Lessons from the failures of the Patriotic Front – Vince Musewe

via Lessons from the failures of the Patriotic Front – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 8, 2014 by Vince Musewe

I, therefore, do not necessarily think that the MDC-T split is unhealthy. After all, to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs.

In political struggles, it is common for those that aspire to lead to prostitute principles with selfish ambition.

I like historical facts because they stand up straight in front of you, look at you in the eye and strip your mind of any delusions or misconceptions — facts argue for themselves, they are rather stubborn, incessant and a formidable enemy to fight.

As leaders we must always embrace historical facts because if we do not, they will tend to emasculate our ambitions; they tend to be very brutal in forcing themselves into our lives.

If we embrace them, they quickly teach us to be better leaders and well prepared on issues of statecraft.

The recent political developments in our country require that we sit back and reflect where this is all likely to take us.

Societies develop in leaps and bounds through honest discourse and brutal confrontation of the truth. Change is a good thing if we understand what it is that is driving it.

I, therefore, do not necessarily think that the MDC-T split is unhealthy. After all, to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs.

I, however, think it could have been done smarter and more clinically, but people are complex and messy, especially when ambitions and egos are at stake.

President Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo established the Patriotic Front in October 1976 at the behest of the Frontline States.

This marriage of convenience was between two very ambitious men who did not necessarily like each other, but were forced by circumstances to establish a united front. As we contemplate our future, it’s important that we briefly look back at these events, but we must never be fixated on them.

Even if the formation of the Patriotic Front was a genuine union between two revolutionaries who put the people first, the facts are that it did not last because it was imposed by the Frontline States on competing political interests.

It seems that, despite how good this union looked on paper, Zanu and Zapu had to unite only to get access to resources and remain relevant and nothing else.

The struggles after the struggle of these two fundamentally different organisations prove this fact. There never was a meeting of minds in the first place.

Unfortunately, the Patriotic Front was also viewed as largely supported by Zapu followers and Nkomo began to treat it as his project — a project to deliver political leadership to him on the back of Zanu.

The Patriotic Front, therefore, neither united the fighters in the bush nor its leaders as the Frontline States hoped it would. It was all a farce.

The formation of the Patriotic Front was a means to an end to revive Nkomo’s fading political influence while sanitising Mugabe’s leadership ambitions.

It is, therefore, very clear that any political union that is formed as a response to emerging changing circumstances and opportunities does not last.
This is simply because those who unite are not doing it for the cause or brought together by common fundamental principles.

At most times, they are merely doing it in order to gain something — to gain political relevance and to survive in times that are fast changing. It is an inconvenient bother.

If one looks back, Zimbabweans have never been united on the political front since 1963 and the road to independence is littered with broken promises, lies, dead heroes and political intrigue.

Our national socio-political architecture continues to be driven by personal agendas and not by putting Zimbabwe first — selfishness and unbridled ambition at the expense of the interests of the people have become the national objectives. That is the truth.

In political struggles, it is common for those that aspire to lead to prostitute principles with selfish ambition.

Those that choose the latter seem to prevail and yet principles will always catch up with them.

It is important for us to learn from this in aspiration of establishing a United Democratic Front — it cannot and must never be a means to some end for any individual or political party.

It must not be someone’s project to get into power. A genuine people’s project must never become a personal project or a means to an end for cowards and plotters.

In my opinion, the MDC-T split is not about personal ambition, but rather about the fact that principles of democratic discourse, accountability and integrity have been compromised.

The use of violence to solve issues for me demonstrates the inherent incapability of us to accept these naked facts.

If opposition parties are to answer Morgan Tsvangirai’s call for a grand coalition, let them be circumspect and realise that this call comes at a time when the MDC-T is in trouble and it may be used as a platform to secure his aspirations to political power just as Nkomo wished to use the Patriotic Front.

I predict that such coalition will fail as the Patriotic Front did, because it is a reaction to changing circumstances and political survival and it is not about principles and the cause.

The same would apply to any united democratic front or grand coalition if it is fashioned to facilitate the rise to political power of any individauls.

In the Zimbabwe we want, we want to create leaders who must fit into the grand scheme of a democratic and inclusive political system that serves the people.

Leaders must never again impose themselves upon us nor pursue selfish ambition at our cost.

