What ZANU said in 1972

We continue our serialisation of Mwenje 2, the document prepared by Zanu in the early 1970s to explain its formation and purposes. This week deals with the Dare reChimurenga and ZANLA:

In February 1969 a Representative Meeting was held in Lusaka, Zambia, at which the Revolutionary Council was replaced by a new body called “Dare reChimurenga” or Supreme Council. The eight elected members of the “Dare” have been charged with prosecuting the armed struggle and revolution started by ZANU at home and continued by the Revolutionary Council, uniting and liberating the masses of Zimbabwe and ultimately releasing the members of the Central Committee now in detention in Zimbabwe so that they can take their rightful places as leaders of the new nation.

Military affairs are organised by a specially appointed Military Council. It is responsible for the planning and execution of all military operations in accordance with the general strategy as laid down by the “Dare” from time to time. It should be stressed that the struggle we are waging is primarily a political struggle. Consequently at every stage political considerations must have a direct bearing on strategy, military programmes and operations. The Party should direct the gun. Among the many duties of the Military Council is the political education of all cadres.

The Party lays great store on political cadres who prepare the ground for mobilisation, recruitment and for military operations. Their first task is to extend national political consciousness to every Zimbabwean. He should know why he is being oppressed, by whom, for what purpose and what he can do to free himself. A major task of the Party is to teach the people of Zimbabwe about the nature of their oppression, the character of the oppressor, his weaknesses and strengths, and how and where decisive blows can be struck against him. Political cadres nurture a network of cells throughout the country for this purpose. They also prepare and initiate revolutionary guards whose function is to sustain and safeguard the gains of any military campaign or operation. The homeguards protect the civilian population against enemy victimisation and retaliation, and sustain the cell system.

The central unit of the military wing of the Party are the freedom fighters or guerrillas. They spearhead the process toward democratic freedom and national independence in every way, especially by educating and orienting the people toward s the new order, and carefully and systematically destroying the power bases of the settlers. But they make it clear wherever possible that they are fighting against an unjust system and not against white people as white people. The freedom fighters or guerrillas are men of high calibre drawn from patriotic families. Guerrillas must fully understand Party ideology, policy and programmes, As nation-builders they must conduct themselves in an exemplary way when they work among the people. They must always display qualities of leadership, discipline, obedience and love for the people.

The ZANLA is the military wing of ZANU. All freedom-fighters, political cadres and members of the homeguard belong to ZANLA. This will form the nucleus of the Zimbabwe African Defence Force. It will be a powerful force charged with the responsibility of defending the new nation and continuing the anti-imperialist struggle in Africa. It will also play a full part in mobilising and educating the masses in the new tasks of economic development and nation-building. Unlike the colonial armies that stood away and apart from the people, the Zimbabwe army will be a part and parcel of the people and their social and political systems.

All disabled freedom fighters and soldiers will be cared for by the State; those who will have fallen in battle will be honoured by the whole nation. Families of men who have served or are serving in the revolution will be cared for. A special Welfare Trust Fund has been established for the purpose. Its accounts are inspected regularly by independent Trustees and audited.

Throughout the revolution and moreso after victory is won ZANU intends to protect the interests and rights of mothers and children wherever possible, especially the mothers and children of ZANLA men. Problems of refugees and freedom fighters are well known; but they will be minimised whenever funds and manpower permit.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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