Friday, November 26, 2010

Bennett's speech in Paris misguided

Bennett's speech in Paris misguided
By: Sixpence Manyengavana
Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 11:40 am

ROY Bennett’s speech at the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) in Paris, France on 9 November 2010 must be condemned with the contempt it deserves for it lacks merit.

For the record, Zanu-PF was never doubtful about taking part in the February 1980 elections as Bennett would want the world to believe when he mentioned in his speech that Zanu’s leaders were deeply skeptical about participating in elections because it believed they would be rigged against them.

At that time it was obvious the party had the support of the majority of citizens guaranteeing a landslide victory, which is why Bennett and his other ex-Rhodie colleagues defected to Zanu-PF.

As a reminder, Bennett is one of the ex-Rhodesians who benefited from the extended hand of reconciliation by President Mugabe at Independence; as such he had every reason to support Zanu-PF.

Before independence, Bennett was a member of the notorious Selous Scouts, a Special Forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army that operated from 1973 until 1980. They were trained to kill and maim and were the most feared ruthless force in Africa.

The Selous Scouts killed refugees, men, women and children at Chimoio, Tembue, Mkushi, Luangwa and Solwezi bases where the bodies were buried in mass graves.

Bennett was also a policeman in the Smith regime protecting minority interests.

Bennett and David Coltart both served in the British South Africa Police (BSAP) founded by Cecil John Rhodes. That force tortured captured freedom fighters from Zanla and Zipra camps.

Between 1980 and just before 2000, Bennett was not only a staunch supporter of Zanu-PF, but served as Member of Parliament for Chimanimani constituency who enjoyed popular support from black people whom his kith and kin terrorized during his time with the Rhodesian Forces.

If Zanu-PF was as bad since 1980 as he alleges, would he have joined it and served as a legislator?

The rural folk were never brutalized nor terrorized to vote for Zanu-PF. It was known that the party is the one that brought freedom from the enslaving colonial white minority as the freedom fighters worked hand in glove with them.

Who, in their right state of political alertness, would believe lies manufactured by a fugitive who is running away from a myriad of crimes he committed in this country?

Bennett’s allegations about the rural populace being intimidated to vote for Zanu-PF are a result of his guilty conscience stemming from the atrocities Selous Scouts committed.

On the issue of the training and deployment of Gukurahundi in Matabeleland in 1983, Bennett is trying to hide behind a finger.

The exercise was not meant to be ethnic cleansing or impulsive killing as he alleges.

Zanla and Zipra fought side by side, fighting Bennett and his colleagues who were arrogantly refusing to set the blacks free.

Bennett finds it easy to meander behind the truth and allege that after successfully defeating the colonial powers, Zanu-PF decided to wipe out the Ndebele Tribe.

Why does he find it difficult to tell the truth? Who doesn’t know that Gukurahundi was deployed in the Southern region of Zimbabwe in response to atrocious activities by the notorious “dissidents?”

The Government could not sit and watch while former Zipra combatants butcher their kinsfolk in a clear case of systematic use of violence and intimidation by armed combatants on defenseless innocent civilians to provoke government response by some political stalwarts who had grievances stemming from governance issues.

Dissidents were created to cause commotion in Matabeleland. This was a well calculated move meant to create an ungovernable situation and cause problems for the Zanu-PF government, so there was no other way to solve the crisis except military intervention.

The implementation of land reform programme is not a political gimmick as alleged by Bennett. Land is our heritage and it is because of land that the war of liberation was waged.

It was going to make a mockery of the war of liberation if government had not redistributed land to the landless majority after winning that war.

Bennett's allegations have been specially crafted to attract sympathy from the country’s detractors. The tone in his speech reflects the stress he is suffering especially after his nomination to occupy the Deputy Agriculture portfolio was rejected by President Mugabe.

Morgan Tsvangirai’s hand-picking of Bennett to take the agriculture portfolio was not by coincidence. His motives to reverse the land reform programme have been thwarted in their infancy.

This has infuriated MDC-T which had promised former white commercial farmers their land back hence all these futile attempts to discredit President Mugabe and Zanu-PF on the international fora.

Bennett’s speech was accompanied by a collection of gruesome pictures of people he purports were maimed by security agents in Zimbabwe. The people in the pictures cannot be identified which means that he could have taken pictures from any conflict in an effort to authenticate his allegations.

Shame on him.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home