Zimbabwe comes first!

l Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on
vtmusewe@gmail.com  @vincemusewe

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56 comments on “Lessons from the failures of the Patriotic Front – Vince Musewe
  1. ZimJim says:

    Spot on, Vince. Nice one.

  2. Micheal says:

    Morgan Tsvangirai should have stepped down at the end of his term as party leader (Mandela style). A new team of leadership may have stood a better chance at bring democracy to Zimbabwe at those election. But the despotic dictatorial Tsvangirai clung to power as he believes he is the party and that the party belongs to him.

    We the people say “NO” Morgan the party belongs to the people, you have failed us in four elections, If you do not believe this to be a fact then please tell me why is Zanu still in power???? Simple!!!

    If the people support this dead horse (MDC-T) in 2018 then the people must not cry if they find they elected another dictator.

    True democracy is about performance, just as a successful business is about performance, if the political leadership of a party have failed to achieve then they must go, just as the CEO of a business must go if he has failed to produce profits and business growth.

    My fellow Zimbabwean, the time of enlightenment is upon us and we must decide whether we will tolerate dictators or whether we will show the peoples power and demand the best leadership through our vote. Let us not be led by Zanu after 2018 elections, although we will need Zanu to be there in opposition and day by day year by year democracy will grow to adulthood.

  3. Hutu says:

    @Micheal, you are very slow. Mandela was at the forefront of the ANC for ages. He stepped down after one term of the election he won and was allowed to rule. Morgan won an election and was not allowed to rule. What term are you talking about? Morgan has never served a term. Get your facts correct YOU ZANU STOOGE.

  4. “After all, to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs.” Vince I don’t think anybody wanted to make an omelette. They were frying eggs together and then a broken yolk(the rigged election) made some say “lets make an omelette. Problems is there were a few rotten eggs so now the omelette stinks.

  5. Hutu says:

    True Doc, it would only take one rotten egg to
    spoil the meal. In this case there were two.

  6. Rwendo says:

    Mandela delivered victory. He could have easily asked for a second term and the nation would have backed him. But he did not need the office to be himself, as his retirement period showed.

    Tsvangirai failed to commandeer an effective game plan to defend his electoral victory (won at loss of limb and life for many supporters) not once, not twice but three times. Unlike Mandela, he had every cause to resign.

    • LucyTT says:

      I agree with Rwendo, its not like the people did not grant him victory in their votes , if you are not as intelligent and determined as your opponents then admit defeat and let the younger ones try.

  7. Chaka says:

    The coalition shd hv a common and neutral agreement without certain leaders dominating if it is to stand for the citizens of Zim. As Zimbos we hv gone thru painful tests we shd by now hv learnt not to be fooled around thanks Vince. We hv to look closely at such coalitions n identify leaders w their individual motives esp since zpf wd be against such a move n make efforts to interfere in sheep’s clothing

  8. John Thomas says:

    If ZANU is to be removed it will be with them struggling and screaming. There will be no easy way. The lesson of the patriotic front is that the unity of ZANU should be attacked. Nobody is doing this. Their leading members are corrupt and vulnerable. Bring down the weakest first. Moyo, Chinamasa to name only two have no political foundation. They will be dumped if pressure is brought to bear. Then the pressure can be moved to others. Remember these guys are greedy and this can be used against them.

  9. pati says:

    How I wish some of us could really read the whole piece of what the writer is saying and get the import of what he scribed, rather than picking a proverb and try to turn it upside down by over thinking its meaning. Changes are dynamic. Whether the breakup of MDC will yield favorable results is up to how the purported leaders handle it, but one thing we should always bear in mind is that they all, including Biti, Tsvangirai and Mugabe, do not have a monopoly on leadership. Always bear that in mind. I repeat, never become an appendage to politicians. Have a mind of your own and think for yourself without becoming emotionally attached to these politicians because if you do you will always be disappointed. Politicians lie and we have an obligation to bring them to account no matter how favorable you may think of them.

  10. Mahlaba says:

    Agree with in most issues except when you say The Patriotic Front was formed to save Nkomo s fading political influence. That is PROPAGANDA! It is lie! Do your research properly and stop spoiling otherwise a good article.

    • Folded Arms says:

      I agree Mahlaba. The writer is misguided on that point, the PF was forced on both of them by the other frontline states so they could be one party in the negotiations for independence. It had nothing to do with Nkomo’s personal ambitions.

