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Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi (October 23 1949—June 4 2001) was born in Chiminya , a village in the Mashonaland province of Zimbabwe. Hunzvi is remembered for his militant leadership of the War Veterans Association , a group synonymous with Zimbabwe's chaotic land reform programme.
Education in Europe
Hunzvi is thought to have been arrested by the Rhodesian government in his teenage years for involvement in black nationalist movements. Unlike Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, however, Hunzvi did not become a key figure in the workings of Zimbabwean Independence. Instead, he took an opportunity to study medicine in Eastern Europe where he married a Polish woman named Wieslawa Hunzvi and became fluent in both French and Romanian.
In 1979, in the middle of his studies, Hunzvi visited London in order to attend the Lancaster House Agreement where Zimbabwe's new constitution was being drawn up. He did not return to Zimbabwe until 1990 though, when he began a medical practice in Budiriro , a township of Harare. Wieslawa Hunzvi is said to have fled Zimbabwe in 1992 to escape violence from her husband.
Hunzvi became chairman of the Zimbabwean Liberation War Veterans Association in 1997?, which, at the time, was almost unheard of in Zimbabwe's political spectrum. Hunzvi was soon organising demonstrations and openly critising President Mugabe for reneging on his promises to compensate war veterans. In this way, and much to Hunzvi's credit as an effective activist, the War Veteran Association became a force Robert Mugabe could not ignore. Mugabe soon agreed to pay a huge sum towards the war veteran community.
By 1999 however, Hunzvi's reputation had deminished since becoming involved in a corruption case regarding the theft of money from the War Veterans Fund. He was never found guilty, though, and in 2000 (at the same time adopting the name "Hitler") he led the campaign that led to the seizure of white-owned land and the deaths and harassment of many supporters of the MDC party (Zimbabwe's only prominent opposition party).
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