Aggrieved Mphoko disowns Gukurahundi

BULAWAYO - Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has denied persistent charges by his critics that he participated in the massacre of an estimated 20 000 innocent civilians in the early 1980s, mainly in Matabeleland and the Midlands, during the infamous Gukurahundi offensive in the region by the army.

Mphoko told scores of Zanu PF supporters gathered at Bulawayo’s Davis Hall yesterday that his hands were clean.

The VP, who was on his maiden “Meet the People” tour in the second city, said allegations that he was a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) during the Gukurahundi era were both “disturbing and malicious”.

“There is a woman called Nomazulu Thatha, I think she is based in the UK. She has really given me a torrid time.

“She alleges that I joined CIO in 1980. I am not a liar, in my entire life, I have killed no one. I repeat no one was killed by these hands,” Mphoko said, displaying his palms.

“I have not killed anyone, direct or indirect,” he said.

The VP said he was a God-fearing Christian who would not dare end someone’s life.

Now grey and looking all of his 74 years, Mphoko further dismissed reports that he was a CIO operative at independence in 1980 — a time that he said he had been unemployed.

Human rights groups accuse President Robert Mugabe’s government of carrying out the much-criticised atrocities in western Zimbabwe —

through the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade — that left an estimated 20 000 civilians dead, in what has been described as the darkest period in the country since 1980.

The government claimed at the time that it wanted to crush an alleged rebellion in the region by former Zipra combatants — with Mugabe since having described the period as “a moment of madness” in the history of the country.

Government apparatchiks have recently attempted to defend the massacres, in addition to disputing the number of people killed during the offensive.

Curiously, these officials have shied away from giving details about what the offensive was really about, how many people were killed at the time and why a number of reports into the massacres have never been released despite crass threats to do so — with most of this done under the cover of anonymously-written opinion articles in lickspittle State newspapers.

“In 1980, I was not employed. I was staying at my plot where I was farming cabbages,” Mphoko said, going on to briefly narrate his history until 1987 when he was attested into the CIO.

“When I joined the CIO, I joined as a diplomat. Back then in 1987 in the CIO there were many branches of which I fell under the Diplomats Branch,” he said.

Mphoko said that year marked the start of his long journey as a diplomat, which saw him being deployed to Mozambique first and later to other countries such as Austria, Botswana, Russia and South Africa.

Mphoko was appointed second vice president of the ruling party and of the State by Mugabe last month.

Later in the meeting, he also took a swipe at those who were accusing him of being a traitor, after he allegedly jumped ship from Zapu to Zanu.

“We started unity with Zanu PF in 1972, so during that time we regarded each other as comrades and allies. Talk of JMC (Joint Military Command) and I was one of the members in charge of it,” he said.

“From there we joined (James) Chikerema’s party which was a flop. We joined Zipra, then later the Patriotic Front. Zanu had always been seen as an ally, so for people to say I jumped ship and crossed over to Zanu, that’s a grave lie,” he added.

Mphoko accused his enemies of being guilty of trying to tarnish his image since he landed the VP post.

He also told the gathering that his appointment was not going to be a stroll in the park as he faced a mammoth task of working towards the development of the country’s failing economy.

“I have come to thank the people of Bulawayo for placing me on this high position. I am not on leave.

“This is a job that is very tough considering that it was held by a person of such stature like the late John Nkomo,” he said.

However, he said, no problem was insurmountable as long as people worked together for one cause.

He also said that he was going to work tirelessly to ensure that the city of Bulawayo was restored to its lost glory as Zimbabwe’s industrial hub.

He immediately ordered Provincial Affairs minister Sandi Moyo to set up a special meeting with stakeholders, including former mayors, to map a way forward for the revival of the city.


Comments (15)

I wonder is it criminal to be CIO. This confirms our suspicion that the CIO under ZANUpf has been abused and turned into a murderous organization protecting the interests of Matibili and his inner circle

tom toms - 26 January 2015

And so what is a Christian doing in a party that has destroyed a nation????

TruthBTold - 26 January 2015

Dabengwa and Lookout re-called everyone else back to Zambia after ZIPA was sabotaged by Mugabe and Tongogara. Either this Mboko of a guy remained there at Dabengwa's instructions OR was sidelined after they realised that the was adouble argent. Come 1983, vaMboko seems to among the few ex-Zaplers who were not accused of dissidentry and was even posted to Bots ahead of real Zanu Ndebeles. Inyoka iyi!! I would rather have Dabengwa whom everyone knows that he never liked being led by Zanu-PF He only accepted to please Nkomo.

selele - 26 January 2015

VaMphoko could just be a church goer seeking entertainment but NOT a Christian.I thought being a VP was more than enough entertainment. And his hands are drooping with innocent blood. Kudya henyu zvemarema makarara baba namai.Hameno kuti makazowana here zi imba ramaida saVP?