  11. Sometimes we forget some of the events that took place during past elections. The opposition of Ncube and Twangirayi went into the past two elections amid statements on National TV that the Army leaders would not salute or recognize any winner other than Zanu pf. Senior Zanu pf officials also appeared in interviews saying that if the opposition won the elections they would rather go back to the bush. To some of us it became clear that unless the armed forces said no, we will not endorse a losing party, the opposition was powerless to do any thing about it. Our hope had been that SADEC and mainly South Africa would look and maybe say ” look, you guys have lost ,step down or we will have to take action” Contrary to that, those partys for some reason decided to back the losers and force the winners to be the deputy winners with hardly any say. My point is WHAT HAS CHANGED THAT WILL LET ANYONE ELSE WIN AND TAKEOVER. Nothing. So all this that so and so has failed does not wash. The so and so’s of the Zimbabwe political scopes were never given a chance to pass. Munangawa even said they would never allow anyone other than Zanu to assume power. Talk about entering a boxing match with your hands tied behind your back.

  12. Kondo says:

    You can debate all you like and come up with fancy theories but the grassroots don’t care . You can follow Biti on his journey nowhere just as those who did with a nonentity called Welshman Ncube.UDF is an organisation for political cretins.

    • Straight Shooter says:

      Kondo
      You are obviously not a democrat neeh? They are cretins because they differ with your beloved Tsvangirayi – yebo yes!!!!!

  13. Straight Shooter says:

    The United Front as proposed by Biti, Mangoma might be based on personal ambitions; but one cannot deny that the arguments they are advancing against Tswangirayi’s leadership are the factual truth.

    These are the same arguments Welshman Ncube advanced prior to the first MDC split in 2005 but were not then taken seriously because some people felt that ignoring them for the sake of unity in order to focus on the bigger picture of dislodging Mugabe was the urgency of now.

    Unfortunately, Tsvangirayi’s behaviour has gotten worse over the years such that these problems can no longer be ignored; otherwise continuing with him is like guaranteeing dictatorial Mugabe’s rule after he is long dead and buried!

    This is the truth that most of his passionate supporters are not willing to accept.The unfortunate thing is that once they have created another “Mugabe” an put him in power; who then refuses to step down and uses violence to continue in power, they will once again appeal to everyone including us who are busy warning them of the oncoming danger, to unite and help dislodge, another dictator in the form of Tswangirayi.

  14. Straight Shooter says:

    Vincent, Joshua Nkomo actually saved Robert Mugabe’s career, not the Patriotic Front. You must never forget that Joshua Nkomo had far more diplomatic pull globally than Robert Mugabe. Apart from China and North Korea, who else supported Robert Mugabe?

    Joshua Nkomo had the support of Cuba’s Fidel Castro; Brezhnev of the Soviet Union; India, the UK and the Nordic Countries. Because he and ZAPU had a different approach to resolving the Rhodesian political crisis; Robert Mugabe never liked him for that.

    ZAPU’s approach was to combine the liberation struggle with exploiting opportunities for negotiations should they arise; whilst on the other hand Robert Mugabe and ZANU believed in the liberation struggle with no negotiations until victory – which was of course impossible, as he finally carved in at Lancaster House. As a result Ian Smith preferred dealing with Nkomo and made several overtures to him for negotiations.

    This is why Robert Mugabe regarded Nkomo as a sell out – as if Nkomo was a member of his party.

    Joshua Nkomo continued to engage Ian Smith because that was his party’s policy – its a wonder why Robert Mugabe expected him to tore the line of ZANU?

    Joshua Nkom could have settled with Ian Smith, Ndabaningi Sithole, Bishop Muzorewa and Chiefs Kayisa Ndiweni and Jeremiah Chirau and sabotaged ZANU and Mugabe in toto.

    Their settlement would have gained immediate international recognition including the UN, given his diplomatic muscle.

    As a consequence, Robert Mugabe would have been thrown into the dustbin of history – what with is poorly equipped ZANLA compared to the ZIPRA forces then.

    It is actually Nkomo who saved Robert Mugbe’s career by insisting on “not returning to Rhodesia without Robert Mugabe”; something he later regretted, I am sure.

