Shamva South Member of Parliament Joseph Mapiki says former Prime Minister Abel Muzorewa conceded to the country being called Zimbabwe-Rhodesia in 1979 because the Europeans were very clever and asked him to retain the name Rhodesia as the surname of the country with Zimbabwe being the first name.
“We had a Muzorewa regime which had Zimbabwe- Rhodesia. When my children asked about Zimbabwe-Rhodesia on what was happening, I was able to explain to them that the Europeans were very clever. What they did – if you are Joseph Mapiki, one name will not change, and the surname will always be the same but children may change their names and have so many names,” he argued during his contribution to the motion on why legislators and schools should be taught basic history about the country.
“So, what happened in this country is that it was called Rhodesia and so the country had to have two names Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Zimbabwe was taken just as if it were an appendix which was there hence the name Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.”
Former police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka, who introduced the motion, was brushed off as a former sell-out who belonged to Muzorewa’s Pfumo ReVanhu, which he vehemently denied.
Movement for Democratic Change Southern Legislator Gift Chimanikire, while welcoming the motion, said people should not confuse history with propaganda.
When I was growing up, I was told that I belonged to the Museyamwa totem and originated from Buhera. We then migrated from Buhera to Harare and I asked why we migrated. I was told that people wanted to have inter-marriages and hence they had to move to different areas like some of the Seke people who are around. We were asking why there seemed to be the same people but we are now using different totems, and we were taught that besides looking for inter marriages, we also wanted to hold our own kingdoms, but we are just one and the same people of the Shava clan. When we come to our own houses and when a woman is married into a family she has to be told the culture and the rules and regulations of the family she is married into. She has to know what is taboo and what is sacred, and that is called the culture of the country. As a result, when she encounters any problems with that, she will be able to refer to what she has been told, and hence the motion raised by Hon. Mandipaka is very essential.
When we look outside Zimbabwe and study the history of those countries we need to know how those countries originated, and how they operated. We then look at issues when Kwame Nkrumah said he wanted to have a united Africa; what was his aim? What did he want to do about that? We also want to examine as to why he was assassinated? What was the reason for the assassination? It will enlighten our path, and we may be able to look into the future, and when we have some people coming into our country, we will be able to tell what they want. When we go outside Africa with our history we look at the history of Israel, and we say why was Israel put in the Middle East? We realised that the Western countries wanted to utilise the oil heritage which is in the Middle East, hence they had to create the people from Israel who were in the Diaspora and put them into those countries. We also talk about Syria and the Golan Heights so that when we see the West coming in, we should be able to look back at history and say what the Western countries have done in Syria, Iraq and other areas and the wars which are going on now.
We also talk about the Golan Heights, the West were looking for oil riches in those countries and they had to look for ways and means for destabilising those countries. Hon. Mandipaka has talked about a very essential issue, and I know we may not agree on a thing or two, but we know that each and every one of us has a history – even political parties. What is a fact about the history is that you can never change history. I may take the example of somebody who was once an MP. Nobody can eradicate that fact that one was once an MP.
Hon. Speaker Sir, let me make a correction on what was said by some previous speakers. Reference was made to the fact that when people were in prison following the imprisonment of Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, there was mention of the death of Herbert Chitepo. The release of Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo was caused by the war which was fought by Tongogara and Chitepo, and the Western colonizers were so pressed by what had happened and they said let us release these people. In order for them to lead to a fight, they created a story that the Tongogaras had killed Chitepo, hence they had to be detained. This was a way of destabilising the liberation struggle.
Mr. Speaker Sir, may you please protect me, I am stating history as it should be stated. I know there is some false history which are propagated by some people because the main reason why Herbert Chitepo had to killed is that there were some leaders who were also supposed to be killed at that time. The reason was to create a division between the members of political leaders who were detained and those who were waging the war. We now look at Lancaster House, this was caused by the fact that Mozambique was in a problem because there were a lot of fights which were going on. Tanzania also had its problems, so Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe had gone to settle their issues –[AN. HON. MEMBER: Une proof here?]- They were informed that they take into consideration the fact that Mozambique and Tanzania had problems and these leaders were advised that the war should come to an end because they were feeling the pressure. The truth is that Mozambique was being hit by armies from Rhodesia and South Africa and hence they were calling for peace. I need to correct this fact because it is usually misunderstood.
Most of us who are here learnt our history on how we migrated from wherever we come form, especially the Chief Dombo and the Mutotas of the past. At times, the problem we have is the conception and perception of our history. When we look at our current history, in the year 2000 there was a party which was sworn which was called MDC, and the MDC took part in the 2008 elections, and won some seats in that election. After the elections, we formed a Government of natural unity. What we are saying about history is that our children should be taught about this which has happened. After the GNU, there were elections which were held and again MDC was defeated, and they will tell their children that their party which is MDC T later appointed three MDCs. There were some splits such as the Biti, Mangoma, and the Madhukus because this is part of the history of Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, Hon. Mandipaka has raised a pertinent issue and I do not think that it is an issue whereby we should come and hail insults at each other. We had a Muzorewa regime which had Zimbabwe- Rhodesia. When my children asked about Zimbabwe-Rhodesia on what was happening, I was able to explain to them that the Europeans were very clever. What they did – if you are Joseph Mapiki, one name will not change, and the surname will always be the same but children may change their names and have so many names. So, what happened in this country is that it was called Rhodesia and so the country had to have two names Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Zimbabwe was taken just as if it were an appendix which was there hence the name Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.
Now, when we are talking of the history of Zimbabwe, it shows that when we know about your ancestors and how you sing praises for your ancestors, you can never give allegiance to another ancestral spirit which is not yours. Hon. Mandipaka has introduced this motion so that the people may know this history of the country and they will know where we are coming from and where we are going, and we will be able to protect our heritage because we know the history. With those few words, I think it is time for us to learn more about the history of Zimbabwe. When we know our history, we will be able to defend our rights and our heritage. You can never be incorporated into another clan which is not yours. This happens even at child birth. If you are black and you find your wife giving birth to a white child, you know there is an anomally in that instance.