Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Very Good In Robert Gabriel Mugabe

[Posted in the interest of having the whole truth]

The bush war for liberation was a long and very bloody affair. 
Many thousands of our people died, and were maimed, on account of Ian Smith’s racist intransigence. 

There was much reason to be bitter; to be hateful; to be vengeful. Robert Gabriel Mugabe was not.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was not the first to be forgiving, magnanimous and reconciliatory. It seemingly earned Robert Gabriel Mugabe a knighthood, but not a Nobel Peace prize.

Emphatic testament of this was that he appointed Peter Walls as our first National Army Commander. Peter Walls had been the Commander of the very forces used by Smith in a vain attempt to prevent our liberation in a bitter
war of attrition.

His commitment to true democracy was immediately tested when Edgar Tekere, President of his party, ZANLA, was involved in the killing of Gerald Adams, a White farmer. 
Despite Tekere’s position, and his claims that the killing had occurred unavoidable during the course of a legitimate security sweep of an area presenting as a threat to national security, Mugabe ensured that the law should take its course. 

In this way he was insisting that the taking of human life, White or Black, was prima facie unlawful and could only be resolved by our independent Court of Law and Justice. Tekere, as a Black liberation hero, and Gerald Adams, a White farmer, were equal under the law. 
The Trial Court was also specially constituted to reflect the demographics of our new born country, comprising a White Judge (John Pitman), a Senior Black Magistrate (Peter Nemapare) and a Coloured Provincial Magistrate (Chris Greenland). It is pertinent to point out that both Nemapare and Greenland had been Magistrates under the Smith regime. 
On conclusion of the trial Mugabe accepted the verdict and observed that “The trial was conducted according to the best traditions of our inherited judicial system”.
In this way Mugabe posted the rule of law as paramount.

He ensured that the judiciary was independent and staffed by competent Judges, drawn from our Black, White, Asian and Coloured ethnic groups. When I was asked to accept a judgeship it was explained to me that it was very important that the Courts be seen as representative of ALL the people. 

Notable is the fact that he ensured the appointment of Mr J C R Fieldsend, as our first Chief Justice, even though Fieldsend had agreed with a decision, handed down by the Supreme Court of Rhodesia, that the Smith government was entitled to govern. [Daniel Madzimbamuto v. Lardner-Burke]

During the five years I served as a Judge, not once was there any interference with the judiciary.

The Mugabe Cabinet also included the likes of Dennis Norman and Chris Anderson, holding the important portfolios of Agriculture and Public Service respectfully, despite having been Ian senior acolytes of Ian Smith and his oppressive regime.

When corruption beset our young democracy he immediately appointed an independent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate and report, i.e, the Sandura Commission. 

Mugabe ensured that our newly born country adopted and entrenched a Constitution that was an embodiment of all the sacred Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At that time it was probably the best in the World. Under it all were equal, possessed of all rights and privileges that accrue in a free society, whatever one’s race, colour, ethnicity, gender, creed, sexual orientation or religious persuasion.

In particular our rights were enforceable before the independent Superior Courts, whose decisions and rulings were respected, accepted and enforced by the State.
All this ensured that we all felt united as one people, as Africans, as Zimbabweans. We felt safe. We felt proud.
We were filled with hope, great hope, of a wonderful future in which we could all realize our full potential as free human beings.

Then came Gukuranhundi in 1983. Because Mugabe was married to Communist/Marxist ideology he enlisted the services of North Korea.
Genocide was committed.
Once he found that he could do nothing about the culprits he was forever compromised and Zimbabwe became a de facto military State.
The rest is history.

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