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Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent rant against Joshua Nkomo, Father of the Zimbabwe Nation, calling him a ‘sell-out’, not only does not stand up to historical scrutiny, but invites investigation into the well-documented collusion between ZANU and the forces of imperialism and apartheid and Mnangagwa’s role in that collusion.
Before we go deeper into the role of ZANU and why British intelligence found its creation necessary in 1963, let us briefly look at the record of Joshua M.N. Nkomo.
When the South African Native National Congress (African National Congress from 1923) was formed in 1912, it included not only delegates from all corners of the Union of South Africa, but also from all British-ruled territories in southern Africa – including Southern Rhodesia which was represented by more than 30 traditional leaders. It must be admitted that in the early days it was not particularly well-organised or assertive and on a number of occasions it faded away only to be re-founded – most importantly in 1957 when it re-formed as a militant, fighting organisation.
In 1952, the trade unionist Joshua Nkomo, then in his 30s, was elected President of the Southern Rhodesian ANC (SRANC). This was the very period that the idea of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was being seriously discussed. Before agreeing to the idea, the British government insisted that there should be consultation with “the natives”. Godfrey Huggins, the Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister anxiously looked round for “native” representatives. He called Nkomo who after consultation with the SRANC Executive agreed. Huggins also called the Salisbury journalist Jasper Savanhu. On reaching London, they were faced with a hostile reception, the nationalists from Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland had refused to attend and Nkomo and Savanhu were called “black stooges” by British anti-imperialists. Savanhu shrunk back confused. At the first meeting it was Nkomo who denounced the Federation and walked out. Returning home, he had his passport taken away but for the first time became a hero among the black majority.
In 1957, when the SRANC was reconstituted by young, militant, working-class Africans, Joseph Msika, J.Z. Moyo and Francis Ndawali in Bulawayo and James Chikerema, Charles Nyandoro and Paul Mushonga in Salisbury, they looked for a university educated person to lead them. Stanlake Samkange and Enoch Dumbutshena flatly refused, Aidan Mwamuka did not even reply. Joshua Nkomo agreed, warning them of the danger and difficulty of the task ahead. The revived SRANC was formed in September 1957 and banned in February 1959. It was succeeded by the National Democratic Party (NDP) which was formed in January 1960 and banned on 7th December 1961. ZAPU was then formed on the 17th December 1961.
One lie consistently told by ZANU is that the split was because “Nkomo was opposed to armed struggle.” The facts tell us something entirely different.
As early as 1959, Nkomo as leader of the SRANC asked the Ghanaian government of Kwame Nkrumah for assistance with military training. The first six who went were Mark Nziramasanga, Sikhwili Kohli Moyo, Edward Mzwayi Bhebhe, Mudavanhu, and two other comrades. When J.Z. Moyo went to Ghana for their passing out ceremony, he met a young Zimbabwean named Robert Mugabe, a lecturer at Ghana’s Tokaradi Teachers College who he recruited. It seemed a good idea at the time.
In 1960, under the auspices of the NDP, another group went for military training, this time in China. The group included David Mapongo, Philemon Makonese and Charles Chikerema.
By the middle of 1962, sabotage operations by ZAPU on white-owned farms and against government installations had reached such proportions that the Southern Rhodesia Ministry of Information organised an aerial tour of the country to show journalists and chiefs the massive damage done to the white-owned farms.
It was also in 1962 that Nkomo received the first batch of arms from President Nasser of Egypt; these arms were then smuggled into the country. Later that year, the car carrying many of these weapons was stopped by Rhodesian police and the driver, Bobylock Manyonga was arrested and badly tortured but refused to disclose the origin of the arms. He was then given 15 years imprisonment.
It was in 1963 that the first batch of military trainees, including Dumiso Dabengwa and Ackim Ndlovu went to the Soviet Union for military training. This was the turning point. Anti-communists within ZAPU opposed this and sought for reasons to create a split.
Now ZANU came on to the political scene.
Of the leaders of the ZANU split, Ndabaningi Sithole had been trained in the USA, Herbert Chitepo was trained in Britain and a member of the Capricorn Africa Society and the Father of Tribalism in Zimbabwe, Leopold Takawira, was a long time employee and executive officer of the Association founded by David Stirling.
It was David Stirling who formed the SAS, the British special services unit during the Second World War. After the war he organised mercenary detachments in a number of different countries including Saudi Arabia, founding WatchGuard International in the 1960s. During the 1970s Stirling formed an organisation funded by millionaire James Goldsmith to undermine the British trade union movement and another, GB75, to stage a military coup in Britain should there be civil unrest.
Many in the British establishment after the Second World War had understood the dangers of settler racism in southern Africa and were anxious to create an African assimilado class which would work in the imperialist interest. The Capricorn Africa Society was formed in 1949 and had an important conference in Salima, Nyasaland. There it was proposed that all citizens regardless of colour should be able to vote, but that better qualified people should get up to six votes depending on qualifications and property ownership. By the early 1960s to be a “Capricon” meant to be a “Sell-out”.
It was the Capricon, Takawira who, spoke disparagingly about this “huge Ndebele man”. There was no lack of militancy by ZAPU. There was no need of a split from the African side. There was the need of a split from the imperialist side.
