Mzila says Zanu PF is a tribalist party

via Mzila says Zanu PF is a tribalist party – New Zimbabwe 19/04/2015

ZANU PF was never a revolutionary party but a reactionary organisation, formed specifically to pursue a tribal agenda, a former government minister has charged.

President Mugabe’s party was formed in 1963 by former ZAPU members, who included Hebert Chitepo, Edgar Tekere, Enos Nkala, Ndabaningi Sithole, Mukudzei Midzi and Henry Hamadziripi.

Speaking at a public meeting titled, “Zim @35 reflections on dreams, obstacles and hopes” organised by Bulawayo Agenda on Friday, former National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu dismissed what he said were claims that Zanu was a revolutionary movement.

“Zanu was formed strictly on a tribal agenda and that point must be accepted. Zanu PF was formed around a tribe, the unwillingness to accept to be led by somebody from another ethnic grouping and that for me was the foundation of Zanu PF.

“If you separate yourself on the basis of tribe, it therefore means I hate the other tribe and the manifestation of that hatred came about in 1981 and 1982,” said Mzila-Ndlovu.

The MDC acting secretary general said the skirmishes in Mgagao (Tanzania), Beitbridge and Filabusi between Zanla and Zipra forces testified to Zanu’s indoctrination of its cadres.

“In Zipra we had the two major tribes, Shona and Ndebele, very represented and we believed this, umntwana wenhlabathi (son of the soil) mantra, that you cannot hate a Shona when they are in the same struggle. You would hate a Dzakudzaku of Muzorewa and the Rhodesia Front soldier.

“Zanu had indoctrinated its cadres on the philosophy of hatred and at the same time you are saying my enemy is the white person. I know those that were integrated into the national army way back in 1980 soon found out that Zanu was more uncomfortable with Zipra more than they were with the ex-regime,” he said.

Mzila-Ndlovu said even when employing people soon after taking over government, most of the government jobs were distributed along tribal lines.

“In 1980 Zanu PF pretended they were employing its members in the public service and yet they were pushing a tribal agenda and because they pushed this agenda hiding behind the curtain of a membership of Zanu PF, that we are deploying cadres in critical positions.

“To me it became clear that this was a party steeped in the philosophy of hatred, tribalism and racism. If you look at the period from 1980 and what they did in Matabeleland it testifies also to their philosophy of hatred and you link that with what happened in 2000, again being motivated and driven by a philosophy of hatred, hatred of a particular racial group, it does explain the character of Zanu PF,” he said.

Mzila’s comments come as no surprise. In his autobiography, The Story of My Life, the late former Vice President, Joshua Nkomo, lays the blame for this tribal agenda on influential intellectuals like Takawira.

According to Nkomo, he was alerted by a foreign friend that tribalism was now an issue in the local nationalist movement and he had better be careful and not long after the warning, the split occurred. Prior to the schism, Nkomo writes, the late Joseph Msika seized a secret note from one Malianga which communicated the need to get rid of the Zimundebere-a reference to Nkomo.

It was not long before interparty clashes-fuelled by ethnic hatred-occurred within the country and replicated in exile, mostly in Tanzania. The 1980s genocide, which claimed an estimated 20 000 Ndebele speaking people, became the height of the bad blood between the two parties as the army and Zanu activists targeted Nkomo’s Zapu supporters.

Throughout the killing spree, tribalism was the currency as villagers reported being forced to sing Shona songs before being forced to dig mass graves into which some of them were machine-gunned by the Fifth Brigade death squads.