March 05, 2014

On this day March 5th

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On this day

5 March, 1980 Joshua Mqabuko Nyangolo Nkomo, leader of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) formed a coalition government with Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Nkomo's party won twenty seats in the new Assembly, all in his tribal homeland of Matabeleland. Initially, Mugabe offered Nkomo a ceremonial Presidency. Nkomo rejected the offer and instead, accepted the post of Minister of Home Affairs. Two years later, Nkomo was ousted from the cabinet by Mugabe after the discovery of arms caches that were alleged to be part of a ZAPU-led coup attempt.

On 5 March, 1983, six hundred members of ZAPU were arrested by Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) government. Three days later, Nkomo went to exile in Britain, but returned to Parliament in August.

Ironically it was Joshua Nkomo who insisted on land reform being an Integral part of a liberated Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), a position that was vehemently opposed by Robert Mugabe.

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