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The death of Tongogara as told by Lookout Masuku and Dumiso Dabengwa.

06 Jan 2019 at 10:29hrs | Views
Josiah Magama Tongogara : The interview that cost his life:

This excerpt was taken from a Rhodesian Combat Pilot who played a pivotal role in the Cease Fire Agreement and the formation of the National Army after independence and the assimilation of all revolutionary forces and the forces we fought against. This excerpt was taken from a meeting he had with ZIPRA Commanders Lookout Masuku and Dumiso Dabengwa at his home. Please read carefully and carefully analyse Tongogara’s plans and the events that took place, perhaps it will show you the hands that played a part in the death of one of the most fearless commanders, not only in our land, but a revered soldier throughout Southern Africa. These are the events that led to Tongo’s death.

Excerpt from Winds of Destruction;
By; Peter J.H/Petter-Bowyer,

“During the Lancaster House Conference, Josiah Tongogara made telephone contact with Lookout Masuku and Dumiso Dabengwa from his hotel room. Tongogara said there was need for a serious discussion on proposals he wished to place before them. He offered to meet at any place of ZIPRA’s choice. Dumiso and Lookout said they were happy to meet Josiah at his hotel, in his own room.

On arrival, they found that Tongogara had Josiah Tungamirai with him. They were not happy ABOUT this knowing that Tungimaria headed ZANLA’s political commissariat, a communist affliction ZIPRA used but which the seniors of ZIPRA could not abide. Anyway Tongogara seemed unperturbed and, working from notes, he got straight down to business.

He started off by expressing the hope that the conference would succeed because was not prepared to see a continuiation of war and the loss of more young lives simply to greedy politicians. He said he feared that either Mugabe or Nkomo possibly both, would walk out of the conference. If this occurred he for one wished to take matters out of political hands but he needed help to achieve this. If ZIPRA agreed with his wish to withdraw all forces from contact, it would then be essential to get to General Peter Walls before he left London and him into also taking joint action. Tongogara then spelled out a plan that was unconditionally accepted by the ZIPRA Commanders.

Recorded here are the points of agreement he made with ZIPRA:

• Setting up a military triumvirate of the RSF,ZIPRA and ZANLA, initially in London.

• Their joint task would be to bring into immediate effect a disconnection of forces.

• Tongogara had no difficulty in accepting that General P Walls should head the triumvirate who headquarters would be established in Harare and separated from existing RSF Establishments.

• ZIPRA and ZANLA would order all their forces to move into military camps on home soil at locations agreed by General Walls.

• Under direct control of the military triumvirate, a process of weeding-out and disarming undesirable would be implemented. Those who wished to retired or return to their homes would be free to do so. Thereafter integration of the three forces would commence.

• Since Tongogara believed this would take at least five years to complete, he expected that many more willing volunteers would leave the ranks during this time.

• This military triumvirate would impose on Zimbabwe a 100-seat interim government of national unity represented in equal part by the parties currently headed by Muzorewa, Smith, Nkomo and Mugabe. Overseeing this government would be an “Executive Governor” who Tongogara believed should be Sir Humphrey Gibbs because he was the only person would be acceptable to all parties, including the British and African governments.

• Selection of ministers to administer existing civil services was to be established by majority vote for approval by the Governor. Existing RF ministers, if not returned to their positions by popular and majority vote, would be asked to assist new ministers for a period of atleast one year.

• A general election would be withheld for five years or be undertaken after the military integration process was complete; whichever was the longer period. No direct British interference or participation would be tolerated!

• If South Africa objected to the new order, African ports would be used to the mutual benefit of central African states. Mandatory sanctions could be expected to fall away automatically and the South African Government’s stronghold on the country would no longer be an issue. ( I was surprised to learn that Tongogara knew of this)

• No active support would be given to any nationalist party or force acting against South Africa. This was to guard against any external aggression from that quarter.

• It would be the military triumvirate’s urgent task to settle any fears within the population, black and white, and seek their backing and assistance to make Zimbabwe a prosperous and happy place again.

• Tourism was to be actively promoted and anyone wishing to leave the country should be allowed to do so without any restrictions or penalties being applied so as not to induce doubt or panic in others.

This was the basic plan that may very well have come into being if Mugabe, having walked out at Lancaster House, had not been forced to return to the talks by Presient Machel. Mugabe was at Heathrow Airport intending to fly off to ‘New York’ when Machel told him to get back to the Lancaster House talks immediately or else withdraw his forces from Mozambique. ZIPRA believed Mugabe relied heavily on Tongogara’s strength and backing and that he would have been in a stronger position had Tongogara returned to the country. However the radical political members of ZANU saw him as a threat to their own futures, having obviously been given the details of Tongogara’s discussion with ZIPRA by Josiah Tungamirai.

