The Sunday Mail
THE following is an extract from a forthcoming book by ZANU PF secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu titled, “On the shoulder of the Struggle: Memoirs of a Political Insider”.
While it may be convenient to look at the succession crisis in the context of the fast-paced events to Operation Restore Legacy, it must be recalled that individuals like Tekere were at the forefront of pushing for (former President) Mugabe to leave office.
The radicalised turn in this direction was also seen when Simba Makoni, the former Finance Minister, established his political party which contested against Zanu PF in the 2008 election. Inasmuch as there were forces of ambition at play, it must be acknowledged that this reality was conceived by an unchecked system of monopoly.
Mugabe was a revered political actor and, in the process, became a surrogate father to many of us in the ruling party. There is no doubt that he remained a predominant stalwart of our revolutionary trajectory in the face of acute neo-colonial hostilities.
His role as a champion of economic empowerment also earned him an illustrious status as a father figure of a colonially-endangered spirit of African nationalism. This explains why people like Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa found themselves seeking to challenge Mugabe outside the parameters of ZANU PF membership.
The Simba Makoni-led Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn was formed with the full endorsement of the late Dr Dumiso Dabengwa and General Solomon Mujuru. After the flop of the Mavambo project, Dabengwa had to take up the initiative of supposedly forming Zapu as a symbolic gesture of defiance to the terms of the Unity Accord conceived under Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu in 1987.
The military and the
The tradition of the armed struggle jointly fought by Zipra and Zanla leading to the attainment of independence in 1980 makes the military an integral part of the power dynamics in ZANU PF. Most leaders in ZANU PF have their present political careers rooted in the military.
The basis of our revolutionary values is in the protracted combatant activity which brought Zimbabwe’s freedom. The collaborative role of the nationalists and the liberation armies cannot be put into question given that nationalists proffered charismatic direction to the liberation struggle.
On the other hand, the military executed the practical processes of our armed resistance towards independence. After 1980, the military was at the centre of most important political questions of the day not only as a custodian of territorial integrity, but as an interested actor in the consolidation of the nationalist revolutionary values personified in the ideology of ZANU PF.
The demobilisation of Zipra and Zanla forces underpinned one of the pivotal roadmaps to sustainable peace in Zimbabwe.
The challenges encountered in the process became the starting point of the early threats to peace in Zimbabwe.
The omnipresence of the military in Zimbabwean politics nullifies the narrow dictum of “politics leading the gun”.
The fraternal relationship between “politics and the gun” was symbolically expressed through the land reform, which was initiated by war veterans towards the new millennium.
The resurgence of the economic decolonisation agenda led by war veterans corrected a long-neglected injustice. With the politically negotiated terms of power, political independence was born, but it took a further militant step for economic equality to be realised.
The war veterans rescinded post-colonial policy compromises and defied the bureaucratic orders which secured interests of white monopoly capital.
The land reform transformed the political landscape as Zimbabwe plunged into an economic meltdown.
The rise of the MDC and the imposition of the illegal imperialist sanctions on Zimbabwe created a more hostile internal and external political environment.
The rise of opposition-aligned CSOs called for a radical nationalist defiance.
On the other hand, before the land reform programme, Solomon Mujuru, who was at the helm of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), had already initiated confrontational proposals for the former President to exit office in the early 90s.
His contribution (though not successful) signalled the formative stage of military resistance towards the former President.
Mujuru’s constant defiance to Cde Mugabe sharply situated the role of the military in influencing Zimbabwean politics.
Dr Obert Mpofu is ZANU PF’s secretary for Administration.