What Mugabe promised thirty four years ago

This is a speech by Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister designate Robert Mugabe, on March 4 1980 soon after his party won historic democratic polls. How far has President Mugabe and Zanu PF lived up to the promises made in 1980?

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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.

First lady Amai Grace Mugabe follow the proceedings at the Independence Day celebrations.
First lady Amai Grace Mugabe follow the proceedings at the Independence Day celebrations.

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.

President Robert Mugabe in 1982
President Robert Mugabe in 1982

It must be realised however that a state of peace and security can only be achieved by our determination, all of us, to be bound by the explicit requirements of peace contained in the Lancaster House agreement, which express the general desire of the people of Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe’s interview 4 years before Independence. Watch video

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 recognises 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 Constitution 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 deepened 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.


  1. He has fulfilled his promises …and more !

    1. Newsday, cannot copy, word for word, the original article as it is. This makes me wonder about your competencies. Please make an effort to get your grammar right and not mix American and British english.

      Anyways – Mugabe has been a disaster. No one has had the guts to tell this despot to step down. He has ruined the promise of a generation, condemned a country to penury and disease and failed to give hope to a people.

      If I could tell you to your face, I would say, “Robert, a good guest knows when to leave”. What is so amazing is that someone who was once so brilliant cannot see when he has erred so gravely and thinks it prudent to go on as if things are normal.

      Bob watikwadza. You are not my hero. You are the villain that shacles me. Freedom for me means freedom from you.

  2. He did exactly the opposite. Gukurahundi, farm invasions, only developed Harare and only empowered Shonas. The economy started declining from day one up to this day. Divided and ruled the country.

  3. Thats mugabe we know. Dont under estimate 34 years with one person as president. Whatever sweet talk he got, we know him, he dont walk the talk. Politicking is his game to safegaurd himself and close allys. When he say us dont ever he is including and had never included the majority in his sweet talk. He mean his bootlickers and now family

  4. Of course many African nations are decently and humanely ruled, by leaders who listen to and take account of the opinions of the people. But far too many leaders have come to believe that their own interests and those of the people are the same. They confuse self-preservation with national security, and to preserve their own regimes throw the safeguards of the law and of individual rights out of the window. Nkomo, J., The Story of My Life,Methuen, London, 1984, p. 246.

    1. Joshua was right. ZANU has now decided to reverse the concept of self determination by binning universal suffrage and surrendering ALL voting power to RG Mugabe…nothing can be more treasonous for a people that claim sovereignty. Utterly disgusting. People died for ‘one man one vote’ and now we see grovelling bootlickers trashing all civil rights efforts from time immemorial.

      Those in ZANU PF must give thought to what eventuality they are dragging our country to. That’s my two cents’ worth.

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  7. Oh alas what fools we have been! Betrayed by the poisonous nyoka with lies and deceit.

  8. Greed got the better of him and he forgot about freedoms and all the other ideals as he started undermining the people’s freedom and basic rights as soon as he got into power to create the Zanu PF dictatorship.

  9. either he was lying or he was speaking from inexperience

  10. Before leaving Zambia, the Zanla forces were encouraged to acknowledge him as leader. When he skipped the Rho border we knew this man wanted total power. We were fooled and there was never a choice. Mujuru did not tell the fighters to accept this man. He was feared and a few knew. Hama, Madyira, Chihuri etc knew what was up and just like in Joice’s case framed as sellouts. Yes men were carefully put in key places and inner circle, youngsters we were told follow the leader and your opportunity will come. If you were a yes men age never mattered. Integration was unfair, the uneducated were given high ranks, I got a slap in the face and given captain. The pay was a little higher than entry level officers but not worthwhile. So what do you do, do things my way but was the hardway and suffered for it until finding my way to graduate school and never looked back. Tekere then Zvobgo exposed this man but they were quickly throw into the dungeon. Year after year in the nineties it was evident this man care for nothing but power. In 2014, senile as he is its about control with this control freak. Joice, Didymus, Madyira, Goche and etc close yes men for over 34 years we yanked like trash. Good luck Zimbabwe, it was imposed on you with his Houdini, achiyita mashiripiti nemaballots and intimidation of voters with maiming, beating and killing is his operation mondi. Thank God, vanotora imo muma 90 years. In 1to 2 years max tobata mawiko RIP. Nechemumoyo togarire kure zvino anozogona chipoko chake nengozi dzake mukati kuHero’s Acres kuchabuda chakanaka. MuHarare muchanetswa nechipoko chine motorcade.

  11. ‘Mu Harare muchanetsa nechipoko chine motorcade’… Wankwadza!!!

  12. Pasi Nenharadada

    Manje muchachema. …unopa munhu 1 to 2 years dzekubata mawoko ndiwe ani. …you have always been pronouncing him dead as far as I can remember. Manje uchaswotwa ukazvirega. Am not saying I want him there or not but Morally how can one wish for the President’s death.

    1. kkkk, iwe unototuka munhu nekutita wish death on this sorry excuse vampire of a president….kindly direct your anger at those who actually torture, maim and kill. you are pathetic!

  13. Because the president is an obstacle to progress my friend

  14. This man R.G.Mugabe did a lot of good to this nation than bad.One of the main things he did was to maintain peace in the country,and it’s not his fault kuti kumba kwako hakuna kudyiwa nyama….husimbe hwemunhu pachake.Tell me of one country isina kugadzikana nw yaungade kunogara iwewe nemhuri yako.Hapana munhu asingatadze but chokwadi President did good to the nation.Zvana Gukurahundi he apologised wani as a moment of madness…U can’t continue persecuting him as if zvichamutsa vakafa pple.HE IS SORRY period…….NEVER TRUST A WHITE MAN!…Thoz vanovhotera neku supporter munhu anoti mukandivhotera ndozonokukumbirirai mari ar crazy in the head,it’s mkadzi anoroorwa nemunhu ane nungo anongoda kuraramisa mhuri nezvekupemha.Bob is right we hve to work for our own being SIMPLE.

    President is very wrong pakusa itawo strict neCorruption,kudya nembavha muplate imwe vachiziva pamwe vachinzweira tsitsi(makakanganisa pakuroora Grace,she is too ignorant to b a first lady)….Ndozvakaita kuti econony idonhe izvozvo.Grace itsotsi paFARE….she wuld influence you badly.

    PAMBERI NEMI PRESIDENT R.G.MUGABE but GRACE uyo muonei akufarisa.

  15. one man is holding a nation at ransom

  16. They are and where just words. They where just viagra feed to ignorant masses for them to yoyitoyi until sun rise. History has proven categorically this was a cone

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