The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
CDE Keyi Nkala, one of the four men that famously staged daring escape from Bulawayo Prison, formerly Grey Street Remand Prison, in 1965, has died.
Cde Nkala, passed away on Tuesday in his rural home in Matshetsheni, Gwanda.
One of three liberation fighters that he escaped with, Cde Moffat Hadebe, confirmed news of Cde Nkala’s passing. He also said members of his close family feared he had passed away from Covid-19 after he attended his sister’s funeral recently.
“His grandchild who stays near Sotshangane Flats came to deliver the news to me today. He said Nkala passed away yesterday at home. He had recently gone to lay to rest his sister and it is believed that is where he picked up the illness,” Cde Hadebe said.
Nkala, alongside Cdes Moffat Hadebe, Keyi Nkala, Elliot Ngwabi and Clark Ngiyo Mpofu escaped from Bulawayo at the onset of the country’s war of liberation.
The quartet was in remand pending trial on charges of alleged sabotage after they took up arms in resistance against colonial oppression.
Cdes Hadebe, Nkala and Ngwabi were detained for attacking Zidube Ranch in Kezi, Matobo District in Matabeleland South in 1964. The property belonged to Bulawayo senior magistrate, Mr Francis Fairwell Roberts who was part of the judiciary that oppressed black people by issuing out detention orders to the nationalists without any justification.
The late Cde Mpofu’s offence was in connection with an explosive attack on Wilkie’s Circus, Tredgold Building and the Post Office. The attacks were carried out between August and September in 1964.