By Tenacity Reader
It has been 40 years since Zimbabwe’s supposed independence from colonial rule. It was a fight started by the likes of Joshua Nkomo, who earned the moniker Father Zimbabwe, rightly so. But was it worth it after all? There were wide divisions as to how to get independence from the minority white settlers, leading to the formation of splinter groups like Zanu and Frolizi from the mother party Zapu. Things were made worse by the militancy of the regime, more so after Ian Douglas Smith took over and declared the UDI in 1965…story for another day.
A somehow flawed agreement of Lancaster masterminded by the British, as the coloniser to end violence brought hope after years of suffering by ordinary people who were at the end of violence from all fronts was supposed to end hostilities. However with the crooked way it was cooked it was always going to be recipe for more disaster
Zanu romped to victory, former President Mugabe, then Prime Minister, called for ‘reconciliation’ and in his usual chameleon tendencies he was indicating right, yet turning left. Soon after, he turned against those who opposed him, persecuted them and butchered thousands. For starters, he appointed Ken Flower, Smith’s CIO boss to be his, working with his all-time protégé turned foe Emmerson Mnanganga. He did the same with the Airforce boss and the army General Peter Halls. That alone was a catastrophe. According to Rugare Gumbo, after Mugabe died “He was an evil man and never forgave. He reconciled with whites not with some of us, not with Zapu’. The CIO boss had a bone to chew with the Zipra forces who fell two Rhodesian Viscounts and it was not long before he worked with Mugabe to demolish Zapu, raid its war files so as to murder all Zipra combatants as well extent a hand of thuggery to steal Zapu properties.
Over 20 000 thousand defenceless civilians were mercilessly killed, thousands of women raped, thousands fled to exile while thousands were inhumanely treated and are still living with scars, both physical and emotional through Mugabe’s killer crack unit, the Fifth Brigade, according to the CCJP report. The man who spewed poisonous and inciting statements is today at the helm of the country as President and cannot bring the perpetrators to books, as he is complicit. Matebeleland is crying & longing for independence!! Gukurahundi is continuing as people from outside the region have looted all resources and jobs, despite their incapability in administration matters.
The terrorist rule being witnessed is a continuation from the bush where Zanu had more internal fights which at one time had about 400 ‘comrades’ killed and buried in shallow graves in Zambia leading to their ejection by the Kaunda administration, according to Luise White in ‘The Assassination of Herbert Chitepo-Texts and Politics in Zimbabwe’ .The internal struggles led to the murder of Herbert Chitepo (in 1975), itself an inside job, with Tongogara trying to clear his name until he was, himself ‘murdered’ by his comrades. Mugabe was ushered in through a ‘coup’, the Mgagao declaration, where a number were executed. Before that Nhari and many other had been killed through Tongogara’s command. Chitepo himself was an accomplice in the murder according to close sources.
To expect such an organisation to be true in administering affairs, in reconciling a ‘torn’ nation was dreaming too far in all honesty. That ‘Zanu ndeyeropa’ is itself statement enough. They are not for the people but for themselves and just staying at the helm, doing nothing. Zimbabwe needed compassionate leadership, that was to bring the country to peace, love and prosperity. David Coltart, who previously served the Smith government as a young boy and served independent Zimbabwe as cabinet Minister and MP noted that the Rhodesian regime was ruthless, which toughened the stance by the liberation movements. In his book ‘The struggle continues-50 years of tyranny’ he writes ‘…about 35000 people needlessly lost their lives..’ .The next one was not any better as Coltart also worked closely with the CCJP & Auret (who died recently) in Matabeleland where they discovered unimaginable atrocities. At one point Mugabe threatened to deport ‘the Coltarts and Aurets of this world for disturbing our peace’ .How do you deport a Zimbabwean, to where? Just because they spoke against tyranny.
It has to be noted that much of the liberation struggle literature is permeated by myths and contrived accounts at the expense of facts. Some glut of caution needs to be exercised when approaching that intricate corpus of literature. There are a lot of untold stories hence ‘independence’ is clouded in controversy with Zanu having allegedly favored by the whites in 1980 as they preferred a confused, disoriented, unfocused group for the perpetuation of their own interests. That Zipra was militarily superior cannot be argued. That Zapu was a government in waiting cannot be argued. That a terror campaign towards the 1980 set the tone for future disputed elections cannot be over emphasized. In recent days Obert Mpofu has been writing in the public media in an article named ‘The Pivot’ and said ‘Zanu won politically and all was done in Lancaster. The British had interests and did not want Zapu, due to its Russian ties’. The dribbling and rigging in 1980 is somehow laid bare and set the precedence for all instability in all sectors
At the end of the day Independence is a far-fetched story for the Matebeleland and Midlands dwellers who at one point was in ‘lockdown’ for seven years. The freedom fighters concentrated on black rule and land but not democracy, that’s a fact. In all honesty, in the Zimbabwean context, Independence is a dwarfed imagination that is bereft of integrity and efficacy as a development conduit. It is skimpy, if for no other reason other than that it has vastly proven to be ineffective in the regard of spearheading reform and setting up the country for a meaningful motion of growth. It certainly commits the human mind in a persistent blast furnace of wonder that political thugs with a squashed and diminutive approach would continue pulling strings. Matebeleland needs a new ‘new’….NOW!!
Readers contributions are published without alteration. They represent the views of the reader.