Tribalism and the Tekere trial (ca. 1980)

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The trial in Zimbabwe of Government Minister of Manpower Development, Edgar Tekere, has focused attention on major problems faced by the newly independent state. Mr Tekere and seven of his bodyguards were accused of murdering an elderly White farmer, and so Zimbabwe’s White minority wanted reassurance at the trial that their lives and property do have official protection. The case also brought to light evidence of continuing rivalry between the Zipra forces of Mr Nkomo, and the Zanla forces of Mr Mugabe, which led to the fight for independence. During the trial there occurred the most serious outbreak of fighting between the rival groups at a barracks outside Bulawayo. It reflects the tribal division between the supporters of Robert Mugabe (a Shona) and Joshua Nkomo (an Ndebele).

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