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13 years ago | 11128 Views



Never before has history given us the majority Shona People, such a precious present than it has done with Robert Gabriel Mugabe.  R.G is simply a perfect embodiment of all our cultural norms and values, our aspirations and expectations, our wants, desires and interests.   In his whole life, R.G. has not failed to demonstrate that incredible consciousness of who we are as a people.


The most vivid imagination of what an ideal Shona should look like in appearance as well as how he should behave or present himself to the public, finds an exact match in R.G.  His presence among us as a leader with and an abundant and compelling inspiration towards the establishment of Shona Nationhood deserves to be honoured and celebrated as a memorable great occasion in the life histories of all the generations of our people.



We do not, as a matter of obligation, fail to appreciate and acknowledge the wonderful achievements, the great valour and the spirit of stubborn resistance against formidable adversaries of all those other great Shona men and women who led our people before.   However without prejudicing fair comparison, it is inarguable though, that R.G. stands out distinctly as a cut above the rest among both the dead and the living Shona leaders.



Countless incidents in R.G.’s decorated and exuberant political career testify to the conviction most of us have that the man is a visionary of rare gifts.  He is an astoundingly brilliant intellectual as well as being an accomplished academic.  Having distinguished himself as the most consistent revolutionary in the fight against colonialism he has gone further to achieve the emancipation of the majority Shona people and consolidated their supremacy.  And signs are that he has hot reached the pinnacle of his political life yet.


Few would argue that R.G. is endowed with a mesmerising eloquence in speech, which together with his subtle charisma captivates and electrifies audiences whenever he stands to speak.  Little wonder that he outclassed and turned his political peers into pitiable political dwarfs many of who have fallen victim to consumptive jealous and betrayal.  Several of them rubbished themselves to the political dustbin, and personalities like Edgar Tekere and Edson Zvobgo are not exceptions. 



R.G. is an unquestionable source of envy to many, not only amongst ourselves but his foes too, who grudgingly admire him as they learn painfully to accept at his hands.   Tony Blair is a classic case in point.  Blair’s clumsy are twisting political tactics geared to tame this solid and firebrand revolutionary giant, left his fingers thoroughly scalded.  Mr Blair must be ruefully licking his wounds at No 10 Downing Street, having learnt his lesson well, that plagiarising Bush’s approach to Saddam would attack serious and perilous consequences to him.



Western leaders are so shamelessly spoilt and conceited to the extent that they throw all caution to the wind when it comes to dealing with Third World political issues.  Their naivety often manifests itself whenever there is lack of agreement on key issues especially those that adversely affect the poor nations such as the land issue in Zimbabwe.  They refuse to realise that there is a new breed of leadership who will not ask how high when ordered to jump but will certainly ask WHY.  African leaders in particular are regarded by the West as filthy hypocrites who are radicals by day but beggars by night, as well as lacking personal opinion and relevant political sophistication.  The tendency is to destroy those who defy imperialist dictatorship.  R.G. has resolutely said no to imperialism and this way he must be treated like Saddam Hussein, according o Western opinion.



Black Jesus

Some people have a small problem in understanding why Mugabe is to the Shona people, what Jesus is to the Christians or what Kim il Sung and his Juche idea is to the North Koreans.  This status was awarded to R.G. by his people in recognition of political astuteness acquired over many years of experience in the fight against colonialism.


It is an uncommon achievement to earn the love and respect of one’s enemies.  R.G. did just that with the descendants of Mzilikazi / Lobengula – a people with a contemptible history of violence.  This did not just happen – it took many years of careful political manoeuvring and scheming.  An application of similar tactics to the descendants of Cecil John Rhodes is beginning to yield similar political dividends.



For many years both the Ndebeles and Europeans were living were living under a shameful illusion that the crimes of their forefathers had been forgiven and forgotten.  This was not to be as R.G. the illustrations son of the Shona people ensured tat the two groups pay dearly for the evil deeds their ancestors.  Is it possible that such heinous crimes as those committed by these people against the Shona can just be swept under the carpet because it is political epedient to do so?



