Josiah “Magama” Tongogara

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Struggle for Independence in Colonial Zimbabwe 1900-1980: Mass Mobilization and Politicization 1972-74

  • The nationalists saw that forceful recruiting was not working so there was need to change their approach to political education
  • They began mobilizing and educating the masses on the need for the liberation struggle
  • The Smith government did not want to reach a peaceful resolution with the nationalists
  • However it was impossible for the guerillas to gain popular support at first and continues to force people, for example, the abduction of St Alberts Mission teachers and students and sending them to Chifombo military training camp in Mozambique
  • This was greatly condemned and it forced ZANU to stop it
  • The Dare ReChimurenga was established to coordinate the war and some of its members included, Herbert Chitepo and Tongogara
  • The ZANU military wing was called Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and the ZAPU one was called Zimbabwe People‚Äôs Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA)
  • The Dare started an aggressive recruiting campaign
  • ZAPU split again in 1971 due to tribalism and Shamuyarira formed his own party called Frolizi (Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe) but it did not have a large following
  • The British Government tried to work out a solution for the Zimbabwean people through its British Foreign and Commonwealth secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home
  • They sent a commission headed by Lord Pearce called the Pearce Commission to negotiate for a settlement
  • The nationalists united under the African National Council (ANC) which was chaired by Bishop Abel Muzorewa rejected the settlement offer
  • ZANLA forces later joined forces with FRELIMO fighters in Mozambique and they both started training at Tete in 1970
  • As ZANU was not recognized by Russia they had to form relations with China to be supplied with military weapons as the Chinese foreign policy was in support of masses
  • When Mozambique finally got its independence in 1974, they opened their doors for Zimbabwe
  • ZIPRA forces were stationed in Zambia whilst ZANU were in Mozambique and Tanzania
  • The ZANU nationalists started organizing pungwes (night meetings) to educate the masses on the ideas of Karl Marx, Mao Tse Tang and Lenin
  • ZIPRA however used a more cautious methods of selecting committees to teach the masses
  • Pamphlets and radio stations were used to disseminate political information to the people
  • The guerillas also had support from international organizations such as Non Alligned Movement and the Frontline States
  • The guerrillas used sabotage as they were attacking government offices, dip tanks , bridges and schools
  • They also used weapons such as mortar bombs, AK rifles, grenades and landmines
  • Landmines attacks made it difficult for whites to move around hence they needed to move in convoys
  • The guerrillas used warfare methods such as surprise attacks and hit and run

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