ZIMBABWE liberation war stalwart and Zapu president, Dumiso Dabengwa, is set to headline a conference on politics of the armed struggle in the region at Witwatersrand University in South Africa at the end of the month.
Source: Dabengwa to headline armed struggles in Southern Africa conference – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 10, 2016
BY KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
According to a draft programme of the conference to be held on November 23, Dabengwa will speak at the opening session of the conference and share the stage with Terry Bell and Ayanda Dlodlo to speak on the topic The Armed Struggle: Was it Worth It?
Dabengwa leads a contingent of historians and academics, who have been interested in studying Zimbabwean history, particularly that of Matabeleland.
The following day, prominent historian, who has written a lot about Zimbabwean history, Jocelyn Alexander, will speak on the Storied Wars: Personal Narratives and Liberation Struggle Histories.
Alexander is co-author, with JoAnn McGregor and Terence Ranger, of the book Violence and Memory: One Hundred Years in the ‘Dark Forests’ of Matabeleland, published in 2000.
He is also author of The Unsettled Land: The Politics of Land and State-making in Zimbabwe, 1893-2003 published in 2006.
Prominent liberation struggle heroes in South Africa, Pallo Jordan and Mac Maharaj, will also present at the conference on South Africa and the Turn to Armed Resistance.
Jordan and Maharaj are both African National Congress war veterans, whose liberation movement Umkhonto Wesizwe, shared trenches with Dabengwa’s Zipra forces during the liberation struggle that won Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
South Africa was, however, to win its independence 14 years later.
Prominent Zimbabwean academic, Samukele Hadebe is expected to present a paper on the Challenges in Memorialising ZPRA Legacy, in a session to be chaired by Alexander.
Hadebe will share the stage with Joseph Mujere, Joost Fontein and Munyaradzi Elton Sagiya, who will present a paper on Those Who Are Not Known, Should Be Known By The Country”: Patriotic history, liberation heritage and the politics of recognition in Gutu district, southern Zimbabwe and Namibia’s Henning Melber, who will speak on the Armed Liberation Struggle and the Post-colonial narrative in Namibia.
Jefferson Ndimande is expected to speak on The Subaltern Speaks: ZPRA Women Combatants and the Liberation War in Zimbabwe in what could be one off the few researches that seek to retrieve the voices of women in the liberation struggles.
As part of the heavy Zimbabwean contingent at the conference, Benny Moyo is expected to present a paper on The Socialist Internationalism and The Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZPRA) — A Game-Changer.
The leader of Mafela Trust, an organisation involved in the preservation of the Zipra history, Zephanaiah Nkomo, will also appear at the conference speaking on Memorialisation and Archiving the Armed Struggle: The Zapu/ ZPRA Archives.