Added: April 25, 2015 – Last updated: September 2, 2017


Author: Molly Manyonganise

Title: Women in Zimbabwe's War of 'Liberation'

Subtitle: An Ethical Appraisal of the Sexual Conduct of Male Guerrillas

In: Philosophy in African Traditions and Cultures: Zimbabwean Philosophical Studies, II

Edited by: Fainos Mangena, Tarisayi Andrea Chimuka, and Francis Mabiri

Place: Washington, D.C.

Publisher: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy

Year: 2015

Pages: 117-133

Series: Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change. Series II: African Philosopical Studies 17

ISBN-13: 9781565182998 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: Zimbabwean History | Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Rhodesian Bush War


Link: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (Free Access)


Abstract: »Chimuka's important contribution is followed by an emotive and thought provoking piece from Molly Manyonganise entitled: Women in Zimbabwean's War of 'Liberation': An Ethical Appraisal of the Sexual Conduct of Male Guerrillas. In this contribution, Manyonganise renews memories of the liberation struggle when she looks at issues of right and wrong especially as they affected women during Zimbabwe's war of Liberation and beyond. Manyonganise makes the important point that while men celebrated gaining independence in 1980, most women especially those who had participated in Zimbabwe's war of liberation as liberation fighters saw nothing to celebrate as they had suffered emotional stress due to the sexual abuse they had endured in the hands of their male counterparts.
Monyanganise laments the reality that more than three decades after independence the government of Zimbabwe has not bothered to find out how victims of sexual abuse during the liberation war feel and what should be done to address these injustices of yesteryear. Manyonganise thinks that if justice is to be attained, then the sexual conduct of the male freedom fighters needs to be judged against the liberation war's code of ethics as dramatized in the song kune nzira dzemasoja as well as the consequences of their sexual abuse on the female victims.
To buttress the foregoing, Monyanganise makes use of both Shona and Ndebele novels which have captured some of the sexual abuses that women had to endure during Zimbabwe's war of liberation. To justify her use of these novels, Monyanganise quotes Ngwabi Bhebe and Terrence Ranger (1995: 3) who argue that "guerrilla experience has come to us through fiction rather than through history and autobiography." In this case, literary texts are critical as we try to reconstruct the history of Zimbabwe's liberation war with a special focus on women's sexual experiences.« (Source: Fainos Mangena, Tarisayi A. Chimuka, and Francis Mabiri. »Introduction: Philosophy in African Traditions and Cultures.« Philosophy in African Traditions and Cultures: Zimbabwean Philosophical Studies, II. Edited by Fainos Mangena et al. Washington, D.C. 2015: 6-7)


  Introduction (p. 117)
  The Code of Ethics in Zimbabwe's Liberation Struggle (p. 118)
  Women and Sexual Violence in Zimbabwe's War of Liberation (p. 121)
  Female Freedom Fighters and Sexual Abuse in the War of Liberation (p. 125)
  The Sexual Conduct of the Liberation Fighters: Feminist Echoes (p. 127)
  The Aftermath: Dealing with the Effects of Sexual Abuse for the Reconstruction of Zimbabwe (p. 130)
  Conclusion (p. 131)
  Interviews (p. 132)
  References (p. 132)
  Gleanings from the Internet (p. 133)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of Zimbabwe | Sex and the law: Wartime sexual violence | War: Rhodesian Bush War