1964-70 External Representative, ZANU.
1971 Chief Representative in East Africa, FROLIZI.
1975 (Sept.) Head of Publicity, Information and Research Bureau, ZLC.
Zebediah Gamanya was born at Nyamweda in the Hartley District in about 1936. His father, who was a tailor, became a Methodist in later life. His mother was also a Christian.
After attending local primary schools he went to Dadaya Mission in 1953. Here he stayed for two years, passing his UJC. His first job after leaving school was with the Central African Correspondence School where he was employed as a clerk. From the beginning he showed an interest in trade unionism and in 1956 he became a member of the Commercial and Allied Workers’ Union.
In 1957 he joined African Newspapers, leaving that company two years later to take a job with Rhodesia and Nyasaland Tobacco Company. However, by this time trade unionism was taking up a major part of his time and in 1959 he resigned from his job in order to become a permanent trade union official. He was appointed president of the CAWU.
Although a member of the ANCongress he was not involved in the arrests of February 1959. This left him free to join the NDP on its formation in January 1960.1 He was employed in the party on publicity work and was responsible for the production of Democratic Voice, the newspaper of the NDP. With the creation of ZAPU in December 1961 he continued in his work on publicity, but during the following year was sent to Dar-es-Salaam to undertake radio work – a job for which his fluency in English, Shona and Sindebele made him particularly suitable.
He worked in Dar-es-Salaam until 1964 when the opportunity occurred to study for a degree in the United States. He attended the University of Rochester, New York, until 1967, graduating B.Sc. and serving as Deputy Chief Representative for ZANU in America. In 1967 he moved to England to study law at the Inns of Court, but gave up his studies two years later and returned to Dar-es-Salaam in 1970. During his time in England he remained active in politics, serving once again as an External Representative of ZANU.
Back in Africa he resumed his broadcasting career, being appointed Deputy Chief of Information for ZANU. With the formation of FROLIZI in 1971 – a move which he welcomed as a step towards unity – he became Chief Representative of the new group in East Africa.
In addition to his political responsibilities Gamanya found time to enroll at the University of Dar-es-Salaam for an M.A. degree course. To obtain this degree it was necessary for him to pass five courses and to submit a thesis. He chose as his subject ‘Mass Media for Political Education for Tanzania and Zambia’. He completed his studies in August 1975.
When the Declaration of Unity was signed in Lusaka in December 1974 Gamanya joined the ANC. When the split occurred in September 1975 he adhered to Bishop Muzorewa and the ZANU faction and was appointed head of the Publicity, Information and Research Bureau of the ZLC.
He was subsequently offered a scholarship to study for a Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Ghana.
Zebediah Gamanya is married with a family. All his children are being educated in East Africa. His wife, who holds a Diploma in Education, teaches biology, English and library sciences.