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How Zanu-PF came into existence

26 Sep 2020 at 19:17hrs | Views
The born-free generation, born after Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, has grown up knowing a political system run by the Zanu PF party.

Unbeknown to many people, the ruling party, is a splinter group that broke away from the Ndabaningi Sithole led- Zanu formation that it why in the 1980 elections they used different party symbols. The Zanu party we have come to know is a breakaway faction from the original that was formed in 1963.

The one that is running the government of Zimbabwe received military assistance through the so-called Mgagao Declaration that tried to oust Ndabaningi Sithole the leader of the original Zanu. The splinter group did not even have leadership acumen and ideological standpoint.   

The very reason that caused the break away from Ndabaningi Sithole's Zanu was that he was accused of selling out to the Rhodesians. This was proven by his return to Rhodesia to join the Rhodesian government. He later invited other Zanla cadres in the field to join him; some did join and were able to fight alongside the Rhodesian Army.

This article is directed to Zanu (PF), an acronym that was borrowed from the patriotism with people who formed it in Tanzania and in particular Julius Nyerere who later compelled ZAPU to use Patriotic Front, as they did not have locus-standi as a political party later in 1976.

Zanu as a party had split in 1975 which led to Mgagao Declaration. At that time the party was leaderless and was represented by Rex Nhongo after the military commanders were arrested and some were in disarray following the death of Herbert Chitepo.  In 1976, Rex Nhongo and other Zanla commanders went to the Geneva Conference dressed in black military fatigue.  

The arrival of Mugabe in Mozambique cannot be disputed as he was neither a political leader nor part of the splinter group. He had been arrested by Samora Machel up until the intervention of Joshua Nkomo during the Geneva Conference in which Mr Ivor Richards was the mediator on behalf of the British Government. Mr Richards had refused to discuss with the Zanla military under Rex Nhongo up until Samora Machel released Mugabe to join the Zanu delegation.

At this point Zanu as a political party was non-existent. The party did not have a proper leadership structure as some had preferred to remain with Sithole and others were to follow the Mgagao declaration that had no specific structures. In hindsight, the current Zanu after the death of Chitepo did not form itself as a party but was a construct of the white Rhodesians through Ken Flower of the Rhodesian Intelligence for a reason to counter Zapu from getting early independence

Zanla which created Mgagao Declaration was only used as a vehicle that suited the Rhodesian agenda. Knowing that every Zimbabwean wanted to liberate their country, the political body did not conform to the aspirations of the people`s will. Julius Nyerere the President of Tanzania and the Rhodesians were the handlers of the political body. Zanu was not formed in Salisbury as perceived by many but in Tanzania before they came to announce its formation at Enos Nkala's house in Highfields, Salisbury.

From its inception, Zanu has always been a violent party. Those who grew up in the sixties will testify to that black on black violence in Salisbury now Harare in townships of Highfields, Kambuzuma, in particular; as tribalism started to ferment.

In Zambia where Zanla was based during the earlier years of the liberation war, violence continued at some of their bases. Their camps were littered with shallow graves of comrades who were murdered, of course in the name of the party. Chitepo`s death was always inevitable because anyone of them who harboured nationalistic ideologies had to die as this would depart from the Rhodesian Agenda who were their handlers.

For instance, the Nhare group of commanders who were true revolutionaries had to die agonising deaths. John Mataure, Felix Rice, who were mostly of Manica extraction died violently and their remains were left to the vultures. Luckily they maybe some 15 or so who were the only ones given a decent burial by the ZPRA comrades at Leopards Hill Cemetery in Lusaka, Zambia on instructions by the Zambian Government.

The Rhodesians, who were the actual manipulators of the situation, were delaying the nationalist agenda. The Rhodesians delayed Zimbabwe`s independence and self-determination by high jacking the struggle.  The rest of the people who joined Zanu were genuine comrades who were only indoctrinated to hate others.

However, the Sikombela crew were not actually in detention per se. The Detention Camp was bordering the African reserve area except a few that were thought to be hotheads. They were actually amongst the people yet if Comparisons were made to Zapu which was locked in Gonakudzingwa in the middle of the Game Reserve, and were held incommunicado from families. As far the Rhodesians were concerned Zapu was an enemy of the state therefore they had to be isolated completely from the population.  