    I also regret Nkomo not ignoring Mugabe and settling with Ian Smith – our country could have been totally different today!!

  15. Ngoto Zimbwa says:

    The truth is that the people have seen what these Bitis Ncubes are.
    ZANU agents on a mission to destroy opposition to its reign.

    • Straight Shooter says:

      Ngoto
      We know the typical Zim mentality – labelling those who dont agree with you is an art in which you all excel. This was well horned and learnt from ZANU PF. What with “PUPPETS OF THE WEST”; “SELL OUT” etc, etc.

      • Ngoto Zimbwa says:

        You are not a Zimbo?
        And thereby immune of this mentality?

        How many take Ncube seriously? His party almost a one man show now?
        Who’s Biti pally pally with if not Gono?

        This is where I am coming from.
        Tsvangson needs to go, at some point, but our number one enemy is ZANU.

        • Straight Shooter says:

          Ngoto
          The Constitution of Zim does not prohibit any Zim citizen from forming a political party; do you understand?

          It doesnt matter whether that party is a one-man show or not; the bottom line is that there is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about this.

          You have every democratic right to differ with Ncube. You have every right not to take him seriously. But let those who believe in his views continue unhindered.

          Your problem is that you become angry whenever people differ with or oppose your political heroes; their views or yours. That is not civilised behaviour and its inherently indemocratic.

          With supporters of your kind, I am not surprised why MDC-T and ZANU PF are such violent parties!!!

          • Ngoto Zimbwa says:

            “”You tribally and arrogantly voted for your Mwanawekumusha in 1980. You did not want Joshua Nkomo because he was not a Mwanawekumusha.

            Even today, you still continue with these Mwanawekumusha tendencies with the confused, tribalist party dictator Tsvangirayi; after which tomorrow you will once again start crying for help.

            So, please shut up and eat your Mwanawekumusha!!””

            This is Sraight Shooter speak.
            Now, who is angry?

            I am truely surprised you have the bark to accuse people here of undemocratic behaviour.
            There is an undercurrent of violenc here, in your utterances, that the label “approach with care” should be attached to your posts.

            • Mthwakazi says:

              So, with Straight Shooter telling the truth, it suddenly becomes an undercurrent of violence according to you? Surprisingly, you are not even disputing the facts. You are not even contesting them. You are merely raising other peripheral issues. LoL! how funny!

              • Ngoto Zimbwa says:

                What you are saying Mtwakazi is that,: “So, please shut up and eat your Mwanawekumusha!!””, is a benign statement?

                This Straight Shooter person is a ribald tribalist of the first order and if you want to join him that’s fine by me.
                By calling yourself Mtwakazi, you feel there is a place for such an entity in our motherland and that you guys can go it alone out-with the Masvina?
                How shallow.
                ZANU and its Fifth Brigade committed this heinous crime against the Matebele people but all of a sudden, every Maswina is Gukurahundi?

                ZANU is destroying our country and all you two bright sparks can come up with is how people voted on tribal lines back in 1980?

                If I were a Ndebele person, I would probably hate the Shona as much as you guys seem to do.
                That’s not however, gonna build a future Zim.
                For our kids.
                We are going to be dead soon and leave them with this heritage, of hate and distrust?

                • Mthwakazi says:

                  Ngoto
                  Mthwakazi are the people of Matebeleland. This is an 1800s historical fact. It has absolutely nothing to do with you and your friend Paul Siwela and your MLF’s fantasies of separation. Do you understand. Learn our history and stop fantasising.

                  The tribal voting of the 1980s and the gukurahundi politics of that time is what brought us to this current situation in Zim. Nothing in life happens in isolation. The past always informs the present and what we do about our present will inform the future.

                  This is why we need to break with the politics of tribalism of the past now, so that our present will inform a more progressive, united in diversity nation of a future Zim, for the sake of our children and our children’s children.

                  I however dont see this happening given the fact that the majority of you today continue with the tribal politics of the past.

                  • Ngoto Zimbwa says:

                    “This is why we need to break with the politics of tribalism of the past now, so that our present will inform a more progressive, united in diversity nation of a future Zim, for the sake of our children and our children’s children.”

                    Wow!
                    Wish I had said that.
                    There is hope, yet.

