Mu­juru warned against manupi­lat­ing his­tory

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fidelis Mun­y­oro Harare Bu­reau

ZIMPF leader Dr Joice Mu­juru has a lot to be grate­ful to Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe who trans­formed her from a nonen­tity to a re­spectable po­lit­i­cal fig­ure in the coun­try’s his­tory, Pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Mr Ge­orge Charamba has said.

Mr Charamba was re­spond­ing to Dr Mu­juru’s at­tack on Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe in the News­Day on Tues­day where she brazenly claimed that her late hus­band, Gen­eral Solomon Mu­juru, “hand­picked” Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe to lead Zanu-PF at the height of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

His­tory, Mr Charamba said, shows that fol­low­ing the tragic as­sas­si­na­tion of Zanu chair­man, Cde Her­bert Wilt­shire Ha­man­dishe Chitepo, by Rhode­sian agents on March 18, 1975, the Zanu lead­er­ship held a cri­sis meet­ing in High­field, Salisbury.

“That meet­ing di­rected that Cde Mu­gabe, as Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, ac­com­pa­nied by the late Cde Edgar Zi­vanai Tekere, promptly leave the coun­try to lead the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle fol­low­ing the said death and the cri­sis that fol­lowed which threat­ened to de­rail the strug­gle. The de­ci­sion was thus of the Party, Zanu, and was taken in­side the then Rhode­sia, in the in­ter­est of fur­ther­ing the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. Need­less to say trained cadres who in­cluded Cde Rex Nhongo (Dr Mu­juru’s hus­band) could not have been at that meet­ing, or in the coun­try,’’ he said.

Af­ter in­de­pen­dence Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe, then Prime Min­is­ter, ap­pointed Dr Mu­juru as a min­is­ter of Govern­ment.

He said Dr Mu­juru by her own ad­mis­sion, felt ille­quipped and un­de­serv­ing of the ap­point­ment, but only obliged on the in­sis­tence of Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe who hand-held her all the way, in­clud­ing help­ing her re­sume her school­ing within the precincts of Zim­babwe House.

“She has a lot to be grate­ful for to the man she now vil­i­fies,” Mr Charamba said. “These are the hard facts of his­tory which can­not be wished away, or ma­nip­u­lated to man­u­fac­ture false pro­files. Or used to in­vent un­mer­ited po­lit­i­cal im­por­tance, whether in the past, now or in fu­ture. Equally, read­ers ex­pect news­pa­pers to know and re­spect facts of our his­tory, and never to be ac­ces­sories in its fal­si­fi­ca­tion.”

Mr Charamba said the News­Day ar­ti­cle head­lined, “Mu­gabe is un­grate­ful: Mu­juru” pre­pos­ter­ously sought to re-write his­tory in the vain hope of a hardto-achieve po­lit­i­cal gain.

He said the ZimPF leader should take her time to brief her spokesper­son, the green Gift Nyan­doro fac­tu­ally and ac­cu­rately on well-known mat­ters of his­tory be­fore the is­suance of state­ments.

“Those who pro­voke his­tory are sure to reap grief from of­fended facts,” said Mr Charamba.

He chron­i­cled Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s for­mal in­volve­ment in party pol­i­tics from 1960 when he joined the Na­tional Demo­cratic Party (NDP) af­ter his re­call from Ghana when he was elected its Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary at the party’s in­au­gu­ral Congress whose pro­ceed­ings he chaired. By then Dr Mu­juru was a small girl barely five years old.

Mr Charamba said there was no Zanu-PF at the height of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. Only Zanu and its mil­i­tary wing, Zanla, con­trary to Dr Mu­juru’s claims.

“Zanu-PF” as an acro­nym only emerged and came into us­age just be­fore the in­au­gu­ral elec­tions of 1980, when the late Rev­erend Nd­a­baningi Sit­hole chal­lenged the party’s use of both the acro­nym “Zanu”, and the sym­bol of the Great Zim­babwe, an ap­pli­ca­tion which an all Rhode­sian Bench ex­pect­edly granted.

He said the sec­ond time the acro­nym came into use, al­beit with a dif­fer­ent mean­ing and with­out brack­ets, was af­ter the sign­ing of the his­toric Unity Ac­cord of 1987, which brought to­gether the two for­mer lib­er­a­tion move­ments, Zanu (PF) and PF Zapu.

“Teu­rai Ropa Nhongo, later on Joice Teu­rai Ropa Ru­naida Mu­juru, was near and ma­ture enough to know about both de­vel­op­ments,” said Cde Charamba.

“Sec­ondly, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s for­mal in­volve­ment in party pol­i­tics dates back to 1960 when he joined the Na­tional Demo­cratic Party (NDP) af­ter his re­call from Ghana.”

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe, he said, was elected NDP pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary at its in­au­gu­ral Congress whose pro­ceed­ings he chaired.

“At that time Joice Ru­naida Mu­gari, was a small girl of nearly five,” he said. “Solomon Ruzambo Tap­fu­maneyi Mu­tusva Mu­juru, the man who was later to be­come her hus­band, was still in pri­mary school in the then Char­ter Dis­trict, now Chikomba Dis­trict.”

Cde Charamba said be­tween 1963 and 1974, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe was not only ac­tive in pol­i­tics, but also suf­fered count­less re­stric­tions, de­ten­tions and im­pris­on­ment.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe, he added, spent 11 years in pri­son for his na­tion­al­ist ac­tivism. He said at the time of Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s re­lease from pri­son, Dr Mu­juru was in Zam­bia, where she stayed with the late Cde Josiah Magama Ton­gog­ara’s fam­ily.

This, he said, was af­ter her evac­u­a­tion to that coun­try in late 1973, af­ter a bat­tle in the Dotito area, which claimed the life of Cde Joseph Chipem­bere, the com­man­der of a group of free­dom fighters who re­cruited her.

“The bat­tle, and es­pe­cially the death of Cde Chipem­bere with whom she was in­volved, left her trau­ma­tised and had to be evac­u­ated to Zam­bia on a makeshift stretcher,” said Cde Charamba.

“In Zam­bia she was put un­der the spe­cial care of Amai Ton­gog­ara, whose med­i­cal back­ground was in­valu­able to her re­cov­ery.”

He said a hand­ful of cadres who ei­ther sur­vived that bat­tle or were in­volved with her evac­u­a­tion to Chi­fombo, were still alive and ready to give tes­ti­mony.

Mr Ge­orge Charamba

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