Elliot Mdutshwa Gabella was born in Zimbabwe in 1923 and was one of a family of five. He was educated at St. Cyprian’s Primary School and the Domboshawa Agricultural College near Harare (Chronicle, 10-Oct-1988).
He was an agricultural demonstrator at Kezi, Gwanda, Filabusi and Plumtree, 1944-1950, and was assistant organising commissioner for the Boy Scouts. He studied theology first at Adams College, Natal, and later at Indianapolis University (Chronicle, 10-Oct-1988).
He joined Masowe’s Apostles in Port Elizabeth in the 1950s, and later became a Muslim for a time. He formed a Bureau of Bantu Churches in 1962, and in 1967 assisted with the administration of the African Orthodox Church. In the 1970s he became involved in Rhodesian politics (Sundkler 1976:300-302).
He studied homeopathic medicine at a South Indian institution in the early 1960s. He returned to Zimbabwe in 1970, where he joined the African National Council led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, and was elected vice president of that body. In 1978 he joined Ndabaningi Sithole’s Zanu, and in 1980 he joined ZANU (PF).
He ran a training college for homeopathic medicine, which was controversial, as it was declared bogus by the Ministry of Health and some nurses who attended. In 1988 nurses boycotted classes, and demanded that their qualifications be recognised by the Ministry of Health (Chronicle, 10-Oct-1988).
He was ordained by the African Orthodox Chuch in the USA, and was Patriarchal Administrator for the church in South Africa for a time (Prominent Rhodesian Personalities 1978:61).
Sundkler 1976. Zulu Zion and some Swazi Zionists. London: SCM. Dillon-Malone 1978. The Korsten Basketmakers: A study of the Masowe apostles, an indigenous African religious movement. Manchester. Manchester University Press. The Chronicle, Bulawayo (10-Oct-1988). Prominent Rhodesian Personalities 1978,
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This article is generated by the Database of African Church Leaders, which is part of the Database of African Independent Churches maintained by Stephen Hayes. All rights reserved.