It costs a daring mind to carve rich legacy for the good of the general public, especially one that restores the dignity of the people at the same time assuring them of eternal dominance over settlers.  R.G’s legacy brewed in an African pot is unparalleled by any on the continent.  Nelson Mandela covertly tried to outshine R.G. by elbowing him off the world political limelight.  No sooner had Nelson Mandela started this, did he realise the folly of such an attempt.  It dawned on him that he was making an error and that he was too new on the regional political plane.


The twenty-seven years Mandela spent crushing stones in jail did not automatically confer upon him the sort of leadership skills acquired by R.G. in a protracted and arduous struggle for Zimbabwean independence.  In fact, jail stunted the growth of Mandela’s legal mind – a sad happening indeed.  However, his attempt to compensate for the deprivations of that ugly experience by posturing a false image ‘towering African statesman’ created by his imperialist jailers, collapsed no sooner than had started.



Mandela betrayed and deserted the Black majority in South Africa at the most crucial hour.  Speculation is rife that he is severely petrified of whites so much that making land demands, for instance, would in his view, muddy the waters and blemishes his South Africa. At the present moment, the African continent needs genuinely high calibre leadership that will serve the people’s interest.  Mandela simply chickened out and retreated in haste unremorsefully.  Praises continue to be piled on hi because he did not touch the foundation of white wealth.



Future Shona generations will forever enjoy the opportunities and priviledges that will at all times flow from the heroic deeds of R.G.  We feel strongly encouraged to stand resolutely behind him and will not cease to see an angel where our detractors / enslavers see a devil and we will continue to see a liberator where they see a murderer.



Such are our differences that must be resolved not in superficial manner but in practical terms within such a real concrete political context as ours.  The redefinition of our relationship with the settlers, black or white, is long overdue!  We therefore salute the launch of the third phase of our struggle (THIRD CHIMURENGA) and invite the reader of this article to join us in celebrating the manner in which this fight is being conducted and its guaranteed success in smashing the white economic infrastructure such as farms which facilitated the exploitation of our people.



All the struggles that took place in this country since the 1830’s were about dominance.  Lessons from these struggles confirm the view that a human social group is either dominant or subordinate when it comes to issues of political power, especially in Africa.



Mzilikazi fled from Zululand because there was no political space for him to be dominant.  He therefore needed to look elsewhere for land where he could exercise power authority and dominance.  But because there was no land not belonging to anyone, he targeted military weaker societies and found one in the Shona people whom he viciously subdued and forcibly settled in their land, imposing his authority on them.


Now, comrades, come to think of it – a settler is a settler – PERIOD!  What peaceful coexistence can there be to talk about between the majority indigenous Shona and the occupying force of those of Ndebele extraction?  A black settler is unwelcome as a white settler in our country.


Ndebele Crimes

Mzilikazi’s men, in particular under the command of his terrorist successor Lobengula wrecked havoc in our country.  They raped and kidnapped Shona women, looted grain and stole our cattle.  Anyone who disputes that this was conquest needs medical examination.  For some sixty long years, the Shona people were brutalised, insulted and abused by the Ndebeles.  Their wealth was ravenously plundered and economic life left to bleed to death in the most cruel manner.  The Ndebele subjected the Shona people to the worst forms of barbarism and tyranny.  They imported violence to Zimbabwe and it is a well-known fact that violence was a virtue in Zululand and perhaps continues to be to this day.  No one doubts the assertion that violence flows in Ndebele blood.




Periodic and incessant waves of cruel raids by Ndebele warriors harvested cattle, women and grain from the Shona to enrich the bogus Ndebele King.  The inherently lazy and unintelligent Ndebele anarchist savages preferred to loot and plunder than to learn the skills of the more culturally advanced Shona people who excelled in building as epitomised by the Great Zimbabwe as well as in crop farming and the arts such as stone carving and mbira music.



Subjecting the Shona people to a reign of terror created both an inferiority and Persecution complex in them.  For instance, the Shona people began to shun the use of their clan names in preference for the totem system such as Dube, Sibanda, Nyoni etc.  This was a straight forward case of political subjugation of the Shona people.


