The Lancaster House Agreement negotiated in the United Kingdom in 1979 on the conflict in Rhodesia ushered in the independence of Zimbabwe. In the same agreement was a provision for the formation of a new post independence Army, the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA). The ZNA drew its membership from 3 former belligerent Armies, namely; the Rhodesian Army, the Zimbabwe National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and the Zimbabwe Peoples’ Revolutionary Army (ZPRA).
Lieutenant General George Peter Walls was assigned by the then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Cde RG Mugabe to supervise the forces integration process. His assignment was short-lived since he quickly fell out of the Prime Minister’s favour for complicity as there had been a number of attempts on his life just before the commencement of the integration process. A much more representative organization, the Joint High Command (JHC), was established by the Prime Minister in March 1980 to spearhead the integration of forces into the ZNA. The then Minister of State Security, ED Mnangagwa was appointed its Chairman. Key members of this superior command structure were mainly drawn from the 3 former belligerent Armies. These were Rhodesian Army Commander Lieutenant General LC Maclean, ZANLA and ZPRA represented by their respective Commanders, Generals TRS Mujuru and L Masuku respectively. Additional members of the JHC were Air Marshal N Walsh, Brig Gen VMG Zvinavashe, Mr BA Page, Maj Gen CPR Palmer, Maj Gen JL Thompson.Complementing the integration process were parallel standardization training programmes run by the British Military Advisory and Training Team (BMATT) at different command levels for the forming ZNA.
By mid 1980, a number of newly integrated ZNA units had been formed with General TRS Mujuru as the first Commander ZNA.