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Zimbabwe Liberation Figure Tekere Bashes Mugabe In Autobiography

Zimbabwe liberation veteran and former ruling party secretary general Edgar Tekere is coming out shortly with an autobiography in which he portrays President Robert Mugabe as lacking in both character and the virtues of leadership.

In his book, entitled "A Lifetime of Struggle," Tekere claims he persuaded Mr. Mugabe to join ZANU, predecessor of today's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. He says Mr. Mugabe did not have the backing of the late Mozambican leader Samora Machel, or that of the late Zimbabwe National Liberation Army commander Josiah Tongogara, whom he says called Mr. Mugabe a "sell-out."

Tekere relates how he and Mugabe crossed into Mozambique in 1975 to step up the war against the white minority ruling what was then called Rhodesia.

But Tekere says he was expelled from ZANU-PF in 1988 after opposing Mr. Mugabe’s plans to turn Zimbabwe into a Chinese-style one-party state. Tekere then founded the Zimbabwe Unity Movement, which has since been dissolved.

Tekere, a vocal critic of corruption in the ruling party, says his attempts to rejoin the party have been frustrated by Mr. Mugabe. In the book he describes Mr. Mugabe as a calculating individual who uses people according to his purpose, then drops them.

Tekere told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he was urged by many ordinary people to write his memoirs for the benefit of national posterity.

Publisher Ibbo Mandaza of Sapes Books said the memoirs were begun in 2000.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...