  16. BRUCE CROFTS says:

    Vince, you must agree “Straight Shooter” is ( with 20/20 Hindsight ) correct.
    The biggest ” missed opportunity” was an Nkomo/ Smith alliance. It could
    well have saved one hell of lot of grief, lives, money, progress etc. God only
    knows where we would be by now. My guess, would go as far as saying, we
    would, by now,have become the leading Economic Power in Africa. Very sad. bc.

  17. Ngoto Zimbwa says:

    Nkomo was a totally different man from you Mr Straight whatever.
    He was a Nationalist with genuine love for Zim.
    He might have, at one stage, been hoodwinked by Smith but he got out fast.
    You, on the other hand, are a tribalist.
    Which is sad, because you seem to have some neurons.

    • Straight Shooter says:

      Ngoto
      You are the typical gukurahundi ZANU PF disciple – thugs who have mastered the art of praising those who they have already defeated.

      Just go back to the many BBC news archives and see for yourself what you and many of your kind were doing and saying against Dr Joshua Nkomo in the 1980s. “NGOMO ZIDUMBU, ZIMUNDEVERE!!” – is that how you praise your nationalist heroes in the villages from whence you come??

      As for the usual labelling “tribalist” from you – rest assured I wear that with pride, coming from many of your kind. You hate to hear the truth and are never prepared to engage in a civilised manner in order to dispel those views with which you dont agree over issues of tribalism.

      You seem to believe labelling; throwing around baseless accusations etc, etc will make the problem go away. Stay put like that – and lets see whether with such mentalities there will ever be a prosperous Zim. I dont believe so – Sorrry!!

  18. Ngoto Zimbwa says:

    You think Nkomo didn’t see the folly of going in with Smith and Muzo?
    Russia and Cuba would have dumped him fast and swung behind ZANU.
    Remember this was Cold War at its highest time.

    Zim would have turned into an Angola with a lot of distruction and bloodshed.
    much like now.

  19. Doc, spot on buddy

    ana doozvy ava havasi kuona zviri kuitika
    kana kuvhota handifungi kuti vanovhota, vanongowawata zvisina basa
    Tsvangira haasati atonga nyika, so term iri kutaugwa yafanana neya Mandela ndeip. vanhu vanokurudzigwa kushandisa njere vasati vataura. Tsvangirai anodiwa nevanhu, kana vasisamude ndovachamubvisa ku party kwake. chagwadza chii apa.
    kana aneshungu dzekutona ngatange mpvement yake, sana Makoni, ana Shakespear Maya, mohwina makazvinyararigwa
    siyanai na Morgan. Simple

  20. Petal says:

    and who went on South African Television for criticising Madiba for reconciling with the Caucasians – the one and only Robert Gabriel Mugabe-he is racist and a tribalist and has not shown his people that people can reconcile and live side by side regardless of what group one comes from. he is evil just a waste of time going to the vatican. When will people learn that this man has a big mouth- people forget that when he was interviewed at the time of independence that he said that if he had lost he would go back to the bush he is a greedy evil sod and for one of his children who was expelled from St. Georges for calling him a “God” is strange he is a devil in disguise

  21. Fundani Moto says:

    First of all realize that the Patriotic Front was entered into because both ZANU and ZAPU had one objective, to overthrow the Smith regime. On the political front dialogue was also important. As Straight Shooter puts it Nkomo was a national leader and also commanded great respect internationally; so Musewe’ s analysis is quite simplistic if he thinks Nkomo had some sinister motives in joining the PF. Zimbabwe’s ills stem from tribal politics through which “the winner takes all” mentality is inherent in our system. Secondly Musewe fails to acknowledge that Nkomo was a political leader before Mugabe.
    Nkomo’s ambitions were to see a prosperous Zimbabwe for all regardless of color or creed. If he had any ulterior motives this country would have seen the worst bloodbath ever witnessed after the 1980 elections.
    What is wrong with Zimbabweans today is that no one takes responsibility for our failures/shortcomings. We have to learn to be a united people to be able to address the problems this country faces.

    • Straight Shooter says:

      Fundani
      I quite agree. I dont know when Zimbabweans will learn to face the truth and confront it head on. It is clear as day light that the 1980s politics in Zimbabwe was largely tribal, but I dont know why some people love to play hide and seek about this. What is worse is that there are public records to prove this, but some still refuse.

