Stop monopolising the liberation war: Makoni

Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Simba Makoni has challenged Zanu PF to desist from monopolising the liberation war, saying all patriotic Zimbabweans played a part in bringing about the country’s independence.

By Tinotenda Munyukwi

Makoni made the remarks last week in response to Zanu PF politburo member Christopher Mutsvangwa’s claim that Zimbabweans would be perpetually indebted to Zanu PF for their independence. “The right to vote had been denied to you by whites and Zanu PF made the sacrifice to make you voters in 1980, so before you start shouting at Zanu PF, just say thank you for making us voters,” Mutsvangwa said.

This did not go down well with Makoni, who attacked Zanu PF’s heavy-handedness in using propaganda to score cheap political points, while maintaining that it was the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans, not affiliated to any political grouping, who paid the ultimate price for their emancipation.

“With due respect to Chris Mutsvangwa, Zanu and Zapu led the people of Zimbabwe in the struggle of independence, but they did not liberate Zimbabweans, many millions of Zimbabweans who didn’t carry a Zanu or Zapu card participated in the liberation struggle to liberate themselves.

“We should move away from the arrogance of attributing to a few people the struggle that belongs to the whole of Zimbabwe,” Makoni said.

Zanu’s Zanla and Zapu’s Zipra forces were the main militant groups that worked with the majority of the Zimbabwean populace to fight former colonial leader Ian Smith’s Rhodesian government.

In 1987, Zanu amalgamated with PF-Zapu to form Zanu PF, but the party has been blamed by opposition political parties for adopting the same repressive laws used by the Rhodesian government.