Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A chequered history, the story of Roy Bennett

A GOOGLE search of Roy Bennett will give some interesting results. Foreign readers of Zimbabwean news would be shocked to find out some of the information regarding Bennett which is concealed by those people who populate such online encyclopedias like wikipedia.

It is interesting that people like Roy Bennett, among others, have no history recorded online or elsewhere easily accessible, dating back to the pre-1980 period.

It looks like there has been an orchestrated attempt to hide the chequered history of such people, in order to protect their previous associations.


That has nothing to do with the colour of their skin, but the content of their character.

There are many black people who worked, during colonial times, with these people to make sure that black majority rule would never see the light of day in Zimbabwe.

One could easily dismiss this fact as unimportant, but Bennett is an important player in current political events in Zimbabwe.

He has personally funded the Movement for Democratic Change party and brings political experience from his previous associations.

Bennett’s history seems to be conveniently protected. Selected information is filtered to the media; that he is the MDC-T financier and treasurer-general facing weaponry charges and whose incarceration pending a bail approval prompted the MDC-T party to disengage from inclusive Government business.

Online, Bennett's history starts in 2000 when he was elected to parliament as Chimanimani legislator.

Such deliberate concealment of Bennett's past is not surprising.

Bennett was a member of the notorious Selous Scouts during Ian Smith's era. He also served as a policeman in Smith’s regime, protecting minority interests.

Senator David Coltart recalls his and Bennett’s involvement in the British South African Police (BSAP) founded by chief thief Cecil John Rhodes through a British Royal Charter on October 29 1889: “Both Roy Bennett and I served in the BSAP, the Rhodesian Police force, in the 1970s during the civil war fought by Zanla and Zipra against the Rhodesian Front government.

“... the BSAP played a major role in maintaining white minority rule and ... torture was also systematically used by the BSAP against captured guerrillas and their supporters.”

Selous Scouts were a Special Forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army which operated from 1973 until the introduction of majority rule in 1980.

They helped perpetuate Ian Smith's apartheid system in Zimbabwe and fought hard to maintain the segregationist policies of that regime.

They were often described as a "psychopathic counter-insurgency unit" of the Rhodesian Army: trained to kill and maim combatants and civilians alike and were once the most feared white supremacist force on the African continent.

It also included blacks who took part in protecting white interests; for instance Ronnie Mlambo, F. Zaranyika, Absolom Mapanzure, Paul Tinarwo, etc who died protecting white supremacy.

The Selous Scouts Standard, sitting at the Imperial War Museum in London today, features a round boss made of zebra skin and positioned between the horns, signifying the black and white soldiers who served in the Selous Scout Regiment.

The unit was responsible for 68 percent of all guerrilla deaths within the borders of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe); guerrillas who were fighting for self-determination in their own country; most notable of which was deaths at Nyadzonia and Chimoio camps in Mozambique.

Over 1,260 black Zimbabwean freedom fighters died at Nyadzonia/Pungwe Zanla base in August 1976.

It was the Selous Scouts who killed refugees, men, women and children, at Nyadzonia, Chimoio, Tembue, Mkushi, Luangwa, and Solwezi, where they still lie buried in mass graves.

In his memoirs, Ken Flower, head of the Central Intelligence Organisation under Smith (and later under new black Prime Minister Robert Mugabe), admitted that the Selous Scouts often attracted the "pyschopathic killers".

Bennett was reportedly part of this group of people (the Selous Scouts) who butchered thousands of black Zimbabweans during the liberation struggle.

He was a member of Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front party which marginalised the black population in Zimbabwe.

After the demise of the RF, many of Smith’s people defected to Zanu PF and helped install democracy in Zimbabwe, in the form of one-man-one-vote.

For the first time there was racial harmony in Zimbabwe and segregation ended.

Roy Bennett and a few other people who still believed in white supremacy formed an RF offshoot, the Republican Front, which achieved very little success politically.

The RF did not contest common role seats in either 1980 or 1985. The inadequacy of this as a political strategy quickly became apparent: the party lost its support base.

Most of the sitting RF MPs in the 1980-85 parliament either became independents or defected to Zanu PF.

They later formed the Conservative Alliance of Zimbabwe (out of the struggling Republican Front) after realising that white supremacy did not have a place in the new Zimbabwe.

