What Mugabe promised thirty years ago

Robert Mugabe
04 March 2010

Text of speech by Zimbabwe's Prime Minister designate, March 4 1980

Text of the speech by Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister designate of Zimbabwe, March 4 1980

Greetings in the name of freedom. May I thank you most heartily for your votes and support. I feel overwhelmed and at the same time I feel humbled. I wish to address you tonight on the significance of the election victory you have awarded my party, ZANU - Patriotic Front. In doing so I would like to thank all those who, either by their direct vote, as our supporters, or by their efficient campaigning, as our organisers, have contributed to this favourable result. In addition may I also thank all the officials who participated in the mechanical exercise of handling the elections, without whose organizational and administrative efforts the whole election process would have been a failure.

Soon a new government will come into being and lead our country to independence. In constituting this government my main concern and that of my party is to create an instrument capable of achieving peace and stability, as it strives to bring about progress. Peace and stability can only be achieved if all of us, first as individuals and secondly as part of the whole Zimbabwean national community, feel a definite sense of individual security on the one hand, and have an assurance of national peace and security on the other.

It must be realized however that a state of peace and security can only be achieved by our determination, all of us, to be bound by the explicit requiremnets of peace contained in the Lancaster House agreement, which express the general desire of the people of Zimbabwe. In this regard I wish to assure you that there can never be any return to the state of armed conflict which existed before our commitment to peace and the democratic process of the election under the Lancaster House agreement. Surely this is now time to beat our swords into ploughshares, so we can attend to the problems of developing our economy and our society.

My party recognizes the fundamental principle that in constituting a government it is necessary to be guided by the national interest, rather than by strictly party considerations. Accordingly I am holding consultations with the leader of ZAPU-Patriotic Front, Comrade Joshua Nkomo, so we can enter into a coalition. What I envisage, however, is a coalition which, in the interests of reconciliation, can include by co-option members of other communities, whom the Consitution has denied the right of featuring as our candidates, by virtue of their being given block parliamentary representation. We should certainly work to achieve a national front. Whatever government I succeed in creating we will certainly adhere to the letter and spirit of our Constitution, since that government will itself have been the product of such Constitution. Only a government that subjects itself to the rule of law has any moral right to demand of its citizens obedience to the rule of law.

Our Constitution equally circumscribes the powers of the government by declaring certain civil rights and freedoms as fundamental. We intend to uphold these fundamental rights and freedoms to the full. Similarly, it is not our intention to interfere with pension rights and other accrued benefits of the civil servants. I may mention here that I have now held discussions with chiefs of joint operations command as well as with heads of ministries, and all of them have given me their assurance of their preparedness to work under my government. I in turn have assured them of our concern about their position, and the position of the civil servants. We have assured them that it is not the intention of our government, when it comes into being, to deprive the civil servants of their pension rights and accrued benefits; nor do we want to drive anybody out of this country.

We also do not intend to interfere unconstitutionally with the property rights of individuals.

I urge you, whether you are black or white, to join me in a new pledge to forget our grim past, forgive others and forget. Join hands in a new amity and together as Zimbabweans trample upon racialism, tribalism and regionalism, and work hard to reconstruct and rehabilitate our society as we reinvigorate our economic machinery.

The need for peace demands that our forces be integrated as soon as possible, so we can emerge with a single national army. Accordingly, I shall authorize General Walls, working in conjunction with the ZANLA and Zipra commanders, to preside over the integration process. We shall also, happily, continue to enjoy the assistance of British military instructors.

Finally, I wish to assure all the people that my government will strive to bring about meaningful change to their lives, that everyone should exercise patience, for change cannot occur overnight. For now, let us be united in our endeavour to lead the country to independence. Let us constitute a oneness derived from our common objectives and total commitment to build a great Zimbabwe that will be the pride of all Africa. Let us deepend our sense of belonging, and engender common interest that knows no race, colour or creed. Let us truly become Zimbabweans with a single loyalty. Long live our freedom.

