DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On this day
17 February, 1982 Joshua Nkomo, long time friend of Robert Mugabe, was dismissed as minister of the interior on the accusation of plotting a coup in Zimbabwe.
This triggered bitter fighting between Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) supporters in the Ndebele-speaking region of the country and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). Between 1982 and 1985 the military brutally crushed armed resistance in Ndebeleland and Mugabe's rule was left secure. At least 20 000 died in the ensuing massacres.
Nkomo had insisted on land reform being an integral part of liberation in Rhodesia while Mugabe opposed such a demand.