      Todate we are still saddled with this problem because the majority want to pretend it doesnt exist. I guess its a question of “who feels it, knows it!!”

    • Mthwakazi says:

      fundani
      How many times have we heard of “tiri bazhinji” since Robert Mugabe came to power? Clearly its about numbers, not right or wrong; not morals or not – just plain numbers. This is why the country has gone to the dogs!!

      • Ngoto Zimbwa says:

        Well, for once I agree with you Mtwakazi.

        ZANU is hiding behind perceived numbers.
        The truth of the mater is that nobody but nobody wants them and you two guys, with your Mtwakaziland agenda, should wake up to that fact.

        We have to look at Nigeria and how its neglected parts of its regions with disastrous results.
        We have to look at CAR, South Sudan and Rwanda to name a few, and say we don’t want to go down that road.
        ZANU is neglecting all parts of our country and we have to be united if we are going to get rid of them and build a prosperous country.

        • Mthwakazi says:

          Ngoto
          What is a Mthwakaziland agenda?

          Your problem is ignorance. Try learning more about the Mthwakazi people and stop confusing issues here. You are as ignorant about uMthwakazi as many whites are ignorant about black people. This ignorance is the source of unfounded mistrust, suspicions, and hatred and has led to many unnecessary wars all over the world.

          Do some proper research and stop your false tribally driven stupid ignorant accusations!!

          • Ngoto Zimbwa says:

            I just said I agree with you.
            I am trying to meet you half way here buddy.
            How about a chance to move forward?

            • Straight Shooter says:

              Yes but you talked of the Mthwakazi agenda; thus implying that Mthwakazi people are in support of Paul Siwela and his seccession ideas.

              How can people who in their majority voted for Tsvangirayi, a Shona be after secession?

              Please stop confusing secession and our tradional name Mthwakazi. The two are not one and the same thing.

  22. Tafadzwa says:

    One you mention any of Nkomo’s political weakness, you are labelled anti-Nkomo. The danger was always those who supported Nkomo as if he was a god. Part of Nkomo’s weakness was his half-hearted approach to waging the war. He took it as a part-time hobby. How else can one explain his losing the 1980 election so heavily .We now know ZANU’s evil mafia, but we must give credit were it is due. ZANU did a very good job in seeking support in the pre 1979 period. There is no way to know how Nkomo would have been a better leader then Mugabe. Having served in Mugabe’s cabinet, Nkomo surely must take his share in Mugabe’s blame for failing Zimbabwe.

    • Straight Shooter says:

      Tafadzwa
      You had every right to oppose uNkomo, if you thought he and his party had a half hearted approach to the war. The problem some us have with you people is that you fail to realise and accept that Nkomo and his ZAPU party were not Robert Mugabe and they were not ZANU. I refuse to accept that this was the cause of ZAPU’s loss in the 1980 elections.

      Everybody knows Mugabe campaigned largely on a tribal card – where do you think the phrase “….My country, Nkomo’s country came from…”, when Lord Soames mentioned it?

      Just as people must accept that even today, many of us including MDC-T and Tswangirayi differed with ZANU PF on how to solve the land issue; though the objective remained the same – they too differed on how to solve the Rhodesian crisis, though the objective remained the same – so stop imposing how Nkomo should have approached the war.

      They believed in the primacy of negotiations and Robert Mugabe did not – accept that. This is why they were different political parties. This is how democracy works – you dont force people to agree with you.

  23. roving ambassador. says:

    If the MDCs want to show relevance to the current political discourse, all of the must leave parliament. Its of no use seating in that house to rubber stamp what ever the Junta wishes. The Mdc is busy consciously or unconsciously supporting an illegal regime.
    The Mdc claim that the elections were rigged and they themselves give credibility to Zanu by seating in that parliament.
    We should urge them to walk out.
    Are they leaderless like Zanu to give them direction.

    Walk out now.
    Zanu does not need your help in corruption.
    Resign I say.
    Resign.

  24. harper says:

    Nkomo lost the 1980 election more heavily than expected due to ZANU forces terrorising some of ZAPU strongholds. When Nkomo complained to Soames he was assured by Soames that he would declare the election results for those areas void. Soames failed to do this and when confronted said that there was no point as the biggest bully (Mugabe) would take the country by fair means or foul. In the 1985 election ZANU were still worried about a reversal of the vote in these former ZAPU areas.
    So much so that during a court case in Karoi the Member in Charge, ZRP, Karoi said that he would personally kill anyone who canvassed for the opposition.

