ON October 19, 1978, Selous Scouts (a Special Forces Unit of the Rhodesian Army) flew into Zambia using helicopters marked “Rhodesia Air Force” at very low altitudes avoiding Zambian radar.

The main target of the Rhodesian raid was Mkushi camp where Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) was training its guerrillas. ZIPRA was the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union ( ZAPU) , and waging a Bush War against the Rhodesian government of Ian Douglas Smith.

Raids into ZIPRA camps in Zambia were carried out by specialized Rhodesian military units led by the notorious Green Leader, real name Chris Dixon, who openly ordered the Zambian airforce not to interfere with their operations or face similar action.

If the Zambian airforce intervened, warned Green Leader, they would be wiped off the skies. In one video, Greeen Leader can be heard on his radio communicating with the Zambian airport tower and airforce base commander: “This is Green Leader of the Rhodesian military. We request your permission to attack Rhodesian terrorist bases on your territory.”

“You are not the enemy, I repeat, the Zambian government and its people are not the enemy. We are simply targeting Rhodesian terrorists.”

In a shocking response, the Zambian base commander communicating with Green Leader agrees to keep his Soviet supplied MIG Fighter planes on the ground.

In 1974 Alick Nkhata retired to his farm at Mkushi, although he continued to play music occasionally.

The farm he bought was among what were called abandoned farmlands which white farmers had left in the hands of the lands board.

As fate would be, his farm was close to a camp of ZIPRA guerrillas who were then fighting the Smith regime in Southern Rhodesia.

On October 19, 1978, Smith’s forces attacked the camp and Mr Nkhata was killed in the cross fire ending the life of one of Zambia’s gifted musicians and broadcasters.


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