White Settlers

The carnage viciously unleashed on our people by the Ndebeles was interrupted by the coming of white settlers who were motivated by the same desire – to dominate.  Cecil John Rhodes’ men were more advanced in systems of plunder and exploitation than the Ndebeles.  The whites dubbed both the Shona and the Ndebeles as African savages of the bush needing to be rushed from the darkness of ignorance.


The white settlers swiftly annexed our country as a colony of Britain.  The Shona and Ndebele were, in the view of settlers, identical natives belonging to the same race totally disregarding the oppressor / oppressed relationship between the Shona and the Ndebele that existed before colonialism.  However, this did not alter or erase the crimes committed against our people before before by the Ndebeles.



The whites too were in search of land.  Back home (UK) they were known minnows, mostly sons of serfs who were used to expand the horizons of the British Empire by carving colonies in all corners of the world.  Some of them were convicts let off on a new lease of life to prove their usefulness to the Crown.  In-so-far as we are concerned the whites removed us from the clutches of Ndebele colonialism onto the rapacious claws of European Imperialism – a case of jumping from the pan onto the fire.


Our gallant forefathers put up countless spirited fights against the new settlers but were subdued by the military superior invading barbaric force which iced its successes / conquest with the hanging of our great spirit medium, Mbuya Nehanda and others.


Crimes of the White Man

The conquest of our people by the white men was itself a criminal act.  Having conquered our people they immediately went into an unbridle frenzy of raping Shona women producing a mixed breed chronically suffers from incurable and severely traumatic identity crisis.


The white invader too started to steal Shona cattle and wildlife – sending trophies to the King, enslaving Shona men on the stolen land (horse pegged farms) and on mines. The slavery was soothed by a crude dosage of religious opium administered by their  forunner imperialist chief-scout, Robert Moffat – a man of cloth.


The rest of the details of this carnage may e obtained from history texts as well s from the sad oral tests of our people.



An attempt to throw off the colonial yoke in the first half of the twentieth century did not succeed until the entry onto the Zimbabwean political scene in 1963 of a Shona led political party.  In this year Zanu was born and excitedly welcomed by those ethnically conscious Shona people who threw their weight unreservedly behind its leadership.  This birth signified the beginning of serious business to wrestle our heritage from the white man.  Zanu’s motto was ‘A fight for Shona Majority Rule’, making an instant impact politically by going into an armed struggle, a move later mimicked by the Ndebele led Zapu which comprised of mainly semiliterate hero-worshippers of Joshua Nkomo.  Nkomo’s lieutenants followed him blindly until he committed political suicide in December 22, 1987.

The only few educated people in Zapu were Shonas like Ariston Chambati and Daniel Madzimbamuto whose true ethnic allegiance ceased to be questionable in 1980.



The Majority Shona people had realised that our partnership, with depressed Ndebele savages, to oust the white settler regime from dominance was an extremely complicated affair.   This was particularly true in this instance because prior to the birth of Zanu the struggle had been led by Joshua Nkomo, a Ndebele assimilant of very vague, dubious and untraceable ethnic / tribal origins.


Nkomo parroted a motto similar to Zanu’s, that of Majority Rule but would not commit himself to ‘Shona Majority Rule’, preferring to distort in into  ‘Black Majority Rule’.  Such a distortion flew into the face of the real aggrieved person because Nkomo arrogantly and deliberately missed the point.  Black majority could only be Black Shona Majority Rule.   Anyone who stubbornly refuted this rendered themselves an enemy of the Shona people and Nkomo became one.  Nevertheless in the interest of the struggle we in Zanu appreciated the fact that Nkomo had no option but to offer himself for use to achieve Majority Shona Rule.  Hence every positive effort he made was on behalf of us the majority Shona.  Now and then he needed to be whipped into line because of his conformist tendencies as in the cases of numerous agreements he struck with Ian Smith under the cover of darkness thereby putting the liberation process in severe stress and jeopardy.  