The plot was nearly lost when Zanla went to operate from Mozambique.  Samora Machel had asked Zanla and ZPRA command to leave their parent political organisations and have the military spearhead the struggle of which Samora Machel would assist with support. In Mozambique, the example given was that Samora Machel had been a soldier himself after the death of Mondlane the President of FRELIMO who died from a letter bomb.

That led to Samora Machel taking over as the President up until independence in 1975.  The same was being envisaged for Zimbabwe as such thoughts were being peddled by Samora Machel. The ZIPA Command structure was being forced on the two military forces of which ZPRA declined in front of Machel.

President Machel on the day that he announced the closure of the Mozambique Rhodesian border while he was at Barrage, a railway stopover on the Limpopo River; he met the Zanla and ZPRA command element. He met Rex Nhongo (Solomon Mujuru) who was commander of ZIPA, JD John Dube, (Charles Sotsha Ngwenya) deputy Commander of ZIPA, Alfred Nikita Mangena the commissar of ZIPA, Elias Hondo, James Nyikadzinashe, and Report Pelekezela Mphoko the Chief of logistics and supplies.

Shortly after the address by Samora Machel at Barrage on noticing that ZPRA was not for the idea of disposing of their political party he was so incensed and he ordered all ZPRA cadres to be arrested and bundled into trucks and driven to Tete and Tembwe. That was the beginning of trouble for ZPRA cadres who went to Mozambique.

This would have spelt disaster for all the political parties both Zapu and Zanu who had military outfits. The situation in which ZPRA refused to denounce its political party was to save Zanla as well. Samora was later to release Mugabe to attend the Geneva Conference. After which Mugabe sought assistance from Joshua Nkomo by forming the Patriotic Front.

In other words, Zanu as a political party was not in existence in Mozambique. This led to Andrew Young the Secretary of State of USA to convince others and the British that Mugabe was the person who could be trusted as he did not have an ideology to base on.

The rest is history as we know it since 1980 that Mugabe had not been a leader of Zanu but a figurehead. This is confirmed by one important fundamental fact in that he declared that White Rhodesians who had been an enemy for years, were now friends and thereafter ZPRA was declared as the enemy of the state and on the 18th of April 1980, Zapu became enemy number one.

1980 proved to be a pivotal year for Zanu. A lot was at stake. It was either going to be the end of the party or the launchpad to a promising future. The politics at that time was premised on Socialist, Marxist and Capitalist ideologies. The existence of political parties or liberation movements was heavily influenced by the geopolitical environment of that time.

It must also be remembered that Lancaster House talks were forced upon leaders of the front line states by leaders of the West and the East. The liberation movement leaders who were fighting against Rhodesia now Zimbabwe were summoned to a meeting in Maputo Mozambique, and told to head for London as the British were going to hand over the country to them through talks. If they were not interested the condition had been set that they would lose the operational bases that they used to launch their offensive against the Rhodesian army.

Since it was conditional the British had made up their mind that the country would be handed over to whoever they favoured. This would depend on the British interest. As often the British would compel who so ever they offered that political independence. Political conditions for instance were first, issue of land which would remain in the hands of the white men. Secondly, the issue of debt and what to do with Rhodesian Army and Civil Service pensions lastly the defence future expenditure or defence agreements for the new state of Zimbabwe.

While the Lancaster House talks did guarantee the Rhodesian Army and Civil Servants of their pensions the liberation movements were left out of the scheme with the exception that they would join the Armed forces and those who did not have interest would demobilise. The Rhodesians were even guaranteed that their promotions will continue as normal.

They were given guarantees that ZPRA and ZANLA were literally joining the Rhodesian Army.  Meanwhile, the civilian political organisations and business would remain intact under the control of the whites. This minimal change did not shock the Rhodesians as they were assured by the British to remain calm as they were sorting things to their satisfaction. This was to be proven as true and a complete plan by the Rhodesians and the British.

The British Military Training Team (BMATT) was sent to Zimbabwe with a task to carry out training of the new Zimbabwe National Army.  At the end of the Lancaster House ZANU had signed and agreed that they would go into the election as [PF] with ZAPU but shortly on arrival in Salisbury it was obviously evident that ZANU had made deals with the British and Tanzania's Nyerere that elections in Rhodesia be held separately.  This was not only to the disadvantage of ZAPU but other political parties like ZANU Ndonga.

