The Zapu & Zanu Guerrilla Warfare

& the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe

Ngwabi Bhebe



This was a seminal contribution to the history of the Zimbabwean liberation war, which ended with independence in 1980. The book takes a considered view of both sides in the guerrilla war, but is particularly concerned with the Zapu side. At the time of writing this was more or less uncharted territory, to some extent the result of the political outcome of the war, which in the name of national unity, silenced the Zapu story. In particular, it uses material from interviews with ex-Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) combatants, previously unobtainable. A particular angle of enquiry is the role of the evangelical Lutheran church in the war.


This is a remarkable work of scholarship, drawing on a very wide range of sources, which it uses with striking objectivity. It is one of the most impressive fruits of African academic research and establishes Ngwabi Bhebe without doubt as a major historian. - Terence Ranger, Journal of Southern African Studies


Ngwabi Bhebe was the founding vice chancellor at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe.