Paul Tangi Mhova Mkondo

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Paul Tangi Mhova Mkondo
Paul TM Mkondo.jpg
ZANU PF Treasurer Mufakose Constituency
In office
ZANU PF Treasurer (Internal)
In office
Preceded by Enos Nkala
Succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa
Constitutional Commission of Zimbabwe, Deputy Chairman of Mashonaland Central
In office
21 May 1999 – 20 February 2000
Personal details
Born Paul Mkondo
(1945-12-23)23 December 1945  Zimbabwe
Fort Victoria, Southern Rhodesia (now Masvingo, Zimbabwe)
Died 9 May 2013(2013-05-09) (aged 67)
Avenues Private Hospital, Harare Zimbabwe,
Resting place Toma Village, Chief Svosve, Hwedza, Mashonaland East
18°37′00″S 31°34′00″E / 18.6167°S 31.5667°E / -18.6167; 31.5667
Political party ZANU PF
Spouse(s) Maud Mkondo
Relations Nhamodzinesu Mkondo
Parents Tangi Mhova Mkondo
Residence Old Marimba Park, Harare; Highlands, Harare; Inyatsi Farm, Mazowe;
Education Chemanza Mission School,Wedza; Thekwane High School, Bulilimamangwe;
Alma mater University of Zimbabwe,
Keele University,
University of Southern California
Occupation Businessman, Philanthropist, Philosopher, Nationalist, Academic, Entertainment Promoter
Known for Financial Insurance Guru, Real Estate, Transport Business, Nationalist, Founding Father of Indigenization & Black Economic Empowerment, Indigenous Commercial Farming, International Music Concerts Promotion, Philanthropy & Entrepreneur,

Paul Tangi Mhova Mkondo (23 December 1945 – 9 May 2013) was a Zimbabwean nationalist, academic, philantropist, and businessman.

Early life :1945-1954[edit]

Mkondo was born in 1945 in Fort Victoria, (now Masvingo). He was the third born in a family of 18 children, the second son of Tangi Mkondo. Paul grew up in Nerupiri Village in Gutu a district of Masvingo Province. He later moved with his father Tangi Mhova Mkondo, who was a very hard-working & disciplined farm manager (who was asked by the white farm owner to relocate with him because he trusted & respected his work ethics), to Schoora Estate in Marandellas (now Marondera) in Mashonaland East Province.[1]

Education and training 1955-1964[edit]

Mkondo did his Sub A (Grade 1) to Standard One (Grade 3) at Schoora Estate Primary School. After Standard One, Mkondo moved to another farm in Wedza, which became known as Edridge (Duva) Estate where he worked as a stable boy looking after horses, and then became the butler. During this time his father Tangi Mhova Mkondo joined fellow migrants recruited by Witswatersrand Native Labour Association (WNLA/ WENELA) to catch the Stimela train to work in the gold mines of Johannesburg. This was in order to pay for the controversial hut tax imposed upon black Rhodesians by the colonial government, as traditional subsistence farming did not generate enough income[2] to afford the tax. Mkondo had to work to support his mother and the rest of his siblings at a very young age. During the weekend he started weekend business of trading at the local market. He later went to Chemhanza Mission in Wedza, from 1957 to complete his primary education from Standard Two (Grade 4) to Standard Six. At Tegwani High School he met future fellow nationalists such as Canaan Banana and Edson Zvobgo. He was also classmates with union leader Gibson Sibanda. During school vacations, he used to enjoy the Outward Bound Camps, which were held at the Outward Bound Mountaineering Centre in Melsetter (now Chimanimani) in Manicaland Province. He became a part-time instructor which helped him self-finance his Secondary Education.

Mkondo went on to become a full-time "Outward Bound Instructor" where he trained another future nationalist, Moven Mahachi, who later on was to confide in him in planning the escape of Robert Mugabe and Edgar Tekere to Mozambique alongside Chief Rekayi Tangwena (whom he had befriended as an Outward Bound instructor) with the assistance of Samora Machel's FRELIMO party. After a few years as an Outward bound Instructor and Scout in the Eastern Highlands, Mkondo decided to continue his education. He enrolled at Bulawayo Polytechnic College to train in hotel catering, a course that was sponsored by the Rhodesian Breweries (Natbrew) and Anglo American Corporation. He was one of two black students accepted at the time for this course. The student who achieved the highest marks was to be offered a scholarship to study for a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Management at Blackpool Technical College (now Blackpool and The Fylde College) in the United Kingdom. Mkondo came first among the other students in the course, but was not offered the scholarship because of his colour.[1] This was his first personal taste of racial discrimination, as he believed the scholarship was a lifetime opportunity to help him provide for his family. Mkondo then relocated to Highfields Harare, obtaining a job with the prestigious Park Lane Hotel in Salisbury as an assistant kitchen manager. Due to an altercation with some soldiers at a wedding, Mkondo was fired and later barred from future employment at any catering establishment. He sought out another job at Salisbury's Federal Hotel, but again cited discrimination by the predominantly Coloured guests.[1]

Entrepreneurship and businesses establishment 1965-1969[edit]

