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ZAPU you are offside! Obert Mpofu has a right to speak

10 Apr 2020 at 14:57hrs | Views
Zimbabwe celebrates 40 years of independence. This year's celebrations were meant to be special as they were set to be held in Bulawayo for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe.

This was set to be a milestone achievement and notable victory for the people of Matebeleland as they celebrate the age of devolution and regional self determination.

These are some of the things that were agitated for by Dr Joshua Nkomo and Dr Dumiso Dabengwa. They would've been proud to see the nation gather in Bulawayo to celebrate independence. Their vision has been carried on by people like Dr Obert Mpofu who in his capacity as Secretary for Administration in the ruling party has been doing his best to ensure that he does not neglect the region while carrying out National duties. Dr Obert Mpofu is a national leader who still has a mandate and responsibility from the region whence he came. The same applies to Vice President Mohadi who stands up for the people of Mat South while carrying out national duties. Being a national leader does not imply that one abdicates the responsibility of where he comes from.

It is therefore regrettable that Mr Maphosa the ZAPU Spokesperson accuses Dr Mpofu of perpetuating ethnic propaganda on behalf of ZANU PF. Dr Obert Mpofu is very clear and ideologically awake to national and regional dynamics.

ZAPU Spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said ZANU PF and PF ZAPU were given one condition; either participate in the talks or stop using the host countries in waging their guerilla war. Mr Maphosa was qouted in a response to Dr Obert Mpofu's weekly column which appears in the Sunday News. Mr Maphosa goes on to state that the article by Dr Mpofu is perpetuation of ethnic propaganda.

Mr Maphosa need to understand that for years on end the people of Matebeleland particularly those who are in ZANU PF have been calling for the preservation of PF ZAPU and ZPRA history. The history of both entities was somewhat suppressed by the Robert Mugabe regime. Leaders from the Matebeleland region could not give their opinion or account of history without a fear of censorship or victimisation.

It is a welcome development that leaders from Matebeleland are now free to express their views and speak freely as to what transpired or what they witnessed pre and post independence. While Mr Maphosa and the PF ZAPU he claims to represent have a right of reply and freedom of expression they should focus on telling their own side of the story without riding on big names such as Dr Obert Mpofu.

Mr Maphosa's comments and response were neatly tucked underneath a Obert Mpofu headline for them to carry weight and relevance. PF ZAPU without names such as SK Moyo, Kembo Mohadi, Phelekezela Mphoko and others is irrelevant political entity riding on tribalism and nostalgia.

Mr Maphosa and his PF ZAPU entity should tell their own stories, the media has acres of space for them to express their own views without trying to stifle or intimidate others into telling stories on story lines designed to suit their egos.

Reality of Lancaster House

Dr Obert Mpofu is right to conclude that the military element of ZPRA did not agree with Lancaster House talks. The liberation movements had liberated zones and areas which were growing in number and size. The guerilla movement was on the verge of winning the war and Ian Smith needed the negotiations more than the liberation movements did. The military element wanted total independence, politicians wanted talks or were pressured into talks in the name of peace and development.

Lancaster House talks were an easy way out for the colonial master, who wanted to give our people independence on the master's terms. The colonial masters outwitted our politicians and gave us independence without emancipation.

Guerrillas had to wait for more years on end till they could reclaim their land which had been taken by force by the colonial masters. Guerrillas had to wage another costly war, dubbed the 3rd Chimurenga or hondo yeminda. This war came with sanctions and the destruction of our currency and economy. All these could have been avoided by avoiding Lancaster House talks and utilising liberated zones as military bases from which the liberation struggle could be commanded and executed.

Preserving History

We need people like Dr Obert Mpofu to keep writing and preserve the history of PF ZAPU, ZPRA and the journey of these cadres in independent Zimbabwe. If Mr Maphosa and his outfit have something to say let them tell their own side, on their own pages without bringing erasers to erase the opinions of others to score political points.

Let everyone tell their story and let scholars read every story and give them the freedom to draw their own conclusions.

PF ZAPU post Joshua Nkomo and post Dr Dumiso Dabengwa has nothing to offer the people of Matebeleland. This is why Mthwakazi Republic Party MRP is gaining more ground and popularity in what should be ZAPU strongholds.

Dr Obert Mpofu has always been a supporter and contributor to the liberation struggle, and to the struggle for equality and development in Matebeleland. It is therefore unscrupulous for Mr Maphosa to stand up and say that Dr Mpofu is advancing peddling ethnic propaganda.

We need Dr Mpofu to keep writing his column and for him to keep telling the story of Matebeleland and the people thereof. We also need divergent voices such as Valerio Sibanda, SK Moyo, KD Mohadi and many more to tell us their version or understanding of events. Matebeleland has a rich history in the liberation front, a history shared with regional powerhouse ANC.

Nicholas Ncube
Researcher, blogger and media consultant:

Source - Nicholas Ncube
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