Defend Zimbabwe

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!no. 4, May/June 1980

In our previous issue, we saluted the glorious anti-imperialist victory of ZANU and ZAPU. A bloody blow to the imperialists! An occasion for joy for anti-imperialists throughout the world! In concluding our article, we warned:

‘In the months ahead as the wounded imperialist hawks circle Zimbabwe, the need for solidarity action in Britain will be as urgent as it was during the Lancaster House talks and the elections. All the anti-imperialists in Britain must rally both to celebrate and to defend the historic victory of the Patriotic Front.'

The victory has been achieved. But imperialism is preparing to counterattack. It is preparing its plans to overturn the victory of the people, for it is not prepared to tolerate its ill-gotten gains, the wealth it has robbed from the people being swept from its hands. And to defend its plunder it will use any means it can to deny the people the fruits of their victory.

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Imperialism eyes renewed plunder of Zimbabwe in post-Mugabe era

Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe President

Robert Mugabe has finally been deposed as Zimbabwe’s President. After 37 years, it was unsurprising that it took a military coup to unseat the 93-year-old. Mugabe’s leadership in the national liberation struggle movement ZANU-PF against minority white rule in the 1960s and 1970s placed him in an unassailable position in his early years as President, but he took an undemocratic and corrupt turn. The new government failed to reform land ownership among the black masses who had been robbed of their birthright by British colonialism. Nonetheless Mugabe was never forgiven by the imperialist powers for his part in the destruction of white minority rule. His ousting does not mean progress for Zimbabwe. The US, Britain and the EU, eyeing future investments, all welcomed the development. They see this as an opportunity to liberalise Zimbabwe’s economy and plunder its resources – it has close to 40 different minerals and one of the largest known coal-bed methane gas deposits in Africa. Barnaby Philips reports.

On 15 November 2017, the Zimbabwean military placed Mugabe under house arrest, saying that they were ‘targeting criminals around him who are causing social and economic suffering’. Yet the military was acting on behalf of former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who, as one of his closest aides, is implicated in the corruption associated with Mugabe, who has been granted immunity and will be allowed to keep his private assets. Mnangagwa, 75, has been installed as the new President. Tellingly, The Guardian (24 November) described him as ‘more business friendly and pragmatic than many other senior officials within ZANU-PF’.

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Victory! Landslide win for ZANU and ZAPU

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 3 March/April 1980 

We salute the landslide victory of ZANU and ZAPU in the Zimbabwean elections. It will give an enormous impetus to the struggle against the racist apartheid regime in South Africa. This overwhelming victory will be joyfully greeted by the Irish people fighting against the same ruthless British imperialism. A body blow to the British ruling class, it is a great step forward for the British working class and the world-wide movement against imperialism.

Despite the enormous obstacles placed in its way by the British state and the racist Rhodesian regime the Patriotic Front has won 77 out of 80 seats. The imperialist puppet Muzorewa won 3 seats thus demonstrating conclusively that the Muzorewa regime existed solely by virtue of the backing it received from Britain and South Africa.

British Imperialism Exposed

How thoroughly the Patriotic Front's overwhelming victory exposes British imperialism! The British had claimed that the Patriotic Front had no mass support, that it existed by intimidating the Zimbabwean masses, that the Patriotic Front forces were 'terrorists' and ‘criminals'. The British state has made the exact same claim about every liberation movement it has confronted. It says the same about the Provisional Republican Movement in Ireland today. It attempts to justify its own terror, torture and repression of Irish republicans on these very same grounds.

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Hands Off Zimbabwe: 19 Years of Torture for Freedom

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No.2 - January/February 1980

At a press conference in London, Eddison Zvobgo, spokesman for ZANU, paid this moving tribute to Maurice Myagumbo who had arrived in Britain that day, having been released after 19 years' detention by the racist Rhodesian regime.

Let us meet a very strange, unusual individual. He is a beautiful man, one of the most beautiful people this world has been privileged to have. He has just been released from Salisbury Prison after 19 years in prison, Maurice Myagumbo. Nothing special about him. He started as a waiter in South Africa, waiting for whites in their hotels in Johannesburg. He moved to East London, was promoted, he became a chef.

Then he moved to Port Elizabeth from East London and became aware of the oppression in South Africa of all people. He quit his job and came home in 1956. In 1957 he was among the first five to launch the nationalist struggle in our country, the African National Congress. They had one truck, it was his. That car vanished, disintegrated, during the next two years. He was detained in 1959 by Whitehead. We saw no more Maurice until 1963 — he was released after Winston Field fell. We formed ZANU together. He vanished once again in 1964. Zimbabweans did not see anything of Maurice again until 1975, 11 years after. Immediately he came out, he intensified his campaign for the liberation of the country, recruiting, day and night, forces to cross the border into Mozambique. He was again arrested, tried and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

He is out here. Just a personal note. His daughter is here. She was born as a result of the visit of her mother, his wife, to a detention camp in 1960. She saw him when she was three years old in 1963 when we formed ZANU. Then he vanished. She grew up and did not know her father. He came out in 1975. She was now here in Britain as a student. He vanished four months after he came out — back to jail. She got married and had two children. She was born when he was behind bars for freedom. Two of his grandchildren have been born when he has been behind bars for freedom. Something the world has not seen very often. He's a grandfather, his daughter was born when he was in jail, his two grandchildren have been born when he has been in jail. He is a beautiful person. And for what remains to free Zimbabwe he will be there. Never has history been so made by living people than is the case in Zimbabwe. Maurice Myagumbo is it. You can sum it all up — he is it. Zimbabwean history here. He saw it when nationalism began. Talk of torture and pain and suffering he has been through it. Let us clap to 19 years of torture for freedom.

Hands Off Zimbabwe! - Interview with Robert Mugabe

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No 2 - January/February 1980

The following interview was given to Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! by Comrade President Mugabe — President ZANU — Patriotic Front. The interview took place at Heathrow Airport on [22 December 1979] — just before President Mugabe flew out of Britain. It is the last interview he gave before leaving Britain.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!: What positions would you like organisations in this country to take on the settlement, and what would you like us to do over the coming weeks and months in your support?

Comrade President Robert Mugabe: The struggle hasn't ended. It's only just begun in our view. In the sense that if all goes well during the elections and we emerge as the government there will still be another form of struggle. But there's going to be lots of work in reconstruction, resettling people. In the initial period we will expect all the support groups we have here in Britain and elsewhere to concentrate their efforts in enabling us to resettle our people. There are many refugees, if not more refugees inside the country than outside the country. There is also the question of working to aid us at the present moment when we are campaigning for elections.

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