  25. Petal says:

    If another Leader went on Zimbabwe television lambasting Bob the way he did in south Africa to late Madiba, Bob would have them beheaded – the man wants to call the shots – definitely one of his children if there are his will take after him beware

  26. Hutu says:

    I would like to think that we on this forum debate because we want to put our views forward and at the same time hear other veiws so we may feed (take in information). The argument is not about Nkomos credentials. In fact Nkomo done whatever was necessary to get Zimbabweans free. The first time was not the unity accord. The first time was Lancaster house. Robert Mugabe refused the terms of that agreement and did not want it to go forward. Joshua Nkomo was instrumental in convincing Mugabe, and others this was the way forward. He got snaked by Mugabe when they came in as Mugabe decided to go it alone. Even you straight shooter, or should I say M (that was on this forum before) are totally lost. Nkomo was cheated by the younger man who’s strategy was tribe HENCE THE MATABELELAND MASACRES. Morgan has also been cheated because Mugabe has installed it into those he chose to that MDC is being run by a TEA BOY. This man is no teaboy. He has made Mugabe’s life a living hell. Even if he was a teaboy HE IS ONE OF GODS CREATIONS.

  27. It is very interesting to see the mood on this Forum. I am impressed with the comments. Why? Nelson Mandela said “A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.” I wish our leaders would do what we do WITH EACH OTHER. Respect to you all.

  28. Mthwakazi says:

    I find it difficult to understand how some people accept that Mugabe is a dictator, a bully, and a one party state minded dictator today, viz the MDCT and Tswangiray; and yet do not accept the same of him viz PF ZAPU and Joshua Nkomo in the 1980s, yet the method in his madness against anyone who opposes him still remains the same. It has never changed in the last 34 years. Surely, is this not glaring tribalism, if I may ask?

  29. Ngoto Zimbwa says:

    Thanks Doc, for your calming influence.
    Some of us do tend to get carried away.

  30. Ngoto Zimbwa as some one that I have followed recently, people like you are the pride of what will be achieved in our country as you debate without insulting any one no matter what they say. Straight Shooter I will never tell you what to say but as a brother when we talk tribal all the time we walk backwards blind folded. I respect your emotion but you have to think about THOSE THAT DON’T CARE ABOUT TRIBE.. like the many that were side by side with Joshua Nkomo that were from different tribes. And those in south Africa that followed Mandela’s example of not worrying about tribe. IT IS KILLING AFRICA.

    • Mthwakazi says:

      yes Doc, tribalism is killing Africa, but it should not be ignored. It has to be dealt with openly because those who are victims continue to suffer. They are also human beings by the way and are equal citizens with equal rights to everything that their country and its constitution avails them That they are a minority should not matter at all!

  31. Ngoto Zimbwa says:

    Here are some facts.
    Zim’s population is roughly 80% Shona and 20% Ndebele.

    ZANU’s security apparatus, viz: Army, Police, CIO and War Vets is comprised of roughly 70% Mashona and 30% Mandevere.
    This is also roughly reflected in Bob’s Cabinet.

    The impression given here is that the majority tribe is oppressing the minority one.
    That’s besides the point really because if one is not ZANU, then they can kiss equal rights status out of the window.

    • Straight Shooter says:

      Ngoto
      Quick question – If I go to the Registrar’s office for a passport oe whatever documentation. I am probably an old man or a gogo in my 60s; oe an even younger person.

      My documentation is very clear; from my name; surname and place of birth or origin that I am not Shona. These staff members insist on speaking to me in Shona yet they know I am not one – what do you call that?

      Is that fair in your understanding? Is that waht our constitution says? Why is that the people of Matland dont do this to the Shona people?

      They dont do this to Coloureds Zims; they dont do this to Asian Zims and they dont do this to White Zims, so why me?

      Please dont argue on the basis of populatipon numbers since this is not being donme to whites, Coloureds or whites who are even fewer that the Mthwakazi people. Besides, all progressive constitutions protect minority rights.

      If this is NOT oppression of a minority by the majority – tell me what it is? This is just one example – I can give you more.

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