The Conflict with Renamo
April-June 1980

Dossier MZ-0020

Zimbabwean Independence, 17 April 1980

In mid-April, with the achievement of independence in Zimbabwe under an elected ZANU-PF government, and the disappearance of the white-dominated regime of Ian Smith, the MNR lost its Rhodesian support. By all accounts, the support structures were packed up lock, stock and barrel and were moved to South Africa. During this period, the low-level conflict waged by the rebels largely died down, and a kind of semi-peaceful interregnum occurred. Robert Mugabe and the ZANU government were committed to the elimination of the MNR, and although some propaganda articles appeared, claiming that the Resistance was ‘not dead’, the prospects for the group seemed dim. At this time, the MNR also threatened unconvincingly that it would ‘invade Zimbabwe’ if the new government supported Frelimo militarily.

In May, a South African newspaper carried a somewhat belated report of the death of André Matade Matsangaissa, the first military leader of the MNR. In fact, there is evidence that Matsangaissa [spelling varies] was killed on 17 October 1979 during an MNR attack on Frelimo soldiers in Sofala province.

Decoration

13 April 1980
Seminar on wave of assassinations in a Gaza province district. Rádio Moçambique, 13 April 1980, reported in the Summary of World Broadcasts [London]. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 59 kb.

2 May 1980
José Ramalho. Mozambique: anti-Machel resistance movement is far from dead. To the Point [Johannesburg], vol.9 no.18, 2 May 1980, p.19. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 367 kb.

20 May 1980
Frelimo, MRM in heavy fighting. Star [Johannesburg], 20 May 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 48 kb.

22 May 1980
Mozambique insurgent commander killed. Star [Johannesburg], 22 May 1980. Report on the death of André Matsangaisse and his replacement as commander by Afonso Dhlakama (here spelled Jacamo). Click here to view or download a PDF, size 41 kb.

24 May 1980
Mugabe meets Machel in Beira. Rand Daily Mail [Johannesburg], 24 May 1980. This report links the apparently unscheduled Mugabe-Machel meeting to renewed fighting with the MNR along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 49 kb.

25 May 1980
Terror attack on Maputo aborted. Sunday Post [Durban], 25 May 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 84 kb.

26 May 1980
David Forret. Zimbabwe to push out Maputo rebels. Rand Daily Mail [Johannesburg], 26 May 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 75 kb.

27 May 1980
We may invade, Mugabe is warned. Star [Johannesburg], 27 May 1980. The MNR threatens to attack Zimbabwe if the country supports Frelimo. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 59 kb.

28 May 1980
Anti-Frelimos warn Mugabe. Argus [Cape Town], 28 May 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 74 kb.

30 June 1980
Refugees flee from Mozambican fighting. Star [Johannesburg], 30 June 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 44 kb.

Decoration