Zanu sought to regain lost Shona dignity, looted cattle, stolen land and everything else that accrued to the colonialists as a result of their thuggery by the successive Ndebele and European dominant generations.  It makes economic sense to charge interest on money borrowed to someone.  Therefore, the development / civilisation which the whites brag about that they brought to Zimbabwe is part of the profit which is due to us and we inherit all that violently or not, without a guilty conscience.


White wealth

The riches of the white men in Zimbabwe were and still are accumulated through monopoly, exploitation, theft, plunder, murder, rape, corruption, treachery, hypocrisy and lies.  Is it possible to correct or reverse such inhuman acts without resorting to similar tactics?  Truly, violence begets violence, and for every action there is a reaction.



It is known fact that ever since its conception, Zanu had a double prolonged struggle to wage, that is, on the one hand against the Ndebeles and on the other against whites.  When the Ndebeles and whites fought one another in the 1890’s and then in the 1970’s, they were like vultures fighting over a carcass of dead prey.  One vulture cannot claim ownership of the dead animal on the grounds that it landed there first.  It remains a vulture by name and a scavenger by habit.



The Ndebele’s had no legal claim whatsoever upon Zimbabwean sovereignty just like Their earlier cousins (followers of Soshagane) later led by Ndabaningi Sithole, that hob goblin who tried to hijack the struggle.  Sithole was foiled and summarily ejected from the party – an act he regretted till his grave.   The simple question is why would these two black groupings fight for what did not legitimately belong to them.   Participating in the struggle only meant that they were offering themselves for use by the Majority Shonas.



Zanu’s correction of Sithole’s errors left the Shangaans a thoroughly confused group despite the modification of their identity to drift closer to Shona under the guise of a language called Ndau, generally accepted among the ignorant as a dialect of Shona.  The truth remains – they are foreigners, unwilling to advance our cause as they huddle around and cling childishly to the ‘Ndonga’.


Sustenance of illegal regime

For seventeen years of bitter Zanu struggle (2nd Chimurenga) to repossess lost Shona pride and stolen land, the whites put up a very stiff but doomed resistance.  They were aided and abetted by their British and American kith and kin that today will never forgive R.G. for taking on our behalf what belongs to us.  During the struggle, Ian Smith received modern war equipment from the G8 such as Gazelle helicopters, UZI’s etc, but Zanu received expired medicines through the UN.  There was no doubt in our minds that the point made by such assistance to Smith in violation of UN sanctions was that blood is thicker than water.




Now, in struggle comrades, you must have strategies and develop your own tactics suitable for the environment in which that struggles is being executed. Chairman Mao Ze Dong wrote quite extensively on strategy and tactics.  The material is easily accessible to those willing to read and learn.  Designing good strategies is not a simple matter- it requires acutely intelligent minds spiced with an unwavering commitment to success.


Zanu was found wanting in this regard.  Men and women made of the correct political material and with characters made of sterner tempered with resilience, honestly, dignity and awesomely high levels of political acumen, began to distinguish themselves on the ground.  We remember Chitepo and Takawira, at this level with great fondness.



When R.G. took over the reins of power in Zanu tremors of fears in the hearts of whites were heard throughout the country.  R.G. Immediately proved to be good quality leadership material through the country.  R.G. immediately proved to be good quality leadership material through the manner in which he meticulously and incisively executed the revolutionary fight for the restoration of our hallowed independence and Shona democracy.  Revolution means a violent overthrow of the status quo.  R.G. did precisely that.   As we all know the fight is far from being over.


Flag independence

As long as the white community remained economically dominant beyond Independence Day of April 18, 1980, then the battle is certainly not over yet.  Flag independence remains meaningful until the transfer of wealth into the hands of its rightful owners.  No one understands this position in Zanu better than the amazingly resilient and conscientious strategist R.G.



Because of the Lancaster House Constitutional trappings, R.G. put the issue of white economic dominance in a political freezer, which he safely locked with the word ‘Reconciliation’.  This earned him bountless praises such as ‘ The most brilliant politician’ by his former tormentors who could not believe their ears when the policy of reconciliation was announced.  R.G. knew how to leave sleeping dogs to lie.  He opted to decisively deal firstly with the Ndebeles once and for all.


