A phony pact promising Black rule but preserving white power is defied by guerrillas, who vow to wage revolutionary war until the Black majority triumphs.
Last March, beneath the imposing portrait of imperialist Cecil Rhodes, three cautious Black nationalists signed an “internal settlement” with Prime Minister Ian Smith of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), betraying their people’s militant liberation struggle.
Smith called the pact “a victory for moderation,” but guerrilla leaders, in defiance of the treachery, are fighting on.
The Blacks who signed the infamous pact — Bishop Muzorewa, Reverend Sithole, and tribal Chief Chirau — are now members of Smith’s transitional regime, responsible for drafting a new constitution and supposedly implementing Black rule by the end of 1978.
The agreement aims to stave off economic crisis and civil war by allowing Blacks universal suffrage and some governmental participation. But Zimbabwe’s whites will retain legislative veto powers for at least another decade.
White supremacy is further insured by two key devices:
1. Police, military, judicial and civil service departments remain under the domination of the old bureaucracy.
2. The white minority, controlling 80% of the wealth and more than half the land, is guaranteed compensation for any financial losses incurred by the transition to Black majority rule.
A Mass Guerrilla Army
Smith hopes that his deal with the three liberal leaders will erode Black support for the Patriotic Front of guerrilla fighters.
The Front is an alliance of two forces: ZANU, quartered in Mozambique and led by Marxist Robert Mugabe, and ZAPU, Zambia-based and headed by non-Marxist Joshua Nkomo.
The U.S. and Britain, anxious to avoid civil war, economic loss, and a threat to their strategic hegemony in southern Africa, propose to include the Front in negotiations and in the transitional regime. Assisted by South Africa’s Vorster, they hope to entice the moderate Nkomo into concessions.
Mugabe, however, demands a predominant role for the Front in the government, the army and the police force. He condemns proposals for stationing U.N. troops in Zimbabwe as a ruse to force the guerrillas to surrender their weapons.
The Front and its military component, ZIPA, promise intensification of resistance and are encouraging the masses to join the armed struggle.
A LUTA CONTINUA!