Wa veteran, Farai Tafirenyika, has claimed that Britain was instrumental in the rise to power of former president Robert Mugabe within ZANU and ZANLA ranks. Speaking during an interview with the Sunday Mail Deputy News Editor, Levi Mukarati, the fighter in the liberation struggle revealed that world superpowers have a say on who rises or falls in politics of developing economies. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Levi Mukarati: How did the vashandi slogan emanate?
Farai Tafirenyika: It was taken from the Communist Manifesto; “Workers of the world unite”. I remember at one time Happison Muchechetere, achibva zvake kufront kuGaza province achimhoresa macomrades achishevedzera kuti; “vashandizveeee!”
It had become popular in ZIPA, but ana Tongogara would have none of it and that is why they denounced vashandi who had angled to take over leadership and direct the war. So when the Geneva meeting failed, after some of the Zipa leaders like Dzino and Mark Dube had attended reluctantly, Samora Machel was not pleased with that outcome.
He took a position to crush ZIPA leaders. We were to later gain knowledge that Samora had been hoodwinked by the British and was given some money, a soft loan, to boost development in his country.
This was on condition he pushes for Mugabe to lead.
The British or these so-called superpowers play a major role in influencing who leads, especially in developing countries. They wanted a person or people they could trust to further their capitalist interests in Zimbabwe.
They had trusted Nkomo before, but Nkomo had failed to get the support from the nationalists on his ‘soft’ approach to dealing with colonialism.
But Mugabe had emerged and was turning to be a favourite of the British.
Thus, all stumbling blocs had to be removed from Mugabe’s path and it was arranged by Samora Machel that we the ZIPA command element be arrested.
More: The Sunday Mail