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Mugabe deviously plotted the ZAPU split

17 Jul 2015 at 05:50hrs | Views
When Robert Mugabe delivered his acceptance speech as the new Chairperson of the AU, he said that he still remembers vividly the day when the OAU was formed in 1963 as he was personally in attendance representing his party.

He did not mention which party he was representing. Remember, ZANU was formed on the 08.08.1963 whilst the OAU was formed on the 25.05.1963. Mugabe and Co-plotters were expelled from ZAPU in July 1963.

The ZAPU Cold Comfort Farm Congress was held on the 10th August 1963. This will then suggest he was on a ZAPU ticket.

The late Joseph Msika was despatch to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania by Joshua Nkomo to brief the comrades there of the Congress preparations. The party had (at that time) three main offices globally; Office in Dar es Salaam, office in Cairo and an Office in London-Golders Green. On Msika's arrival in Dar es Salaam, an important meeting was held where a two way briefing was to take place, with him briefing the comrades and vice versa. As the meeting got underway, Washington Malianga began to distribute a letter amongst the attendees. The distribution was selective and strictly avoided Joseph Msika. The letter was written and signed by the Gang of Four (Ndabaningi Sithole -National Chairman, Leopold Takawira - External Affairs, Robert Mugabe - Infomation and Publicity in the NDP and then Secretary General in ZAPU  and Washington Malianga - then Secretary for Information publicity). In the letter they castigated Joshua Nkomo and called him names undermining his leadership completely. Of note was the brazen tribal undertones, no not undertones, the tribal abuse was explicit.

The letter was to be sent to party representatives abroad. They were saying that Nkomo should be removed as the leader of the Party at congress, because he belonged to a minority tribe and they also vowed to form another Party if the leadership change was not successful. For the very first time in the liberation struggle in the country the seed of division and tribalism was sown only to germinate in the training camps where ZANLA cadres attacked ZIPRA cadres, this eventually culminated in the 1980s genocide.

As Mr Malianga was passing the letter around avoiding Msika, Mr Msika pretended as if he did not care, but he eventually pounced and grabbed the letter from Mr Malianga. Mr Malianga was fuming in fury and tried to grab the letter back, little did he know what lengths Mr Msika was prepared to go, a fist fight ensued with Joseph Msika fighting so hard that he shoved Malianga through the window.
Mr Msika managed to disperse the meeting and then reported the disturbing developments directly to Joshua Nkomo. The Party swiftly suspended and subsequently expelled the treacherous gang of four from the party in July 1963.

Please note, the formation/launch of ZANU on the 8 August, 1963 was at Enos Nkala's house in Highfields - Harare (then Salisbury) he simply became part of it but the idea of splitting and form a splinter party was originated by the Gang of Four. That is where all problems to do with division and hate started and still bedevil our country today.

The Cold Comfort farm congress was finally convened on the 10th August without the mischievous and misguided gang of four. Up to 5000 delegates gathered near Harare. Delegates waited for a few minutes to see if the gang would brave and show up to congress, but they scampered into their dingy caves.

The spirit of optimism in the Congress permeated the blue August sky, the determination and the zeal to carry the struggle forward was palpable on the faces of all the delegates present.  Many things happened at the Congress to name but a few; 1. The Congress endorsed the decision by the leadership to suspend and eventually expel the Gang of Four; 2. The congress vowed that the name ZAPU shall continue and never 'die' in spite of the banning by the hot headed Edgar Whitehead; 3. A council was formed to look after the people and to carry ZAPU activities forward. It was named The People's Caretaker Council with Joshua Nkomo as its President.

Source - Christopher Maphosa
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