ZAPU Has Not Struggled During the Liberation War: Samora Machel

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Standing: Ambros Mutinhiri (Chief of Staff), Dr Joshua Nkomo,
Alfred Nikita Mangena (Commander), Harold Chirenda
(Chief of Training), Gordon Munyanyi (then Chief of Military Intelligence),
Cephas Cele (Chief of Personnel) and Sam Mfakazi (Chief of Logistics)
in Dr Nkomo’s office in Zambia in 1977.
Standing: Ambros Mutinhiri (Chief of Staff), Dr Joshua Nkomo,
Alfred Nikita Mangena (Commander), Harold Chirenda
(Chief of Training), Gordon Munyanyi (then Chief of Military Intelligence),
Cephas Cele (Chief of Personnel) and Sam Mfakazi (Chief of Logistics)
in Dr Nkomo’s office in Zambia in 1977.

Ex-ZAPU leader the late Joshua Nkomo who said Robert Mugabe is a dog and facilitated the arrest of their commanders worked alongside Ian Smith‘s to sabotage Mugabe led ZANU PF during the liberation war and did not fight any major battle, newly declassified US government documents reveal. 

Samora Machel of Mozambique complained that Nkomo was given weapons by Soviet Unions and never really used them, most of his many remained in camps and Zambia. He pointed out that at demobilization stage; Mugabe refused to buy those weapons from Nkomo into the newly formed army.

Describing it as an ‘intriguing’ Machel told Todor Zhivkov President of the State Council of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria in September 1980 in Sofia, “ZAPU has not struggled, yet it has been provided a lot of armament. ZAPU’s troops remained in Zambia; they remained in Angola; and only after cease-fire, when independence was about to be declared; a ZAPU guerrilla unit of 4500 men, equipped with technologically up-to-date armament, entered the country. Mugabe had already reached success by then. He asked them: “What do you need these weapons for?” He asked this question, for the armament had not been made use of during the war. Mugabe’s refusal to accept Soviet armament and have it dislocated in his country since it was ZAPU’s, has been much capitalized on). In fact, Mugabe did not oppose receiving Soviet weapons. He refused to buy these from Nkomo”

Mugabe’s Zanu was receiving arms from China when Nkomo was getting his from Russia

Zhivkov telling Machel,  “When we came back, we found out that Nkomo had already arrived without any invitation whatsoever. I had a serious talk with him. The question I put forth first was: “What are your relations with Smith? Listen,” I told him, ” I have been a professional revolutionary for nearly two decades. I am quite well aware of the nature of your relations with Nigeria and Ian Smith. Have you coordinated your action with the Front? You are member of Front.” After that I told him: “Are you sure you will work within the Front? Is such a Front necessary at all?” He answered: “Yes, it is. However, we cannot work with Mugabe.” I said: “When we worked for our Front some time ago (during the World War II), there were many people that were not to our liking; yet we were guided in our action by the interests of the people.” We had a very serious discussion on this problem. Later he said to our comrade who was accompanying him that he had never had such a talk with any leader so far”

In another declassified United Kingdom document dated 1980, Lord Soames revealed details of how Joshua Nkomo accepted at Helicopter offer for his campaigns from undisclosed sources.

“ Nkomo roared with laughter at the end of our meeting when I told him of the jealousy which had been aroused amongst the other parties by the arrangements we had made to transfer him from the airport to Highfields by helicopter on 13 January.It had to take Chambati 35 minutes of persuasion on the telephone to get him to agree to this, Nkomo said “, said Soames.

During the same meeting asked Soames to disqualify ZANU PF from participating in the 1980 general election , a proposal that was shot down  by the United Kingdom .

Others Read News Below:

MUGABE is a DOG : Nkomo

British Foreign Office files kept secret for more than 34  years have revealed details of how Zapu /Zipra forces commanders  refused to release kidnapped British tourists ,accused Joshua Nkomo of having said Robert Mugabe is a dog  and facilitated the arrest of their commanders.

In September 1982, British government learnt that Nkomo’s forces were upset that he joined Mugabe and facilitated the arrest of Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku.

The full letter from Zipra forces to Joshua Nkomo who was at the time a minister in Mugabe’s government is believed to have triggered Gukurahundi :

“We are declaring  that we are no more commanders.Why are you supporting Mugabe the puppet and not returning Dabengwa and other commanders who are in jail? Why are you campaigning that the tourists be returned before our other demands are met? We want Dabengwa and Masuku from you now, Joshua because you are the one who caused them to be arrested.(The reason for this you know. You told us at Gwai .You are afraid of being arrested).This means you want to be a friend of puppet Mugabe, the one you were saying was a dog.This s the last warning until Masuku and other commanders are freed.To us ZIPRA forces , Zapu military wing , you are our enemy number 1.We shall prove it by action.(Do you remember saying a man keeps a club?) .We will meet at the unknown capitalism , Zimbabwe. Down with puppet Mugabe.Down with Zanu PF.The war must be prepared for.

We have the tourists too until our demands (B) are met.


Mugabe later  sacked Nkomo, accusing him of preparing to overthrow the government.

North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade deployed to crush rebellion by pro-Nkomo ex-guerrillas in Midlands and Matabeleland provinces. Government forces are accused of killing thousands of civilians over next few years.

The opposition leader Nkomo  then fled Zimbabwe in March after members of the army ransacked his house and killed two people.

Upon his return five months after being denied refugee in Britain  Nkomo’s presence made Mugabe refer scathingly,

”The dissidents are operating in the name of the ‘father of Zimbabwe’; therefore we must call him the ‘father of dissidents,’ ” the Prime Minister said. ”Father of Zimbabwe’ was a term used for Mr. Nkomo by his followers in recognition of his pioneering nationalist activities for three decades.

Mr. Mugabe said Mr. Nkomo’s party had created the dissidence by hiding weapons after the guerrilla war for independence in the 1970’s.

”Now their leader is here,” he went on. ”I understand he has a number of solutions to the problem. Perhaps he can put them forth.” Mr. Mugabe then said Mr. Nkomo could help only by calling on the rebels to put down their arms.

Mr. Nkomo, speaking soon afterward, declared that he and his party condemned the dissidents’ violence. The opposition leader has on several occasions appealed unsuccessfully to the rebels to halt the fighting and also to release six foreign tourists, including two Americans, who were kidnapped in July last year./Additional report NYTimes

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