Mujuru not a liberation hero

“The general was practically everything…soldier cum businessman cum farmer cum miner…a very wealthy man…left his children considerable wealth… How much of that wealth and property was ill-gotten and how much was obtained in a clean manner?”

Solomon Mujuru
Solomon Mujuru

This is quoted from John Makumbe, my favourite columnist in The Zimbabwean of Thursday, 25 August, 2011 in his article ‘Beware the enemy within’. The power dynamics in Zanu (PF) did not excite me as I am already saturated with that foolishness. However, the article brought clarity to my long held conviction that the nationalists hijacked the liberation agenda – downgrading it to a narrow partisan project detrimental to the majority of Zimbabweans. They actually suppressed democracy and denied the people of Zimbabwe liberation.

A few definitions will make my point simpler to comprehend: Democracy is the belief system of freedom and equality between people. Liberation is setting someone or oneself free from oppression, bondage, or subjugation of one person by the other.

Nationalism is a policy or principle of or desire for the independence of a country or nation, focused on ridding a country of foreign control or rule.

In Rhodesia, the white descendants of colonialists monopolized political power using it to control the social and economic destiny of black African people. Zanu and Zapu – The Patriotic Front, composed of a few educated black and white people, resolved to rid the country of the oppressive whites. This struggle sucked in both democrats, like Josiah Tongogara, and fascists like Solomon Mujuru.

Looter par excellence

We can only judge a man by his words and deeds. Tongogara was not allowed to show us what he could do in independent Zimbabwe – but we remember him by his words during the struggle, paraphrased thus ‘We are fighting against an evil system in order to establish a just system where both black and white live side by side as equals’.

Mujuru can be judged by his actions over 30 years of independence – an arrogant drunk, a commander of soldiers and civilians, a looter per excellence (farms, diamond mines grabber and smuggler, an active participant in the spoils of the DRC war), and a Mugabe ally in suppressing the people’s will for three decades.

The likes of Mugabe and Mujuru, the fascist nationalists, systematically weeded out the democrats over the years, just replacing Ian Smith and his white supremacists with more vicious black-on-black oppression – entrenching and perfecting an oppressive system crafted by Smith.

This denied the people of Zimbabwe freedom of expression, freedom of association and many other democratic freedoms – creating a prison from which everyone wishes to escape. The nationalists delivered independence without liberation or democracy.

MDC beware

These nationalists, like Mujuru, went on an orgy of looting state and individuals’ assets in the name of liberation. They lied their way with no shame, grabbing the best farms for themselves and their kith and kin, driving out legitimate owners and stealing lucrative mines and business. Zimbabwe is laden with debt caused by this shameless looting – and it has to be paid by you, me and our children while their children, like Mujuru’s, wallow in luxury.

Mujuru and the Zanu/Zapu elite have demonstrated by their actions that they were oppressors. They were independence war fighters – not liberation war heroes.

The MDC beware – most of you are practicing the same fascist nationalist politics: bereft of any vision for the liberation of the people, vultures fighting for the trappings of patronage.

Academics, political scientists and all rational social commentators – you have a responsibility to rewrite the history of Zimbabwe accurately in order to rid us of the falsehoods of the last 30 years. [email protected]

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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