Why would Zimbabwe deploy army to Mozambique? There are a lot of reasons why Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa would deploy the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) to Mozambique to assist the neighbouring country deal with Islamic insurgents in the country. Mnangagwa met with Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi in Chimoio to discuss the security situation in Mozambique.
Mozambique’s assistance to Zimbabwe during the Rhodesia bush war
Mozambique became the mobilisation and training camp for Zimbabwe during the 1970s bush war against the Rhodesian government. With ZIPRA fighters camping in Zambia, ZANLA fighters camped in Mozambique with both parties fighting white minority rule in Rhodesia.
Mozambique suffered attacks from the Rhodesian government as its infrastructure was destroyed by the Rhodesians seeking to stop the country from providing support to the Zimbabwe guerrilla fighters.
The creation of RENAMO
Renamo was created by the Rhodesian Intelligence to compete with the FRELIMO government in Mozambique and to sabotage the Mozambican government. It carried out attacks on government property, destroyed roads and railway lines among other important infrastructure. Mozambique suffered economically for the support it provided Zimbabwe. The South African apartheid government took over the funding of RENAMO as it sort sustainably disstabilise Mozambique. For such reasons Zimbabwe feels obliged to deploy army into Mozambique to assist a nation that once risked being bombed for assisting Zimbabwe.
The Chimoio and Nyadzonia Massacre
The Rhodesian forces carried out attacks on Chimoio and Nyadzonia guerilla training camps in 1976 in a military operation called Operation Eland. ZANLA claimed 1,028 people died but the Rhodesians revised the figure to 340 guerrillas killed 25 miles into Mozambique. Some Mozambican civilians were killed in the process
Samora Machel’s meeting with Mugabe and Mujuru
Then President of Zimbabwe, Samora Machel once met then President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe and amry general Solomon Mujuru seeking Zimbabwe’s assistance to deal with RENAMO insurgents who appeared to be winning the civil war against the Mozambican government. Mugabe and Mujuru agreed to assist Mozambique as they had spent more than 5 years in the neighbouring country warring with Rhodesians. ‘Our friend here says blood should be paid by blood,” said Mugabe to Mujuru referring to Machel’s request for military assistance.
Chimwenje was a Zimbabwean militant rebel organisation based in Manica Province, in Mozambique. Its leader was believed to be Armando Mabache. The grouping was affiliated with RENAMO and enjoyed support from the right wing movement. Chimwenje was also linked with Dabaningi Sithole, a former ZANU leader who was removed by guerrilla fighters and replaced him with Mugabe for failing to inspire confidence in the bush war and ‘selling out’ the struggle to the white settlers. Chimwenje carried out attacks in Zimbabwe until Zimbabwe joined forces with Mozambique and Malawi to extinguish the military group. Chimwenje is another reason why Zimbabwe would assist Mozambique with troops.