Dunn Mabika Hove

Dunn Mabika Hove, also known as Paris Checherere (July 14, 1959 – February 27, 2007) was a Zimbabwean military intelligence officer who was one of the leaders of ZANLA, Robert Mugabe’s guerrilla forces during the Rhodesian Bush War. A career soldier, in post-independence Zimbabwe, he went on to have a successful career in the Zimbabwe National Army, serving with distinction in UN and AU led peace keeping missions across Africa.

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He was born in 1959 in Mberengwa district of the Midlands Province. Colonel Mabika Hove was educated up to Form 4 at Chegato High School in Mberengwa [1] together with the likes of Major General Trust Mugoba Chief-of-Staff (Administration) and Quartermaster of the Zimbabwe National Army.[2] Other school mates include Misheck Zhou, Runesu Tofa, Phineas Makhurane, the late politician Byron Hove, Eleck Mashingaidze and the late MDC Secretary for Economic Affairs, Industry and Commerce Dr. Mfandaidza Hove.

He joined the Rhodesian Bush War/Second Chimurenga in 1976 and was trained in Mozambique at as a ZANLA militant. It was during training in Mozambique that he adopted the war name of Paris Checherere. After joining the front as a medical officer, he rose through the ranks to become a detachment commander in the Gaza province which was led by General Constantine Chiwenga (who was first Commissar then Provincial Commander),[3] the current commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Retired Brigadier General (Judge Advocate General) George Chiweshe (who was the Provincial Commissar), now Judge President of Zimbabwe. Other operational commanders in Gaza provinces include the late liberation hero Brigadier General Charles Tigwe Gumbo.

In 1977, as a medical officer, Cde Paris supported the late Brigadier General Dr Felix Muchemwa, Dr Herbert Ushewokunze and Dr Sydney Sekeramayi who were the doctors in charge at Chimoio camp. As recalled by the late Brig General Dr Muchemwa, Parirenyatwa Camp hospital was the medical centre for Chimoio. Cde Muchemwa with assistance from Cde Paris and others carried out surgical procedures in a mobile ambulance theatre. On morning of the Chimoio attack, Dr Muchemwa recalls, “Our mobile ambulance theatre was being manned by Cde Paris who I had asked to go and collect some diesel while I took a bath. As I started bathing, this was around 7:30am, I just heard a cracking sound…… As I was trying to put on my clothes, I saw a huge crowd of comrades pouring out from the base running towards nearby bushes. One of the comrades who had already passed me came back and said Cde Muchemwa manyai, manyai. I asked him what was wrong and he said hondo, hondo. I asked him what hondo?” .[4] The ambush which the Rhodesian forces called operation Dingo resulted in more than 3,000 ZANLA deaths and 5,000 guerillas were wounded while only two government troops died and six were wounded.

By the end of 1978 there were about 11,000 ZANLA troops operating in Rhodesia [5] and over half of these had been deployed through Mocambique’s Gaza Province into the South East area of Rhodesia known as ‘The Russian Front’, At the end of the Second Chimurenga or Rhodesian bush war, Paris Chererere joined many other ZANLA and ZAPU fighters at assembly points, ready to start life in a new Zimbabwe Career in the Zimbabwe military

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. . . Dunn Mabika Hove . . .