KUTANDARA CHETE - 26 January 2015

This man is liar, how can you be a leader of a joint military command and say you have not killed "direct or indirectly"? He then goes on to say he joined CIO as a diplomat in 1987, what nonsense is that? Sir you are a proverbial liar & the people from Bulawayo had nothing to do with your appointment Mr CIO, they have suffered enough from your kind.

Lt General - 26 January 2015

The simple truth is that the VP was recruited by the CIO a long time ago. We all know that Dabengwa was the chief of intelligence and knows what was happening then. No amount of twisting the truth willl change anything. The gentleman says, 'We started unity with Zanu Pf in 1972', but Zanu PF was only formed in 1980, it did not exist before. There was only ZANU, not Zanu PF. It would seem the gentleman is panicky because people are beginning to reveal his murky past. It could be a good thing if the VP just stops torturing himself with untruths.

Chenjerai Hove - 26 January 2015

some things are meant to be laughed at...just laugh and you are done. So this guy fought in the liberation struggle but he has killed no one directly or indirectly just by mere partaking in that struggle you indirectly killed Mr....kkkkkk.. questions are raised as to your liberation credentials..mind what you say Dr.

Tonderai Gonzo Snr - 26 January 2015

“He also said that he was going to work tirelessly to ensure that the city of Bulawayo was restored to its lost glory as Zimbabwe's industrial hub” - easier said that done. The industries were started by whites and since 1980 ZanuPF has destroyed these industries in what George Charamba said was “managed destruction or phasing out of Rhodesian industries” or words along those lines. One government official is saying one thing and the other is saying something completely different. The reason why Mpoko skipped the border in the 1970s was because he could not hack it in the second most prosperous economy then while other blacks like George Tavengwa were becoming multimillionaires. If Mpoko found it hard in the 1970s when Rhodesia was the second most prosperous economy in the whole of Africa I cannot see how he can revive industry in a failed state. Totally impossible. He has to be seen to be saying something doesn't he although he has no clue where to start? It's not only in Bulawayo where industry has to be revived, the whole country. It took the whites close to a century to do - they had the unique skills and money to do so. That is fact. Being a puppet Vice-President of the country does not automatically mean you are able to revive or run these industries. You have to have the skills to run a business, the money to put into the business to make more money and most important - you should have the market(s) for the end product. If you have impoverished everyone no one will be able to buy your product! Your lies are now coming back to bite you politicians on your bottoms.

Musona - 26 January 2015

Mr VP is admitting that Mugabe and others murdered innocent people. The question is what the f*** are you doing in such a government that thrives with killing. Tell us Mr VP who is the killer and the Saint???

Garikayi - 26 January 2015

Killing direct or indirect its neither here nor there. By participating in the struggle killings that happened in Rhodesia and in the rear rear as war progressed remain killings. One cannot boast to be a war hero and enjoy having killed nobody. Neglect which results in deaths is direct killing. No smart boys in this game

Liberty Shungu - 27 January 2015

VP Mphoko,enjoy yourself as long as you can but please don't lie. Dabengwa failed to bring water to Byo from the Zambezi river & you talk of reviving Byo's industries? What is your problem sir?You can only worry after the demise of ZPF which is sure to happen anyway. For your own information, the whole of Zimbabwe is suffering, not only Byo.

ngoromera haribatsiri - 27 January 2015

it is a pit his is being torn apart, where is he going to run too.may since bob is back he is going to back him with second round of gukurahundi.

dundubala - 27 January 2015

As far as I know, Mphoko's record is not pleasing. He is said to be one of those who benefited from the demobilization fund and in as far as Gukurahundi is concerned one thing just leads to another, He had to be in the long rope. So, he is guilty as charged. You've got blood in your hands bro and may be its you who killed my father - who knows. Mphoko you are a sell out - you just are a Zanu PF true and true, with all the colours. Get out of us.

clement moyo - 27 January 2015

God fearing Diplomatic CIO killing cadre!!!

Mukanya - 27 January 2015

This @Musona racist white supremacist just gets under my skin. You must one of the former Rhodies disposed of your farm through the fast-track land reform programme. For the record, I'm not a ZPF supporter, but the way you want to portray all black Africans as backward and beneficents of Caucasian dominance is just so full of bigotry. Please get a life and move on @ Musona. No amount of vitriol will bring whatever that which you were disenfranchised by ZPF. We all suffering under the Mugabe regime, but we don't draw the race card. Learn to debate real issues and not bring out your callowness.

WaGono - 28 January 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.