Ethnic or religious division has been used as a tool by British imperialism throughout its history. The Americans, despite their history of racialism towards black Americans, have used black racialism as a tool of division in southern Africa. When the PAC split from the ANC in 1959, its Secretary-General Potlako Leballo was employed at the US embassy in Pretoria. Its leader, Robert Sobukwe was open admirer of US President Lyndon Johnson. In Angola, UNITA led by Jonas Savimbi criticised the large number of whites and mulattos in the MPLA leadership. In south Africa today, it is very clear that Julius Malema and EFF, despite their anti-white rhetoric are being heavily funded and well directed.
When Mnangagwa says that Nkomo was representing white interests, we have to ask “Which white interests?”
That the interests of the white imperialists were different from those of the white settlers is attested to by the fact that imperialism put sanctions on the settlers. Since the late 1950s imperialism had realised that they could not stop the tide of African nationalism and that the only thing to do was to divert it. African countries should have a flag, national anthem and black president. But their economies should be controlled by multinational corporations based in the imperialist west. Neo-colonialism. It was clear, furthermore that the settler colonialism of Rhodesia and South Africa was doomed. But how to remove it in the interests of monopoly capitalism and prevent communist influenced nationalist movements from taking over?
In Rhodesia, despite their extreme racialism, the settlers established almost a model self-contained economy. Real nationalists like Nkomo recognised this. Real nationalists are nation builders who unite people of different ethnic groups.
It was ZAPU which at Lancaster House insisted on land reform. Not ZANU. But the ZAPU land reform concept was not based on removing the white farmers but on properly distributing the land among all Zimbabweans capable of farming. Real land reform is not only based on redistribution, it is also based on improving production.
As Dumiso Dabengwa recently said:
“On the other hand, we had Nkomo who went about telling the whites that the Lancaster House Constitution did not go down well with the black majority, for example on land, where it was agreed nothing would be done regarding the issue for a period of 10 years. Nkomo told them this was unsustainable and would only be a time bomb waiting to explode as long as blacks did not have land.”
So it was Joshua Nkomo who initiated the armed struggle and who fought for land reform during the Lancaster House talks yet wanted to create a truly Zimbabwean nation regardless of ethnicity.
Let us now study Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Firstly what did the Americans say about the results of the 1980 election?
Despite widespread doubts outside Zimbabwe about the strength of Mugabe’s political constituency, he had achieved a solid electoral victory over both Bishop Abel Muzorewa, on whom both Britain and South Africa had placed their hopes, and Joshua Nkomo, who enjoyed military support from the Soviet bloc. The unexpected size of his majority gave Mugabe an unequivocal mandate which greatly simplified the task of the British in handing over power.
The Zimbabwe settlement must also be recorded as a victory of the Western alliance in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU). It signalled a renewal of the cooperation in de-colonization which came under Western leadership and via the United Nations during the 1950s and 1960s. And it curtailed at least temporarily the trend toward growing dependence on Soviet military aid to bring about African liberation.
Andrew Young, The United States and Africa: Victory for Diplomacy (1980)
Mugabe received extensive support from the UK and US governments, while simultaneously portraying his government as a leading Frontline state in the anti-apartheid struggle. However, the anti-apartheid efforts of ZANU-PF were constrained by the realities of regional power. Faced with a much more powerful South African military and economy, Mugabe found it more convenient to co-operate with the South African Defence Forces against Nkomo’s ZAPU given the historic ties between ZAPU and the African National Congress (ANC). Cold War realities meant that Mugabe could benefit from his rivals’ longstanding support from the Soviets and the links between Soviet support for ZAPU and the ANC. Mugabe and others in Zimbabwe’s new government therefore worked with South Africa to keep ZAPU from providing bases for the ANC’s Umkhonto we Sizwe (The Spear of the Nation) (MK) in Zimbabwe.
Tony Scarnecchia, Rationalizing Gukurahundi (2011)
Bi-annual meetings between the intelligence staff of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) and their counterparts in the South African Defence Force (SADF) were held in 1982 and 1983. The SADF notes of the 7 and 8 February 1983 meeting in Harare are in the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] files. The minutes of this meeting, which took place one month after the Fifth Brigade had been deployed in Matabeleland North, indicate a much less strident tone concerning South Africa’s role in supporting dissidents than that heard in the Zimbabwean media.
According to the SADF report, Minister Mnangagwa took personal credit for obtaining “permission from the Prime Minister [Mugabe] for the SADF visit to Harare and for future intelligence meetings of a similar nature.” He claimed that he [Mnangagwa] “initiated the RSA/Angola and RSA/Mozambique dialogue.” Mnangagwa also stated that “there were no matters in the Zimbabwe/RSA relations that were so serious that it required meetings at ministerial level.”
Timothy Scarnecchia, Rationalizing Gukurahundi
It must be further added that Ken Flower who had been head of the Rhodesian CIO became head of the Zimbabwean CIO until1982 when he retired – but he remained an advisor to Robert Mugabe until his death in 1987. British sources have confirmed that he was an MI.6 agent throughout his career. Without doubt, he organised the formation of RENAMO in Mozambique. There is strong evidence suggesting that he was involved with the organisation of ZAPU dissidents into ZANU in 1963. Most definitely he collaborated very closely with Minister of State Security Emmerson Mnangagwa in the planning of Gukurahundi.
IN THE INTERESTS OF APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA, BRITAIN AND THE USA.
The question is:Who is the sell-out – Nkomo or Mnangagwa? By Ian Beddowes.
see more at www.newzimbabwevision.com.