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Our Constitution equally circumscribes the powers of the government by declaring certain civil rights and freedoms as fundamental. We intend to uphold these fundamental rights and freedoms to the full."
Robert Mugabe, March 4 1980


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 responses to this article

Mugabe's Promises
We should have paid more attention to his track record. When he made this statement he was playing for time because he knew that the country would collapse in a very short period of time if the whites pulled out at that stage.

by James Foley on March 04 2010, 23:03
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What about those predictions?
Now I thought the ANC, and Nelson Mandela, gave many speeches expression similar, if not the same, sentiments.

About Zimbabwe Ian Smith predicted already then that it will fall into anarchy and chaos.

It did, and Ian Smith was . .more

by JVR on March 05 2010, 01:18
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mugabe zuma
this is africa we are going the same way

by ivan on March 05 2010, 07:24
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@James Foley
Yes, and the methods they used to deal with dissent and non-compliance by the locals during the bush war. Snap to their methods of dealing with political diversity today. I dread to think what this train of thought says about South Africa's future.

by Zim Exile on March 05 2010, 07:40
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by SAKI on March 05 2010, 07:46
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What a Joke
Now where've I hear all this before ?

by Terry on March 05 2010, 08:59
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What an insult ....
To the South African people that Pres Zuma pleads on the world stage for the lifting of PERSONAL sanctions against that tyrant and human rights violator Robert Mugabe and his henchman. We should be hanging our heads in shame as a nation.

by Jackson on March 05 2010, 09:02
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Shows you what an absolute lunatic he has become
I'm afraid, the ANC is pointing down the same road.

by Frank on March 05 2010, 09:08
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Forget the politicians lifestyle audit. Bring in the speech promise audit
AND publish daily it like a stock index reflecting both pace and achievement. Then re introduct wooden stocks on greenmarket square near a large tomato vendor. Broken promises equla time in the stocks for politicians!! The tomatoes? Guess.

by Free the REst on March 05 2010, 09:41
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the BBC website
carried reporting on Zuma's trip and also offered readers the opportunity to make comments.
The result is an eye-opener.
Since 1994 the British have been very supportive of the ANC government and the standard Briton has had very little . .more

by Plutarch on March 05 2010, 10:51
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And to think that some people believed him
My people gave up believing the chief of the day back in 1838 when Dingaan signed an agreement with Piet Retief. It ended in tears that day and every agreement with his ilk will also end in tears.

by Swaar on March 05 2010, 11:07
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changed tone
back then he had a vision. Nelson Mandela said almost the same when he was release from prison. when did he change the tone & perception. perhaps the west did more damage than they're being credited for. he invited everybody to join in the goverment of . .more

by convinced on March 05 2010, 12:07
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Africa's Track Record
Look at Africa from North to South.
Yes, they all promised the world and delivered nothing.
They are all Dicators for life with lovely Swiss bank accounts, civil wars and greed.
Only Botswana has held out.
Maybe the inbreading by . .more

by Savages on March 05 2010, 13:35
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As cold as a Zimbabwe Soapstone Bird
The old tyrant's subsequent track record puts a lie to almost every sentence of this 1980 speech. His actions have spoken louder than any oration.
In 30 years he has nothing to be proud of except his own accumulated wealth.
It was not long . .more

by Mayday on March 05 2010, 14:50
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Scary stuff
because his supposed ideals bear no resemblance to events of the last 10 years at least

by Alto on March 05 2010, 15:17
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As hot as the English Winter
Will the ill-gotten gains be repatriated and restored when sanity prevails in Zimbabwe - what is the real genesis of the mess in Zimbabwe? Why did this beautiful country end up in this state? What led to the two Chimurengas or liberation wars? Greed and a . .more

by Luckson Maromo on March 05 2010, 15:38
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sanctions are not against Mugabe. he still lives his good life. the sanctions are hurting the ordinary Zimbabwean.

by Dudu on March 06 2010, 13:38
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oh and
Zim is not South Africa. we have not had 1 president since 'independence'. JZ & JM have the ' typical african leader syndrome'. making themselves rich whilst everyone else gets poorer. it is upto all south afrivcans to start the fight against this . .more

by Dudu on March 06 2010, 13:51
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Lancaster House Agreement
Mugabe claims that according to the Lancaster House Agreement, England is responsible for compensation to farmers who lost their farms in the land grab. England on the other hand denies that was the agreement.
Can some legal expert investigate what . .more

by James Foley on March 07 2010, 10:30
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