by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – MORE than 40 Zimbabwean youths in neighbouring South Africa have enrolled in the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology aimed at instilling patriotism among youngsters.
The three-day programme that ended in Kempton Park east of Johannesburg on Saturday (today) also provided a platform for the ruling countries of South Africa and Zimbabwe to solidify their decades-long relations.
“As ANC, we are here in solidarity with the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology simply because we share same principles, same history, same aims and objectives,” said African National Congress (ANC) Greater Tshwane Regional Secretary, Ratshi Mashamba in an interview with CAJ News Africa.
“In South Africa, we also have our own school of ideology called O.R. Tambo School of Leadership,” said Mashamba.
He said the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa shared an identity and similar aspirations.
“Our youths today trust more foreigners (white) as opposed to their own black brothers and sisters. This is so because they lack this crucial ideological and historic understanding,” Mashamba said.
Kennedy Mandaza, spokesperson of the Zimbabwe African National Union –Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in South Africa, said the response to the school in the neighbouring country was encouraging.
“Interestingly, there are some members of opposition parties (MDC-Alliance) among those that have been in the orientation, who participated strongly, and even joined ZANU-PF later,” said Mandaza.
“The aim of the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology is to make sure that we have ideological, intellectual and political conscious cadres that are able to pursue the vision of the party (ZANU-PF) and the vision of the country (Zimbabwe) as well,” Mandaza added.
Velile Mguni, the ZANU-PF South Africa Secretary for Security, told CAJ News Africa that the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology taught people in the Diaspora and back home to be patriotic.
“When you (people) are true Zimbabwean, then you become patriotic. Black Zimbabweans were oppressed before, whether they came from Matabeleland or Mashonaland,” Mguni said.
He said the school did not segregate people from other political parties.
“Therefore, we (ZANU-PF) call upon all Zimbabwean people to come together with one love, same understanding, preach peace and unity so that we do away with divisions.”
He called for unity among all Zimbabweans as displayed during the liberation war.
“This is the reason why the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology is playing pivotal role in uniting the nation, defend the country’s interests, as well as preaching peace, unity, love and sovereignty,” Mguni told CAJ News Africa.
One of the participants, Tendai Mago, said the orientation programme inculcated patriotism.
“The Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology helped me understand my country’s history, wars that were fought before and why they were fought,” she said.
“Even today, enemies of Zimbabwe are still fighting the motherland for taking back the stolen land by whites hence these illegal sanctions by the US,” Mago said.
Zimbabwe’s orientation Ideology is backed by 14 academics drawn from various universities of South Africa.
Herbert Chitepo led ZANU until he was assassinated in 1977 at the height of the liberation war that freed Zimbabwe in 1980.
He became the first black citizen of the then-Rhodesia to become a barrister.
– CAJ News