The benefit of togetherness 

So, we see this new found community between the Zimbabwe National Army and the population in the process of getting rid of Mugabe. We have seen how peaceful the army is and many of my friends are admiring the army’s professionalism.
No, the Zimbabwean army is not a professional army and has not been one. It acted as one earlier especially as ZANLA (fighting arm of ZANU-PF) and ZIPRA (fighting arm of ZAPU) came together to form one national army and after the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeland.
But after 2000, the Zimbabwean army fused with the ruling ZANU-PF and was loyal to Mugabe, supporting and effecting his political mission and action against the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party led by trade unionist, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Within the old Generals and other senior commanders of the liberation era persecuted new recruits called ” Mafikizolos” who joined after the liberation war who did not want to identify with any political party. An estimated 1500 “Mafikizolos” deserted the army and/or fled into exile in S. Africa.
It’s said that Mugabe was never tolerant of the opposition. But this is not actually the case. Professor Terence Ranger argues that Mugabe only later shifted from “nationalist historiography” to “patriotic history”, which divides the nation into black and white, patriots and sell-outs, and those for and those against us. This state of affairs is called Mugabe-ism. It was the beginning of the building of a cult. 
Important point to note here are the different phases in a politician’s development. It does not help to say that such and such a political leader was “always like that” or that he was always a nationalist simply because at one point they unreservedly committed themselves to a nationalist agenda. 
The earlier Mugabe advocated a welfare and reconstruction agenda. The later Mugabe was obsessed with remaining in power at any cost.
The challenge facing Zimbabwe now is whether the army can play a professional rather than partisan role and whether they can cut the umbilical code with ZANU-PF.


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