Whatever their reasons, they hired a well-known East German assassin to kill Tongogara. The assassin specialised in “vehicle accident.”

Lookout said that the assassin, arrived in Maputo ten days before Tongogara’s death. Three days after Tongogara’s death and prior to his departure for Europe, Enos Nkala, met the assassin in Maputo Airport to make payment, in American dollar notes, on behalf of himself, Simon Muzenda, Dr Herbert Ushewukonze, Edgar Tekere, Edison Zvogbo and a couple of others, for services rendered.”

These were the plans and ideas Tongogara died for.

The underlying cause behind his death.

Tongogara, would have travelled safely from Mozambique to Zimbabwe.

I will now point out 5 important factors from Tongo’s plan which show how much of a visionary he was because this agreement if implemented would have prevented so many events we went on to witness soon after independence.

1) The setup of a military triumvirate would have solved many issues we saw at independence. In a military triumvirate, the 3 commanders, Lookout Masuku, Josiah Tongogara and General P Walls would be representatives of the 3 former armed wings in the struggle. They would have been the commanders of the army and the government would not have used it as they are using it even today. Tongogara, Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku were very respected amongst their camps. They were revered not only by the soldiers but also by the political leaders in the struggle. These 3 commanders in particular, would have mobilised both ZIPRA and ZANLA in without question and the National Army would have been strong, ofcourse with the support of the RSF whom themselves had been experienced in fighting Guerilla Warfare. Having a good representation of all soldiers would have encouraged fair treatment and smooth intergration of all fighters.

Tongo made it clear that all fighters who behaved in an undesirable manner and who caused chaos and disunity would be, DISARMED, weeded out and removed out of the camp. This plan on its own would have avoided the mistreatment of ZIPRA cadres in the National Army and by the media and press. After independence Lookout and Dabengwa wrote 2 letters to Robert Mugabe complaining about the mistreatment of ZIPRA cadres and all the insults that ensued on ZBC and no credit was being given to ZIPRA for their efforts in the struggle. This caused the defacto “dissidents” and those who were really unhappy leaving the army and unfair allocation of posts for ZANLA cadres.

2) I CANNOT EMPHASISE how important this triumvirate would have been to our country. If the army commanders controlled the army instead of the government or president controlling the army, we would have NEVER had Gukurahundi whereby over 20 000 civilians were murdered and millions made subject to starvation with curfews and food blockages. A period that lasted over 3 years. Mugabe wouldn’t have been able to secretly build the 5th brigade. Nkomo lamented this in his interview in London that he asked Mugabe why he was building an extra brigade separate from the army. With the military triumvirate the 5th brigade would have never been formed, and if it was formed, then the army would have crushed them severely. Tongo trusted General P Walls, so did Nkomo, but after the war Mugabe aligned himself with Ken Flower who happened to be a double agent involved in the massacres of black people not only in Zimbabwe but across Southern Africa. An M16 British agent who formed the CIO in Zimbabwe and suspected to have helped form RENAMO in Mozambique and one who managed to cause confusion which led to the Gukurahundi massacres.

3) Tongogara was so moved by the fact that peace had to be restored after the war. For blacks and whites, and that the people would not live in fear. What we saw after the war was the complete opposite. Mugabe first attacked Muzorewa’s supporters in Mashonaland and ran Ndabaningi Sithole out of the country, who ended up setting up his own party and managed to run it in exhile. During this period, many, many people died in Mbare and in particular Mashonaland West. 1000’s of people were murdered for supporting Ndabaningi Sithole or Joshua Nkomo (especially in Mashonaland West which ZAPU received a lot of support in as it was ZAPU territory. In Manicaland during the 1980 elections Robert Mugabe terrorised the people there and conducted great masses of violence against the people to the point that Nkomo wrote to the British saying that the election must be considered null and void and postponed till the violence has simmered down as it was not free and fair. But the British ignored Nkomo’s plea. Little did we know they were financing this violence and helping their puppet at that time Robert Mugabe to rig the elections. The coloureds and the whites were not made exempt from this violence and felt the cruely rule of ZANUPF in the early 80’s and later on which prompted Nkomo to famously say he hoped that he hoped the whites and coloureds would not be treated the same way when South Africa attained its independence. I need not say what happened during Gukurahundi because till today the people of Matebeleland who witness the brutality of the 5th brigade are still living in fear, still even in fear to tell us what happened.

