In 2006 the late national hero Enos Nkala blasted President Robert Mugabe for running a ‘ruthless dictatorship’. He said “Mugabe talks, imagines and believes that he and he alone brought about the freedom of Zimbabwe. He believes that some of us were sleeping at home with our wives while he was fighting — this nonsense must come to an end,” Nkala said in a statement.
Robert Mugabe came into the political scene of this country in 1960. We had invited him to join us. At this time he was a teacher in Ghana. He came while on leave. I then shared a platform with him at Cyril Jennings Hall in May of that year.
He spoke very well and we were impressed by his eloquence. At this time, I was secretary-general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which had been formed on the January 1 1960.
Because of his eloquence and his clarity of issues, he impressed us and the central committee sat and agreed that we should approach him and ask him to join us. Morton Malianga and I were asked to approach him so that he could join us in the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe.
He was staying at Cephas Msipa’s house (in Harare) from where we had a meeting with him. When we got there, we briefed him about our mission. Then a positive and rewarding discussion took place.
At the end of the meeting he agreed to join us. But among other problems, if my memory serves me right, was his teaching contract with a year to go.
He then said to us he would find a way to terminate it before it expired. Without making any reference to the ensuing events concerning the contract, all I can say is that he later joined as publicity secretary of the NDP.
After a year or so, the NDP was banned and its leadership restricted in their respective home areas. If I am not wrong, it was for a period of three months. Soon after their release from restriction, Zapu was formed as a substitute political party to the NDP. Of course, Joshua Nkomo remained as leader.
The NDP held its national election conference, if my memory interprets this occurrence of events appropriately, it was in September of 1961 at which conference Nkomo was elected president since he had been president of the Southern Rhodesia African National Congress. When it got banned in 1959, he went to exile in London.
We had been campaigning for Nkomo to return to lead the NDP, of which he was elected president in September of 1961. Mugabe was retained as publicity secretary.
Zapu was banned in 1962. At this time, Nkomo and others were outside the country attending many of the meetings that later gave birth to the Organisation of African Unity. Serious differences among leaders of Zapu emerged.
There was a view among the leaders of Zapu that had emerged that Nkomo had failed as a leader. I was in support of this view. The differences of views led to the split in the leadership of Zapu which was followed by the formation of Zanu at my Highfield house in 1963.
The characteristics of the serious differences that emerged will be clearly spelt out in the book I am writing whose title will be The Years of Challenge.
At the formation of Zanu, Mugabe was not there. He was in Tanzania with his wife attending to the birth of his son. At the formation of Zanu at my house in August 1963, Ndabaningi Sithole was elected president, deputised by Leopold Takawira.
Mugabe was elected secretary-general deputised by Eddison Zvobgo and I was elected treasurer-general deputised by Nathan Shamuyarira. The other appointments can be found in the Chronicle and the Rhodesia Herald of the following day.
I remained treasurer-general of the party until my controversial resignation in 1990 from both the government and all my executive positions in Zanu PF, including of course, my membership of Zanu PF. I did this in total disgust of the under-current manoeuvres by Mugabe and his Zezuru group.
It was obvious to me that he wanted to clear me and Maurice Nyagumbo from both the government and the party so as to enable him to become the dictator which he is. The so-called Sandura Judicial Commission was appointed at his initiation and instigation so that he could get rid of us.
It is unfortunate and very much regrettable Nyagumbo was made to take away his life. May his soul rest in peace. It was due to the Zezuru Group of 26 that brought about the Sandura initiative. This group reports directly to Mugabe. It includes Zezuru judges, senior Zezuru army officers and some senior Zezuru CIO. It is the policy-making body.
It recommends the dismissal of ministers and appointment of ministers who are amenable to Mugabe remaining in power. Should I be challenged over what I have said herein, I am ready to elaborate and defend the position that I have hinted to in this statement.
The critical issue that I want to raise among other things is the destruction of the economy by Mugabe and the Group of 26 and the social fabric of the people of Zimbabwe. In everything, this group, headed by Mugabe, has humiliated and cowed the people of this country into total abject submission.
The people of this country can no longer hold demonstrations, protestations, or find any other means of expressing their democratic rights.
Anyone found to be in disagreement with Mugabe, the hidden hand of the Group of 26, CIO, army and police, can be beaten and thrown into prison. Women with babies have been locked in police cells, trade unionists have had their hands if not heads broken and beaten to the point of total submission.
Judicial processes have been negated by the unholy influence of the Group of 26. Law and order, legal rights, constitutional protection can now only be enjoyed by members of Zanu PF and those who support the tyranny of His Excellency President Robert Mugabe.
It is my considered view that I should stand up and be counted among those who are opposed to this ruthless dictatorship. Time has come for people of Zimbabwe to stand up and be counted in opposition to this ruthless tyranny.
I want to remind His Excellency that I am not among those who die many times before their actual death. I am a son of heroes and a self-made hero and have just completed 74 years of my life with a greater part of it spent in Ian Smith’s prisons and detention camps for the liberation of my country.
Mugabe talks, imagines and believes that he and he alone brought about the freedom of Zimbabwe. He believes that some of us were sleeping at home with our wives while he was fighting — this nonsense must come to an end.
I am ready to spend the last days of my life in Mugabe’s prisons in defence of the legal, constitutional and civil rights of the precious people of Zimbabwe. I wish to end thus far until he responds to this statement. Mugabe must go now before the situation consumes him.