Gukurahundi memorial on cards

BULAWAYO - A memorial event in honour of the victims of the Gukurahundi atrocities is scheduled to take place this Saturday in the city, as activists continue to ramp up the tempo on the subject that has almost been viewed as taboo by the Zanu PF government.

The event, slated for the Baptist Church in Bulawayo, will witness people from different parts of Matabeleland being part of what has been dubbed the Gukurahundi Memorial Prayers.

An estimated 20 000 civilians from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces perished at the hands of the crack North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in a post-independence civil war.

This year’s commemoration comes after police in Bulawayo last year banned similar commemorations on the “feeble” excuse that the meeting was likely to cause disharmony and division among the society.

The event was meant to mark the annual World Genocide Day which falls on January 25.

However, the urgent appeal to the High Court by the organisers to have the ban lifted hit a brick hall after it was dismissed.

Organisers of the event, a radical Bulawayo based pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu, said they decided to turn the commemorations into just a prayer session for the Gukurahundi victims.

“The government blocked us last year but we have this year decided to conduct prayers only unlike previously where we had a number of political speakers as part of the event,” Mbuso Fuzwayo, the organisation’s spokesperson said.

“We have invited everyone and we do not have special members. Only the community will be leading the prayers.”

Fuzwayo said the commemorations signified that Zimbabwe was not at peace as a nation and that only dialogue between the people and government can put the long-drawn-out matter to rest.

“The government and the people have to get to a point where they appreciate that there is a problem. It should be noted that the solution on this matter cannot come from people neither can it from the government, so we need to find each other.

The movement which is known for its hard-line stance against Zanu PF seems to be now taking a sober approach to the highly contested matter.

In the past, the pressure group hurled brickbats at the party over its involvement in the atrocities.

“We cannot afford to continue talking about one another without talking to each other,” Fuzwayo said.

“This is what we are praying for, the victim and the perpetrator are stakeholders to the solution of the matter and we expect that one day everyone will accept that this was not only a Matabeleland and Midlands issue but national crises,” he added.

Over the years, President Robert Mugabe’s government has moved swiftly to block any move that takes a dig at the post-independence Gukurahundi atrocities.

This has also seen individuals, organisation and even artists who join the fray receiving a backlash from Zanu PF.

Comments (8)

ZANU PF has always cleverly tried all these years to paint the Gukurahundi issue as a NATIONAL ETHNIC problem and not as a ZANU PF problem so that they can get support in trying to silence any talk about it. The quote below is evidence of this: "This year's commemoration comes after police in Bulawayo last year banned similar commemorations on the “feeble” excuse that the meeting was likely to cause disharmony and division among the society". I mean, why should it cause disharmony in society when it is a ZANU PF problem? Is ZANU PF the society? Unforthunately, Zimbabweans have always failed to see the ZANU PF tricks and instead fell for them hook line and sinker. As yourselves why ZANU PF has always tried to juxtapose this issue with the 1890s tribal war era, when the two events have absolutely no connection or no relationship at all??

MTHWAKAZI - 15 January 2014

Open a Truth and Reconciliation Commssion (TRC) headed by Mugabe himself and the perpetrators should be there and victims and survivors called just like the SA post apartheid era. we want the people to know why? and Who carried out this gross genocide and for what purposes

tk - 15 January 2014

Agreed tk. Lets face it, in a situation of conflict, the guilty party is more likely to seek to avoid justice or discussion of the issue than the innocent party. If I know I lied; I know I am the guilty party; why would I want to open up an issue I consider to have been closed? ZANU PF's actions of always trying to suppress any discussion of this issue clearly shows they are the guilty party. Even Mugabe himself told Dali Tambo in his People of the South Interview that "We dont want to discuss that issue.......?"; the question is why? What are you afraid of, if your actions were justified? Mugabe and his ZANU PF are aware that the very reasons they advanced for carrying out gukurahundi are questionable. This is why they dont want it to be discussed. If gukurahundi was wholly justified, why duck and dive all the time? Just put the facts across; produce the incriminating evidence and shut your critics up once and for all - PERIOD!!

GULUVA - 15 January 2014

We want a prayer session for ma dzviti who killed many of the Shona people

MUSVINA - 15 January 2014

Iyi dai masiyana nayo zvenyu. Let the past stay there coz there was no side that was right back then. It was war.

Mambo Chaminuka - 15 January 2014

What war are you talking about? How many of those people who were killed were in arms? ZANU PF people only think of themselves never the nation. This issue will not go away. One day it shall be discussed, just wait and see. There are names of people who carried out these atrocities and these will come out. Mugabe knows what he did and unfortunately he will die without repenting.

Bingo Wajakata - 16 January 2014

Musvina, please do feel free to have the memorial of those killed by the madzviti, it is your right and I personally believe no one should stop you, its part of our culture. Its amazing that ZANU-PF stops the reburial of Gukurahundi victims, we have people with no birth certificates because they are unable to get these since they have no father or mother, they were killed by Mugabe's military. We have mass graves showing up in school grounds and ZANU PF's response is that the bones should be left where they are, they should not be reburied. I sure hope Mugabe is going to meet his creator very soon and having failed to provide answers to us mortals he will be in a position to provide them then.

Bingo Wajakata - 16 January 2014

ZANU PF should stop trying to turn the gukurahundi genoside into a tribal war. I am a shona speaker I do not condone genoside. All those involved in the genoside will one day face the music. This is a ZANU PF problem not a national one

Chamangwiza - 16 January 2014

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