The other issue is that the Rhodesians in accepting that ZANU could now be separate was due to nothing other than assurances from Prime Minister Margret Thatcher. After all she declared openly that the winner of the election was not necessarily the ones who would rule. The game could easily have been lost as all guerrillas and fighters were now in the country; the Rhodesians could have continued to rule and force all to abide by their rules. However, the British government assured the Rhodesians not to panic and they chose whoever they wanted on the basis that contracts were going to be won by none other than the British Establishment; which from then on had defence contracts and training the Zimbabwe National Army and the supply of military equipment. What a lucrative deal.

What a lot of people do not know is that ZANU in itself was a construct of White Rhodesia who initial put money in its formation and that can be reflected in the way and form of their management. If Ken Flower was not involved in creating ZANU, the governance would have been different. However, the first years of independence Ken Flower who was actually Mugabe's intelligence chief including the two generals who fought against ZANLA and ZPRA remained in control. General Walls and General McClean remained firmly in charge. This had been done to deal with ZAPU and ZPRA so as to deny them involvement in the new Zimbabwe.

ZANU PF was not in control per se, but the strings were being pulled by Ken Flower and his Rhodesian generals. Starting in 1980 the Rhodesians were in control of everything and obviously the British were monitoring from a distance in some offices in the centre of Harare. The idea was to give an impression that the British Army was only the third party that had interest of securing a stable Zimbabwe. On hindsight they were controlling Mugabe and using the same mechanisms through Ken Flower. It must be remembered that Ken Flower retired from the Zimbabwe Government and was never an enemy for a single day yet, ZPRA were declared enemy of state number one from the onset.

After 8 years of independence in December 1987, after the unity accord; Vice President Joshua M. Nkomo started to talk about land and wasn't he to upset the applecart, when he said the whites had to share the land or they would regret later when Zimbabweans begin to ask them where they come from, "Kuti murikubva kupi"? He said this in 1988 and it enraged the whites as they started hoarding essential goods. This shows that ZANU PF never had intention of taking land away from the whites who were their handlers.

This land issue had always been a ZAPU/ ZPRA issue as it was amplified by Dr Chenjerai Hunzvi, a ZPRA liberation war hero who forced Mugabe and the ZANU PF government to change course, leading to the farm occupations across the country. He even made a proclamation that "we are at war".  He even forced the Judiciary to change as he labelled them Rhodesian judges who were serving the Rhodesian interests. This is a clear sign that Mugabe and ZANU PF were serving their Rhodesian and British masters up until a point tZAPU or ZPRA interfered to correct the situation.

Before that, Chenjerai Hunzvi had forced the ZANU PF government to pay ex-combatants a decent pension and the Rhodesians who owned the businesses and run the economy got upset as they felt short changed. They immediately withdrew all available foreign currency in banks and since then the economy took a nosedive and never recovered again until this day.

The point at hand is the ZANU PF which was a British construct has failed in 40 years to develop the country.  Has anyone in Zimbabwe had a successful business that is not supported by the Rhodesians unless he is within a corrupt cartel that simple syphoned money from government?  Rex Nhongo (General Solomon Mujuru) is reliably understood to have answered Mugabe one day during a Politburo meeting that "Asina murungu wake ndiani (who does not have a white man backing them)?" after he had been challenged for doing business with Rhodesians.  

In conclusion, I feel sorry for Zanla comrades who worked hard and were made to believe that they were truly liberating the country yet the Rhodesians stopped ZAPU from taking power after they refused a deal offered by the Rhodesians and the British. People must not be surprised to see the former white farmers go back to their land, because ZANU PF had broken the conditions they were given by the British. Essentially people must understand who was forcing the land issue as a matter of principle. ZAPU/ ZPRA had even bought farms that were being sold in the country.

The former Rhodesian intelligence headed by Ken Flower and other former white Rhodesians like Stannard, who joined CIO advised that this would harm the relations with ZANU PF, if ZAPU was in control of financial and economic power. They had to use the former Rhodesian repressive laws in order for them to control the people of Zimbabwe and ZAPU; above that ZANU PF failed to develop a sustainable economic strategy that would take people out of poverty.  In order for things to change ZANU PF must accept that they are failures and turn from their old ways and invite those who know how to run this country. The Rhodesians still want the land from ZANU PF who distributed it to blacks.

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