Mphoko under fire over utterances

HARARE - Some angry Zimbabweans have called on newly-appointed Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko to either resign from his post or apologise profusely and unreservedly for his “thoughtless” views on the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres.

This was after controversial utterances were attributed to Mphoko at the weekend which seemingly absolved the Zanu PF leadership led by President Robert Mugabe for the massacres, and instead shifted the blame to apartheid South Africa and the West.

Mugabe himself has since described the massacres as “a moment of madness” in the country’s history.

“When Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, Apartheid South Africa was under threat from the ANC through Zimbabwe.

“Western intelligence together with the South African intelligence BOSS and the out-going Rhodesian Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) designed a strategy to destroy the lines of military supply of the ANC and MK under the pretext that the newly-independent Zimbabwe was under threat of being attacked by former Zapu/Zipra in Matabeleland.

“That falsehood was intended to create a military force to deal with the perceived threat. That is how Gukurahundi was formed and that is how it became a Western conspiracy,” Mphoko was quoted by online media as allegedly saying at the weekend.

Mphoko’s phone was first answered by a man claiming to be his son and then a security aide when the Daily News on Sunday called him for comment yesterday, with both men pointedly refusing to identify themselves by name but nevertheless denying emphatically that the VP was the author of the offending sentiments.

“It is not the vice president but his son,” said the first man who answered Mphoko’s cellphone, adding, “but I can tell you that he did not write that letter. Let me hand you over to his aide”.

“This is the work of his political enemies who want to tarnish his image. You know it happens in politics. I suppose he did not write that letter,” said the other man who said he was Mphoko’s aide, adding further, “You Daily News people I will not give you my name because I don’t want it associated with this”.

In the offending weekend comments, Mphoko is alleged to have said that he was a Gukurahundi victim himself, as he had allegedly been arrested together with Edward Ndlovu, Welshman Mabhena, Sydney Malunga and others.

Okay Machisa, the ZimRights director, called on the former ambassador to apologise to the nation if the utterances were true.

Machisa said by insinuating that Gukurahundi was a creation of foreigners, Mphoko was insulting Zimbabweans.

“What he (Mphoko) needs to understand is that he is now a vice president which is a post that comes with respect.

“So, for him to provoke the people saying it was caused by foreigners is very unfortunate as he is inflicting more pain to the victims,” said Machisa.

Mphoko’s alleged insinuations also infuriated the opposition MDC which came out guns blazing, demanding that he resigns forthwith.

Obert Gutu, the MDC spokesperson said it was regrettable that the VP was failing to acknowledge that Gukurahundi was a crime against humanity perpetrated by Mugabe’s government.

Gutu expressed shock that Mphoko could refuse to acknowledge that the atrocities which led to the death of an estimated 20 000 innocent people had nothing to do with the West.

“If anything, the VP owes the people of Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in particular, and Zimbabweans in general, an unconditional apology.

“In view of his lack of empathy for the unprecedented suffering brought about by Gukurahundi, the VP should do the honourable thing and resign because he is a complete and utter disgrace to Zimbabwe,” Gutu said.

Last week Dumiso Dabengwa, the Zapu President, told Mphoko to “shut up” about his liberation struggle role, accusing him of having been a Zanu cadre who was now embellishing his struggle role.

This was after Mphoko had claimed to have been commander of a joint operations force of Zipra and ANC’s Umkhonto Wesizwe.

Responding online to Mphoko’s alleged utterances, a Thulani Nkala said this was not the first time the VP had allegedly uttered similar sentiments.

“In 2009 in Botswana, when Mphoko was the ambassador there, he termed the genocide the conspiracy by the Western nations. Yesterday, he went on to try and expand on what he meant when he raised the conspiracy argument.

“To all discerning people, what Mphoko is trying to do is to absolve Zanu PF of its cruel and dirty chapter in the history of the nation.

“Could it be that Mr Mphoko is singing for his supper? Could it be that Mr Mphoko does not realise that his vice presidency will be short-lived and he would have soiled his legacy if ever he had one?” he said.

Nkala went on to allege that some people were beginning to think that Mphoko was part of the Gukurahundi massacre and that he did not want to come clean on his CIO involvement.

“It is public knowledge that the CIO played a nefarious role during the genocide, abducting, torturing and killing Zapu leaders and ordinary people. Unless and until Mr Mphoko explains his activities between the years 1981 and 1987, people will never take him seriously as he will be viewed as part of the establishment,” he said.

Comments (28)

haaaa vana mboko mpkoko hameno siyananayi navo kutosvakira vana chikafu angati chiiwo kuwana zvekufadzawo mr presdent

gadziko - 21 December 2014

Izvi zvinotoda vana taurai ma CIO kuti vayitaurire kuti zvakafamba seyi. mpoko arikutaura se mboko.

