Monday, October 19, 2009

(TALKZIMBABWE) A chequered history, the story of Roy Bennett

A chequered history, the story of Roy Bennett
Mon, 19 Oct 2009 23:11:00 +0000

A GOOGLE search of Roy Bennett will give some interesting results. Foreign readers of Zimbabwean news would be shocked to find out some of the information regarding Bennett which is concealed by those people who populate such online encyclopedias like wikipedia.

It is interesting that people like Roy Bennett, among others, have no history recorded online or elsewhere easily accessible, dating back to the pre-1980 period. It looks like there has been an orchestrated attempt to hide the chequered history of such people, in order to protect their previous associations.

That has nothing to do with the colour of their skin, but the content of their character. There are many black people who worked, during colonial times, with these people to make sure that black majority rule would never see the light of day in Zimbabwe.

One could easily dismiss this fact as unimportant, but Bennett features in the papers of Zimbabwe, a country that has been consistently accused of targeting businesses owned by white people, especially commercial farms. Interest is, therefore, be generated about this person and his history.

Bennett’s history seems to be conveniently protected. Selected information is filtered to the media; that he is the MDC-T financier and treasurer-general facing weaponry charges and whose incarceration pending a bail approval prompted the MDC-T party to disengage from inclusive Government business.

On Wikipedia, Bennett's history starts in 2000 when he was elected to parliament as Chimanimani legislator.

Such deliberate concealment of Bennett's past is not surprising.

Bennett was a member of the notorious Selous Scouts during Ian Smith's era. He also served as a policeman in Smith’s regime, protecting minority interests.

Senator David Coltart recalls his and Bennett’s involvement in the British South African Police (BSAP) founded by chief thief Cecil John Rhodes through a British Royal Charter on October 29 1889: “Both Roy Bennett and I served in the BSAP, the Rhodesian Police force, in the 1970s during the civil war fought by Zanla and Zipra against the Rhodesian Front government.

“... the BSAP played a major role in maintaining white minority rule and ... torture was also systematically used by the BSAP against captured guerrillas and their supporters.”

Selous Scouts were a Special Forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army which operated from 1973 until the introduction of majority rule in 1980.

They helped perpetuate Ian Smith's apartheid system in Zimbabwe and fought hard to maintain the segregationist policies of that regime.

They were often described as a psychopathic counter-insurgency unit of the Rhodesian Army: trained to kill and maim and were once the most feared white supremacist force on the African continent.

It also included blacks who took part in protecting white interests; for instance Ronnie Mlambo, F. Zaranyika, Absolom Mapanzure, Paul Tinarwo, etc who died protecting white supremacy. The Selous Scout Standard, sitting at the Imperial War Museum in London today, features a round boss made of zebra skin and positioned between the horns, signifying the black and white soldiers who served in the Selous Scout Regiment.

The unit was responsible for 68 percent of all guerrilla deaths within the borders of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe); guerrillas who were fighting for self-determination in their own country; most notable of which was deaths at Nyadzonia camp.

1,260 black Zimbabwean freedom fighters died at Nyadzonia/Pungwe Zanla base (Mozambique) in August 1976. It was the Selous Scouts who killed refugees, men, women and children, at Chimoio, Tembue, Mkushi, Luangwa, and Solwezi, where they still lie buried in mass graves.

In his memoirs, Ken Flower, head of the Central Intelligence Organisation under Smith (and later under new black Prime Minister Robert Mugabe), admitted that the Selous Scouts often attracted the "pyschopathic killers".

Bennett was part of this group of people (the Selous Scouts) who butchered thousands of black Zimbabweans during the liberation struggle.

He was a member of Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front party which marginalised the black population in Zimbabwe.

After the demise of the RF, many of Smith’s people defected to Zanu PF and helped install democracy in Zimbabwe, in the form of one-man-one-vote.

For the first time there was racial harmony in Zimbabwe and segregation ended.

Roy Bennett and a few other people who still believed in white supremacy formed an RF offshoot, the Republican Front, which achieved very little success politically.

Bennett and others insisted on keeping the RF and CAZ after that, as a white party concentrating on issues of importance to whites.

The RF did not contest common role seats in either 1980 or 1985. The inadequacy of this as a political strategy quickly became apparent.

Most of the sitting RF MPs in the 1980 to 85 parliament either became independents or defected to Zanu PF.

They later formed the Conservative Alliance of Zimbabwe (out of the struggling Republican Front) after realising that white supremacy did not have a place in the new Zimbabwe.

Bennett mounted a campaign against the defectors to Zanu PF and encouraged them to join CAZ.

He campaigned for segregation, for the maintenance of reserved "white roll" seats in the Zimbabwe parliament; agreed at the 1979 Lancaster House negotiations.

The white seats in Parliament were eventually abolished in 1987, although CAZ continued to enjoy limited representation at municipal level.

CAZ achieved very little success again, but played a leading role in the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Bennett and others by this time had realised that the white minority was losing influence in the new Zimbabwe and had to regroup with an obliging black opposition group

Bennett and his compatriots focussed on the MDC as an alternative to Zanu PF.

They grouped together. The conservative white farmers suddenly found a great deal in common with the MDC, hence their willingness to fund them to protect their interests, which were not protected politically by anyone in the new Zimbabwe.

Bennett sought to preserve the white farmer position in the country by supporting the MDC, pouring thousands of dollars into the project.

The pictures of the MDC receiving cheques from the white farmer community are everywhere.

Bennett was a skilled politician, by virtue of having been involved in the previous conservative white parties. His contribution to political strategy was significant in the MDC, but not to advance the interests of the traditionally downtrodden black majority, but the white farming and business interests.

Whites played a leading role in the campaign of the opposition MDC which almost won the 2000 election.

The MDC project was hijacked by the likes of Bennett to restore a limited form of white minority rule in Zimbabwe, prompting a violent backlash from radical elements who had fought a protracted liberation war to free a black majority.

Roy Bennett’s history certainly does not start in 2000, as many would have us believe.

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At 9:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you left out chiyangwa phillip who also saved in the notorious selous scouts gang, why? is it because he is zanu pf today? any where what did the hand of reconsiliation mean @ independence?

At 12:27 AM , Blogger MrK said...

(NBC NEWS) Zimbabwe opposition leader among 5 dead in New Mexico helicopter crash
by Associated Press
Jan 18 2018, 4:02 pm ET

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Key Zimbabwean opposition leader Roy Bennett died in a helicopter crash in a remote part of the U.S. state of New Mexico that also killed four others, authorities said.

State Police Lt. Elizabeth Armijo confirmed Bennett's death Thursday, a day after a helicopter carrying him and five others went down in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico. Details of why the 60-year-old Bennett was in the area were not immediately available. The crash injured one person aboard.



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