Zapu and Zipra

At independence Zapu posed the most difficult challenge to Zanu over the leadership of the country.  The threat was not so much in terms of grassroots support as it was in terms of military firepower which Zapu built over many years with Russian and Cuban support while Zanla sweated it our desire to conclusively deal with issue of Ndebeles and their ugly past and the need to pacify Zapu was never greater than in 1980.


5th Brigade

R.G. instantly realised that it would be futile to draw open battle lines with ‘vaDumbuguru’, preferring to quietly do his homework.  He brought into the country super military training experts from North Korea.  Within eight months, a revered, feared and uncompromising crack force, known as Gukurahundi, had been trained. This is the force (5th Brigade), which was to strike terror in the hearts of Ndebeles. On one hand, R.G. consistently dangled the juicy carrot of Government of National Unity and the integration of forces into the National Army.  Mugabe always knew that Nkomo was desperate for power and so he let him have a little of it. The integration of the three armies would help to scatter Zipra and wide.



On other hand, R.G. created a small rebel force compromising mainly of recruits from Zipra and called them dissidents who were complimented by selected highly trained Zanla forces who would direct operations.  The group was put on pay role and then deployed in the Midlands and Matabeleland.


Soon the self styled dissidents were joined by other genuinely aggrieved Zipras who could not stand the heat generated exclusively for them in the National Army.  However, the army deserters and a few notorious Zipras who hated R.G. with a passion, never had a clue that the dissident element was not a Zapu initiative.  While Zapu denied sponsoring dissidents, leading to a loss of faith and confidence in their leadership by Zipras, the genuine dissident remained confused and uncoordinated finally resorting to aimless nomadic movement within the region.  It is during wondering that they got ambushed, killed and displayed at Police Camps until they began to decompose.


The Government – sponsored dissidents straight away went into orgy of band activity such as destroying development project equipment, raping women, demanding food, killing a few ‘Ndebele sell-outs’ especially those in the Zapu party structures.   They cleverly avoided direct contact with the National Army units except a few small skirmishes meant to deflect suspicion.



A perfect pretext had been created. The 5th Brigade was then swiftly deployed in the three provinces to ‘deal with the dissidents’ under the command of that agile and indestructible Perence Shiri. The real targets were Ndebele civilians and Zipra man whose fathers had committed crimes against the Shona People.  The strategy worked well, in no time Zapu’s political structures were smashed.



Within five years, 25 000 Ndebeles were exterminated in ways that instilled fear in the survivors, family life was dislocated as members scattered in different directions.  The rate of kill was just unbelievable and inspite of rumblings by the minority Zapu in parliament, the exercise carried on undisturbed culminating in the ‘Head of the Snake’ villain fleeing the country to take refuge in a European country where his stay was bankrolled by the same multinationals he had earlier proclaimed to be fighting. 



The real achievements of such a strategy was much greater than what the numbers of those slaughtered reflect.  There is probably roughly 2 million Ndebeles still alive today and therefore the first achievement of the 5th Brigade was redefining Ndebele and Shona relationships is so far as to who matters in this country.  The Ndebeles now fully know who wields what political clout in this sets the stage for the discussion of other achievements of the 5th Brigade.  The achievements include:


a)      Heritage

The military offensive in Matabeleland opened new windows of opportunity for the Shonas to reassert themselves in the country as the dominant and numerically superior group in order to repossess our lost glory and heritage, expressed in material, cultural, social and spiritual terms.


b)         Language

 The Shona language has regained its dominant position in our society.  It has become the lingua franca of Zimbabwe in the public sector particularly in government departments such as the army, police, hospitals, schools, immigration, customs, throughout the country.  One can now authoritatively demand service in the Shona language, even conduct telephonic conversation anywhere in Matabeleland without any need to apologise for the use of Shona or without the burden of having to speak Ndebele.

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