4) Tongogara articulated that it was important to have some of the former ministers play a role in the new government. He understood something that it took me a few more years to realise. Tongo knew that these former white ministers had managed to run Rhodesia successfully even under sanctions and throughout the war. They knew everything about the country, the farming, the fertile lands, finance and everything else and he knew in order to build a stable country we would need their assistance. They would ofcourse had to be accepted by the majority and by popular vote. Tongo wanted them to atleast assist the new government and to also assist the new government that would be elected in order to get things done. During the war, ZAPU had a government in waiting and their own resources and owned a lot of assets whereas ZANU was disorganised by internal tribal conflict and power struggles. This is why when they took over the country they mismanaged funds, we saw our economy slowly dwindling, they took the bread basket of Africa to being the begging basket of Southern Africa. The free milk children used to refuse in schools stopped. Roads were never developed after 1980 and factories grew old and had to be closed down, no bridges or any national development was done, since independence. Had these former Rhodesian ministers had this opportunity we would ensured that ZANU corruption wouldn’t have ensued and atleast they would have been accountability and Zimbabwe would have had direction and sustainable development would have been seen.

5) Lastly but not least. Tongo did not trust the British. And this is what he and Nkomo had in common. Tongo did not trust them hence he thought none of the leaders would walk out of the Lancaster Agreement. Not only that but he emphasised that he wanted to run the country without British interference. Tongo must have been on to something, he later preferred Nkomo to lead Zimbabwe rather than Mugabe. And his suspicions were right, because the British bought Mugabe as their puppet just before 1980 and Mugabe later on sold out the land issue and opted for the British to pay for the land instead of taking the land back to the people, which Nkomo and Tongo were advocating for. We found later on that our ZBC was now being modelled after the London Broadcasting network. After independence the first ever embassy in Zimbabwe was the American embassy and Mugabe was due a visit to America just before Samora Machel forced him to attend the Lancaster House Agreement. We saw soon after Independence the British sponsoring Gukurahundi under the M15 and paying off for the weapons. The British sent troops to the National Army during Gukurahundi and these troops were silent about the massacres (little did we know they were just there to oversee the process and advice the army in ensuring ZAPU was crushed). After independence the British knighted Mugabe and gave him several titles and honours and he was their little puppet and Margaret Thatcher, one of the most evil women in history, who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist was now inviting Mugabe to Downing street and they became best of friends. Gukurahundi happened for THREE YEARS in the rural areas of Matebeleland and the British were completely silent about it, it was individual journalists, the likes of Judith Todd, The Roman Catholic who exposed it to Oxfam and other charity organisations. It was the British who taught Mugabe to rig the elections, it was also them who told Mugabe to divide the country on tribal lines in order to win the so-called “Shona Majority Vote.” Something which Nkomo spoke so deeply about and was moved to tears at George Silundika Funeral. All the time it was the British and Robert Mugabe manipulating the country and Tongo and Nkomo had seen it a long time ago. It would have not worked anyways as ZAPU commanded support in Matebeleland, Mash West, Midlands, which is why Mugabe started by attacking ZAPU leadership in Mashonaland and Manicaland, and all other opposition in those areas and when he was done there he decided to venture into Matebeleland spewing tribal hatred. This is what prompted Nkomo’s speech at the United Nations in 1980. The British and Americans were creating black puppet leaders all over Southern Africa to destabilise the newly independent states. We saw Savimbi in Angola, the counter revolutionaries in Zambia, Botswana, Mugabe in Zimbabwe and RENAMO in Mozambique. It was also a move to try and stop the ANC of South Africa from attaining Independence. Tongogara had foreseen it all.

I hope you have learnt a lot. This is the 3rd and last piece on Josiah Magama Tongogara. It is important that we understood who and what Tongogara stood for. Perhaps when we do, we will realise why ZANU try so hard to belittle his image and perhaps this is why we are so confused as to where we go as a people in our country. The politically hungry feared him and Nkomo’s stature. Matter of fact when Mugabe won the elections, everyone asked Mugabe who? He was not as popular as Tongogara was, the only thing that made Tongogara not seek ZANU leadership or presidential leadership was that he always said he didn’t want to be in leadership he wanted to farm after the war. He was a military man.

I will leave you with this quote from the man, it rings in my head from time to time….

“What I, and some of us are fighting for, is is to see that this this this oppressive system is crushed!!… I don’t even care whether I, I, I, I will be part of the the top, top echelon in the ruling party, Im not worried. But im dying, Im dying to see a change in the system. I would like to see young children enjoying together. Blacks, whites, enjoying together, in a new Zimbabwe!”

This statement would have not been as powerful without involving the Tongo Stammer.

Source - Social media
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