Der - 21 December 2014

Mphoko is just euphoric about his new post.Zvichapera.Zuro zvaiva zvaMujuru.Nhasi aripi?

Zvichapera - 21 December 2014

Nyika iri kubatsirika nechiyi panyaya dzegukura hundi dzamuri kutaura idzi. Saka munoda kuti zviitwe seyi nhayi vanhu veDaily News? Nyonga - nyonga hatidi munyika muno. Regayi vana vedu vakure murunyararo. Ivo vana Gutu vaiita nezveyi nguva iyoyo? Seyi gukurahundi yakango pera pakaitwa unity accord? Madhizindendi aiva vana ani? Siyanai nezvamusinga zogoni kudzimura. Hatidi kuitwa zve Iraqi ne Libya isu. Let sleeping dogs lye. Peace begins with all of us.

MemaZimbo - 21 December 2014

@ MemaZimbo, i doubt very much if you have 5 senses.You may have 3.5. Peace can never be forced on people.If there is someone who needs to say sorry so let it be.You can never wish problems away neither can your utterances erase history.You are the very same people who are gloating about the war of liberation and what Smith did to the black people.What's now wrong when people discuss what a black man did on another black man?

Tahir Iqbal - 21 December 2014

Mphoko is a Munangagwa appointment, not a Mugabe appointie. Note how their history goes back to Mozambique. Ngwena wanted his boy in there, and non of the former ZAPU members fitted the bill.

Mbongeni Sakhe - 21 December 2014

On the 30 Sept 2014 a news report appeared as follows - “SPEAKER of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has revealed he witnessed the torture and murder of some of the more than 20,000 people in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands during the dark years of Gukurahundi in the early 1980s, but was powerless to stop it. Responding to questions from delegates at a three-day men's fellowship conference organised by the Brethren-in-Christ Church in Lobengula last Sunday under the theme “Peace and Justice” where he was the guest speaker, Mudenda said he had actually witnessed people being tortured by soldiers from the 5 Brigade in Tsholotsho. Delegates had asked Mudenda, who was Matabeleland North provincial governor during Gukurahundi, to explain to them what exactly transpired during the atrocities. Mudenda told the conference that at one point, the Tsholotsho district administrator called him to come and witness the beatings and killing of innocent people in the area. “I went there with other politicians and found soldiers beating up people. I asked them why they were beating people and they told me that they were looking for dissidents,” he said.

Musona - 21 December 2014

Both Mphoko and Jacob Mudenda are ex-Zapu, new Vice President, Mphoko, is denying Gukurahundi while Speaker of Parliament, Mudenda witnessed Gukurahundi. Mphoko is clearly singing for his supper, the parrot. Journalists should get hold of the article by Mudenda and ask Mphoko what Mudenda was talking about. Why was the Report by Enock Dumbutshena on Entumbane and the Chihambakwe report on Gukurahundi not published if it was foreigners responsible for Gukurahundi? Mudenda never said he saw foreign soldiers torturing unarmed villagers. Mphoko is a mendacious idiot.

Musona - 21 December 2014

Point of correction Musona Mudenda has never been a member of zapu he has been in zanu that is why he had been failing to be a member of parliament most of the times he intended to . And is the reason why he was given the job of governor by a zanu pf govt during its moment of madness where it killed 20 000 civilians in order to flush out 115 so called dissidents.

Diibulaanyika - 21 December 2014

While we are on the subject of lies, the private media should not complain about lies by ZanuPF politicians because the private media also lies knowingly. For the last 35 years Zanu has lied to the people and the private media has followed suit. Thousands of times I read reports about “the true liberators” or “liberation war hero” or “Zanu defeated Smith” and such like lies. The media cannot start moaning about lies by ZanuPF politicians when for the last 35 years the media has bolstered these lies to such an extent the young generation believe it as gospel truth. The other lie is that before 1980 blacks were not free and were oppressed but are unable to give concrete examples of the oppression. THE MEDIA SHOULD NOT CHERRY-PICK LIES. Lies are lies and will always be lies in my eyes. Black poverty, which has been there before whites came, is explained away as white oppression by power-hungry politicians when it was the whites who started industries when there was nothing. Why should the private media keep on telling the young generation that ZanuPF liberated the country when I know this is a lie and that black rule was attained through a negotiated settlement and where the ordinary people voted out Muzorewa and voted in Zanu in 1980? If Zimbabwe is indeed free why should I be forced to parrot lies and why should the private media spread these lies? To all the politicians and the media who say colonialism was bad dare ask if this land had not been colonised would we be having (1) less jobs or (2) more jobs or (3) no jobs at all?