Mkondo decided to open his own business in Lochinvar, and purchased the Club Hideout 99 with approval from the Rhodesian Liquor Licensing Board and the municipal authorities. This site later became an important meeting site for supporters of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), and stored weapons for the party's militant wing, the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA).[3] Mkondo also participated in a series of urban bombings, such as the sabotage of petrol installations in Epworth. Throughout the 1960s, he worked as an insurance & financial advisor. His business acumen and strong work ethic set off his entrepreneurial spirit which made him start a garage and taxi business in Machipisa, Highfields. Mkondo eventually founded his own taxi company, Sharaude Glen Noah Taxi Services (Pvt) Ltd, which came to own the second largest taxi fleet in Rhodesia. At some point he also served as president of the country's Metered Taxi Operators' Association.[4]

Political activity 1970-1980[edit]

Mkondo organised underground meetings for some of the political leadership, as many were his former teachers and colleagues from Thekwani High School in Plumtree.[5] Some he had known since he had lived with them in Highfields Township in Salisbury (now Harare). When the Rhodesian Bush War intensified after 1972, Mkondo sent his wife abroad for medical training with ZANLA.[citation needed] Mkondo intended to close his business and follow her into exile, but was dissuaded by Herbert Chitepo and ZANLA commander Josiah Tongogara, who recommended he stay inside Rhodesia and assist with the postwar economic reconstruction when hostilities ende[citation needed] He was, however, appointed to ZANU's Treasury and Finances Committee in recognition of his sympathy to the nationalist cause. On the committee, Mkondo worked closely with fellow ZANU supporters Enos Nkala, Bernard Chidzero, George Tawengwa, Ben Mucheche, Tobias Musariri Snr. and others to funnel money to ZANLA for arms.[6] He was also utilised as a liaison between the ZANU leadership detained in Gonakudzingwa by the Rhodesian Security Forces, and those such as Mugabe, who had fled to Mozambique. With no travel restrictions, and being a well-known successful businessman in Southern Africa, Mkondo took trips abroad to promote ZANU's cause with international figures such as US President Gerald Ford, diplomats Henry Kissinger, Andrew Young and Pope John Paul II.[1] He was instrumental in persuading the Ford administration to push for talks which resulted in the 1976 Geneva talks between black nationalists and Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith.[citation needed]

Following the election of Mugabe as prime minister in March 1980, Mkondo helped many former guerrilla fighters re-integrate into civilian life.[5] He turned down many opportunities to work in multi-national companies overseas, opting to remain in the new Zimbabwe.[citation needed]

Indigenous commercial farming :1980-2013[edit]

Paul Mkondo was an established commercial farmer. He started farming Zimbabwe's staple maize in the late 1970s in Lochinvar and Southerton in Harare.[citation needed] He also was the first indigenous commercial poultry farmer to have his own brand: Paul Mkondo Poultry.[citation needed] In the mid 1980s, Mkondo purchased Inyatsi Farm at competitive commercial agricultural property market rates at that time, from a white farmer in the Mazowe, Mashonaland Central area.[1] He joined the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), and was one of the founding members of the Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union (ICFU), formed in 1992 to represent black commercial farmers.[7]

Paul Mkondo in tobacco fields on his Commercial farm in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central

Mkondo, as Vice-President – Affirmative Action of the IBDC organisation,[8] was a founding father of the indigenisation and black economic empowerment of the Zimbabwean economy[improper synthesis?] alongside similar business moguls and tycoons as Ben Mucheche (President),[citation needed] John Mapondera (Former President),[citation needed] Strive Masiyiwa,[citation needed] Chemist Siziba (former president),[citation needed] Jane Mutasa (IBWO),[citation needed] and James Makamba.[citation needed] This group worked on indigenisation laws with the support of the President Robert Mugabe, Vice-Presidents Simon Muzenda and Joshua Nkomo[9] which formed the basis of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act of 2007.[10]


Mkondo, after spending almost a month in intensive care post surgery, died on 9 May 2013, in a Harare private hospital called Avenues Clinic in Zimbabwe.[11]


Paul Mkondo was the first African insurance executive to be recognised with Life Million Dollar Roundtable International.

The protagonist, Simbai Muhondo, in Samuel Chimsoro's novel 'Nothing is impossible' is based on Mkondo's biography.[12]

Political offices
Preceded by
Enos Nkala
Treasurer (Dura ReMusangano) ZANU Next:
Emmerson Mnangagwa


  1. ^ a b c d e "Paul Mkondo: Born to serve the people". The Herald. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Portes & Walton, John (1981). Labour, Class & The International System. London: Academic Press. p. 34. ISBN 0-12-56-2020-9. 
  3. ^ "The demise of Hide Out 99 - NewsDay Zimbabwe". NewsDay Zimbabwe. 
  4. ^ "Paul Mkondo | Who's Who SA". Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Paul Mkondo Dies". 9 May 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Musariri fought to the end". The Herald. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Sam Moyo and Walter Chambati (2013). Land and Agrarian Reform in Zimbabwe. Beyond White-Settler Capitalism. African Books Collective. p. 257. 
  8. ^ Muchinguri, Walter (10 May 2013). "Zimbabwe: Insurance Guru Paul Mkondo Dies (Page 1 of 2)". Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Thembinkosi Mangena. "Time to remember Father Zimbabwe". 
  10. ^ "Blackening the Economy". The Economist. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  11. ^ "Paul Mkondo dies". 9 May 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Chimsoro,S.(1983) Nothing Is Impossible, Harlow, Penguin Longman.

External links[edit]

Media related to People of Zimbabwe at Wikimedia Commons