical supplies in caches to be used when needed. Drugs were sealed in metallic trunks and buried in caves. The hiding places could be identified only by the highest of the military command. There were some very inaccessible places known only originally to the locals, who became very helpful.
“There were huge bats, the mummified remains of chiefs and wild cats in places hitherto regarded by tribesmen as sacred and secret places for the burying of their dead chiefs. We have since been and recovered some of the material we buried, and it is in remarkably good condition,” says the doctor.
When Simon Mazorodze started organising for the elections, he was arrested. He was driven off from his home where two of his children were sleeping, at gunpoint at dead of night by a local PATU stick. We was picked up because it had been discovered that he had treated a locally trained guerrilla. Dr Mazorodze was freed the following day only to be arrested and detained for a week. After several other arrests and release he was finally charged as an accessory after the fact for murder. He had treated a guerrilla who had been injured in an attack on a civilian in which the civilian had died. He was freed on bail and while free applied for, and obtained, a job as senior House Surgeon at Harare. Because of the elections, the murder charge against him was subsequently dropped.
He speaks of the tremendous organising effort that went into the election campaign in Salisbury (Harare). Going from house to house and having house meetings took a great deal of time but he believes that ZANU had swung support in their favour by the end of November. “We tipped the balance in Highfield; Gillingham was easy bu Mufakose took more effort,” he says. The rural areas presented fewer problems. Larger and larger crowds came to meetings held at incredibly short notice, and Simon believes that the first breakthrough had come when 50,000 people walked to the airport to greet the homecoming commanders from Mozambique.
Dr Simon Mazorodze, like his colleagues, is looking forward to the reconstruction program for the country. he syas the military will want all of the clinics and hospitals opened within three months of the ending of the war. Health has been a victim too, of the war, he believes. Since the Easter death of the motor cyclists on the Beit Bridge road near Chibi, hospitals and clinics have been closed at Chibi, Mashati, Chikuku and others. After looting by tribesmen, they are going to need huge sums to get them going again.
Dr Mazorodze won his seat in the Victoria constituency for ZANU PF and was appointed Deputy Minister for Health.
In addition to his interest in medicine, Dr Mazorodze is a Master Farmer, a member of the Pig Breeders Industry and Cattle Breeders Association.
He married Alice Jean Madinga while working at King Edward Hospital in South Africa. She worked underground with him in the struggle. They have three children.