Musona - 21 December 2014

You are right, I got that one wrong - I always thought Mudenda was Ndebele/Tonga and ex-Zapu.

Musona - 21 December 2014

He is Tonga and in 1985 he tried to represent Binga in parliament under zanu but lost heavily to Paul Siachimbo of zapu . In 2000 again he tried this time in Hwange representing the same party and lost to Peter Nyoni of MDC. he has never been liked at all .

Diibulaanyika - 21 December 2014

Thats what happens when you lie too much. It was my son. Even spin doctor Prof moyo cannot spin this one. What can we expect from Zanu next" It was my son under the influence of sanctions".

X-MAN IV - 21 December 2014

What is the way forward comrades? I understand that there are some atrocities that happened in the early days of our independence, but should we let sleeping dogs lie, or ruffle the feathers for the benefit of the society? This is not a rhetorical question. The first option creates peace, or at least the illusion of peace since we just assume a forgive-and-forget attitude, but it also creates long lasting suspicion among the tribes. For instance, even 50-years from now if a Ndebele ever makes it to the presidency, some people are going to be afraid of retribution of the 1980s turbulence. The silence on the issues is also disturbing in that sometimes stuff that happened during that time is so enigmatic that it is often blown out of proportion. Notwithstanding that lives were needlessly lost (I have close relatives who were directly affected) I have also discovered that sometimes people just blame everything on the Shona president without looking at some of the difficult judgments that he had to make during those times, especially concerning the dissidents who were actually a threat to the nation, and the tribal tensions that were present in the integrated military of the day. I am not condoning anyone's actions and I want to believe that maybe finding a way to talk about these issues without being vindictive can be helpful to everyone in the nation, by knowing what actually transpired. By the way, the national leaders and citizenry in general forgave the mass atrocities performed on blacks by whites (e.g Chimoio, nyadzonya) and I think we can be able to move forward as a nation beyond the dark and complex aspects of our history. But a respectable history figure once said, "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free".

Gatsi Rusere - 21 December 2014

mpoko uri mboko wanzwa

koko - 22 December 2014

mpoko uri mboko wanzwa

koko - 22 December 2014

The blood of the slain is crying out from our soil to God. Judgment is coming! The word of God tells us that the blood shall not remain uncovered. It is past the time for ZPF to totally confess and repent of all their sin against this nation from 1980. No sin shall remain hidden. None!

Righteous Justice - 22 December 2014

It is folly to imagine that the Gukurahundi issue will just die out like that. This is one issue which some ZPF politicians created and is having a negative bearing on the relations between the Ndebeles and Shonas today.Its not over until its explained to the people.After all, Zimbabweans are one and it is such issues which still render us feel different. Rudo Chete.

Eddy - 22 December 2014

my own mother nearly died from this gugurahundi, the moment l hear that word, anger builds up within me. zpf shld stop being arrogant abt this issue. mpoko is part of the group that killed pple. that is the reason why they chose him. Mugabe wants those whos hands are full of blood to remain in power, for the safety of his family. we will see.

ndionei - 22 December 2014

Gukurahundi will not be forgotten. We still have bodies to bury. Those that think they can spin it are in for a big surprise.

Doctor DL - 22 December 2014

it clear mugabe nominated mpoko and mnangagwa becoz of their moderate view on gukurahundi and participation. there is no way they shall accuse the old man or hold him accountable in his lifetime

Gukurahundi brigade - 22 December 2014

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flixcom solutions - 23 December 2014

lets not talk about past events many zimbabweans were killed during the war what about 1800 the ndebele invasion of shonaland and killed many sonas

kativhu k - 23 December 2014

Mphoko is drunk and suffering from the new toy syndrome. Ask Mutasa he was once the lead singer in praising and worshipping the emperor and now he is singing from a different hym book. If I were you I would shutup and enjoy the ride on the gravy train silently.

juju dhubulibhunu - 24 December 2014

@Kativhu k we can not talk of the wars which happened during the 1800 when you were not present nor is there anyone present today who was present during that time .Shonas infact not shonas only were defeated by Ndebeles as you were wrongly told the Vhendas Kalangas baTonga were all defeated but they were all armed as compared to Gukurahundi victims who were not . Have you ever imagined what would have happened if Mugabe introduced gukurahundi when zipra forces were still armed ?kwaisara machira chete.

Diibulaanyika - 24 December 2014

we are tirelessly searching for jobs!Not political hullabaloos.

Goal Worth Global Network Employment Agency - 27 December 2014

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