Ndabaningi Sithole ( born July 31, 1920 in Nyamandhlovu the tribe of the Ndau, † December 12, 2000 in Philadelphia, United States) was a Zimbabwean Methodist pastor and one of the most important political exponents of the " freedom struggle" of the Bantu in Zimbabwe. He founded in 1963 the Zimbabwe African National Union ( ZANU ) and spent after the ban ZANU 1964 ten years in prison. After the split ZANU along tribal lines, he led the moderate ZANU- Ndonga. In 1978 he became a member of the transitional government. In 1980, he lost in the elections against Robert Mugabe.
The Early Years
Sithole grew up in Nymanandhlovu, an isolated rural area in a traditional animistic environment. At seven, he saw the first white. The family moved in 1930 after Shabani and from 1932 Sithole visited the school of the British Methodist mission. At his father's request, he left the end of 1932, the school and joined a service in a white household to. His thirst for knowledge led him from there in 1935 in the Dadya Mission School, where he graduated with a high school degree. Sithole studied theology 1955-1958 in the U.S. and in 1958 was ordained as a Methodist pastor. He returned to Zimbabwe, was school director and president of the African Teachers Association 1959-60. The publication of his book, African Nationalism and its immediate ban by the white minority government of Ian Smith in Zimbabwe mark the beginning of his political career.
The political career
Sitholes political career began when he joined the National Democratic Party (NDP ) of Joshua Nkomo, whose treasurer he was. Sithole rapidly gained influence and helped after the ban of the NDP, the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union building ( ZAPU ). As well as this was forbidden, he emigrated to Tanzania and worked as a radio producer for a broadcast mission to Rhodesia. He returned back in 1963.
In 1963, Sithole with the lawyer Herbert Chitepo the Zimbabwe African National Union. At the party congress in Gwelo (now Gweru ) was elected president Sithole and Mugabe to the Secretary-General. After the ban ZANU and his detention he authorized Chitepo the fight from exile and appointed him there as a representative of ZANU. He was accused of plotting to assassinate Smith. He and Mugabe, who was also arrested, were released in 1974.
On March 18, 1975 Chitepo fell in the Zambian capital Lusaka assassinated. Mugabe, who was at this time in Mozambique, immediately claimed the lead in the ZANU. There was a power struggle between him and Sithole, the cleavage of the ZANU according to the tribes Matabele and Shona followed under Sithole and ZANU in under ZANU- Ndonga Mugabe. While Sithole sought from now on the path of compromise, Mugabe devoted henceforth the guerrilla war.
In 1979, Sithole involved in the government of Bishop Abel Muzorewa, a transitional government after the failed Rhodesia Conference in 1976 and a preparation for the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979. Agreed in this agreement free elections Mugabe won with an overwhelming majority.
Sithole went into distress and emigrated soon after 1983 to Silver Spring in Maryland (USA). After nine years of exile, he returned to Zimbabwe back into the political arena. In 1995 he was a Member of Parliament of his tribal majority in Chipinge in the Southeast at Birchenough Bridge. In December 1997, his participation in a conspiracy to assassinate Mugabe was accused of making him henceforth prevented it carry out its mandate. Sitholes small opposition won in 2000, but again the mandate in Chipinge. On December 12, 2000, he died in Philadelphia, USA.