Bennett and others insisted on keeping the RF and CAZ after that, as a white party concentrating on issues of importance to whites.

He mounted a campaign against the defectors to Zanu PF and encouraged them to join CAZ.

He campaigned for segregation, for the maintenance of reserved "white roll" seats in the Zimbabwe parliament; agreed at the 1979 Lancaster House negotiations.

The white seats in Parliament were eventually abolished in 1987, although CAZ continued to enjoy limited representation at municipal level.

CAZ achieved very little success again, but played a leading role in the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Bennett and others, by this time, had realised that the white minority was losing influence in the new Zimbabwe and had to regroup with a sympathetic black opposition group

Bennett and his compatriots focussed on the MDC to counter the continuing influence of their long-time enemy, Zanu PF.

The Rhodesian Front, Republican Front and the Conservative Alliance of Zimbabwe, therefore found renewed energy through the MDC.

The conservative white farmers identified more with the MDC, a new political party, hence their willingness to fund them to protect their interests.

Bennett sought to preserve the white farmer position in the country by supporting the MDC, pouring thousands of dollars into the project.

The pictures of the MDC receiving cheques from the white farmer community are everywhere in Zimbabwe.

Bennett was a skilled politician, by virtue of having been involved in the previous conservative white parties. His contribution to political strategy was significant in the MDC, but not to advance the interests of the traditionally downtrodden black majority, but the white farming and white business interests.

Former RF elements, like Bennett, played a leading role in the campaign of the opposition MDC which almost won the 2000 election.

The MDC project was hijacked by the likes of Bennett to restore a limited form of white minority rule in Zimbabwe, prompting a violent backlash from radical elements who had fought a protracted liberation war to free a black majority.

Roy Bennett’s history certainly does not start in 2000, as many would have us believe. His rant on human rights rings hollow when one starts appreciating his chequered history.


MY SAY.....

I have never liked the man.....he is just like the Black racist who says ''how can you say I hate Whites cause I have so many White friends'' and then goes on to rant about hating Whites and wanting to kill them.....he is so condesending on top of it just drives me nuts....

I have said for a long time that there is nothing wrong with White Zimbo's supporting ''mdc'' what I find really wrong is the way that they want to shine in the front line knowing full well the political climate in Zimbabwe and the ''hate the White'' that ''mugabe,em and the generals'' have got going because of their wanting to ''shine''.......

I have a very big problem with the fact that until 2000 the West was a huge ''mugabe'' fan club and then when he used the land as his political lever and the White farmers(and before you Whites start slaughtering me I don't and will never agree with the way the land crap was done...the violence and total distruction was/is just disgusting...the way farm workers are attacked,killed etc and chased off the land is senseless and proves that it is greed from the zanu pf elite and nothing more) were touched..... then and only then did the West start performing......the message that White lives are more important than Black lives comes through very loudly and so clearly by their actions after 2000.......all the Human rights atrocity's that he committed against the Black people before 2000 were so conveniantly swept under the carpet.....

Tsvangirai was stupid to have let these Whites take such a public stand in the ''mdc'' knowing full well their history and also knowing full well what zanu pf was going to do with it......and that is the reason that I have never supported ''mdc''....''mdc'' is a discredited party in Africa because of it....

''bennett'' has now become the symbol of revenge for zanu pf and he might not be involved in any crime but they will sure has hell cook some up and through them make him pay for his past with the ''rf'' etc......and that is what I don't agree with either because it is corrupt and under handed......if the man had stood up and publically spoken about his history pre 1980 and asked for forgiveness and to be given a chance to prove that he had changed knowing that he was going to take a very public and front line place in the ''mdc'' I would have looked at him differently and given him the chance to prove that change......

Another thing that burns my ass is that if he had got into zanu pf and wooed and courted the elite members then his past would never have been a problem.....they would have conventially swept it under the carpet never be mentioned again......like they have done with the 3 rich Whites that ''run'' zanu pf behind the sences......

As far as I am concerned ''roy bennett and mugabe'' deserve each other and fit into the same glove on the same hand.....neither one is ''clean'' and neither one has the right to point fingers at the other...they both have a very abusive and chequered past......


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