Mphoko savaged over Gukurahundi

HARARE - Zimbabweans have savaged Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko for his latest controversial comments regarding the Gukurahundi massacres of innocent civilians, mostly in Matabeleland and the Midlands in the early 1980s.

In an interview published by lickspittle State media yesterday, Mphoko appeared to exonerate both President Robert Mugabe and his government from the massacres in which an estimated 20 000 civilians were killed by the feared and North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade.

But leading political figures who spoke to the Daily News yesterday criticised Mphoko (pictured), saying that he was not just “singing for his supper” but also that he was insulting the victims and surviving relatives of the killings.

In his interview with State media, Mphoko re-stated his long-standing position that the Gukurahundi massacres were a conspiracy of the West — in the process re-igniting the debate around contested claims that he allegedly played a role in the killings as a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

An emotional Zapu spokesperson, Mjobise Noko, said yesterday the vice president was speaking like “a deranged man”.

“He is singing for his supper. Mugabe and (Emmerson) Mnangagwa presided over Gukurahundi and everyone knows that. Mphoko was also part of the system and we know it.

“Mphoko should be reminded that Gukurahundi is a serious genocide because we are talking about the loss of many thousands of lives. His statements therefore are a shame and in bad taste. If it was a joke, it’s a joke that is not funny,” Noko said.

The Zapu spokesperson said further that instead of trying to sweep Gukurahundi under the carpet, Zanu PF should set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, similar to the one the South Africans used to deal with apartheid atrocities.

“To us Mphoko has lost his marbles and no one will take him serious.

As Zapu, what we want is for the perpetrators to meet the victims and they engage each other.

“We want real reconciliation because this issue will never die or be swept under the carpet. We want a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be set up to look into Gukurahundi. Anything other than that is an exercise in futility,” Noko said.

Deputy spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Sibongile Mgijima, accused Mphoko of opening Gukurahundi wounds that, she said, were “slowly healing”.

“Mphoko is opening wounds that had started drying up. Mugabe was the commander in chief of the defence forces when this happened. These Zanu PF people must admit their crime and say sorry.

“Indirectly, Mugabe admitted having had a hand in this when he said it was a time of madness. To add a little more, where does the West come in on these massacres? Even before independence, Zanu PF terrorised people in parts of Masvingo, Midlands and the whole of Matabeleland into voting them into power,” the angry Mgijima said. Mqondisi Moyo, president of a party that has been vocal on Gukurahundi, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), accused Mphoko of failing the people of Matabeleland.

“Mphoko is a liar, a hypocrite and a shame to the people of Matabeleland. As his name says, he is clearly accompanying others in Zanu PF and singing for his supper.

“He has betrayed people from Matabeleland. He might go on his tours of Matabeleland but he has shown us that he is not one of us,” Moyo said.

The MRP president added that Mphoko should, in a quest to understand the matter properly, question why the Unity Accord was signed and why he had recently been appointed a vice president.

“The truth of the matter is that Gukurahundi was genocide where a brother killed another brother. It’s a lie that it was meant to deal with Zanu leadership. It was a project to wipe out all Ndebele speaking people. But people like Mphoko want to lie and tell us otherwise. People should ask him how he got that post. What led to the Unity Accord to be signed? Mphoko has betrayed people from Matabeleland,” Moyo added.

Spokesperson for pressure group, Ibhetshu Likazulu, Mbuso Fuzwayo, also did not have kind words for Mphoko.

“After following his assertion, it has become clear that he is saying half truths, which is black propaganda. He is shoving the blame for a genocide committed by Zanu PF government to the USA.

“The fact of the matter may be that the West was involved in planning and possibly funding it, but what Mphoko is not saying is that Zanu PF implemented the conspiracy,” he said.

Obert Gutu, MDC spokesperson, said Mphoko should resign for his remarks which he said in effect served to mock Gukurahundi survivors.

“The long and short of it is that the Gukurahundi genocide was a crime against humanity and that no amount of spin by the likes of Mphoko can wash away this very sad chapter of Zimbabwe’s post-independence history.

“That said, as a concerned Zimbabwean patriot, I hereby call for the immediate resignation of Phelekezela Mphoko as one of the two vice presidents of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

“Gukurahundi was perpetrated by the Zanu PF regime on innocent, unarmed and defenceless people mainly of Ndebele origin in the Midlands and the Matabeleland provinces.

“The fifth Brigade was specifically deployed in these provinces where they unleashed senseless and brutal violence on unarmed villagers. Pregnant women were bayoneted and thrown into open graves.

“People suspected of harbouring so-called dissidents were killed in cold blood and many victims were simply thrown into open graves and buried alive,” Gutu said.

Mphoko, in the weekend interview, said Mugabe and the government had nothing to do with the massacres which rights groups say claimed about 20 000 civilian lives.

Mugabe was prime minister when the government deployed the army in southern Zimbabwe to crush “dissidents” that the government then said were linked to Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu.

“Gukurahundi after the war had nothing to do with Mugabe — nothing! That is a fact,” Mphoko told the Sunday Mail.

“I have always said the post-independence Gukurahundi was a conspiracy of the West. This I maintain …People can say what they want, but that was a Western conspiracy,” he added.

Comments (22)

so those who died just dev=cided to kill theselves? It was a massive suicidal competition by people in matebeleland and midlands, and the president and his government did know about it, no wonder why they dont allow people to comemmorate this part of our history, isnt it?

Donato Matibili - 16 February 2015

Mphoko is an unashamed and unrepentant sellout. He is singing for his supper.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 16 February 2015

Mpoko is the new Nkala of his generation. There is always one useful idiyat ready to disgrace themselves for crumbs.

Lt General - 16 February 2015

Many many many people think gukurahundis were Shonas only and that is a lie . Here is a gukurahundi is talking and is he Shona ? No . Nkala another architect of gukurahundi in 1984 when he came to campaign for for zanu in our area clearly said gukurahundi was going to teach us a lesson bcoz we were idiots who supported a dead donkey pf zapu and he was ndebele Calistus Ndlovu was a gukurahundi he is ndebele and from my own tribe Tonga we had a gukurahundi Jacob Mudenda , So it is up to us as zimbabweans from all tribes to be one and fight these gukurahundis until we put them in jail . This thing of not wanting to work together bcoz so and so is of that tribe will cause more problem for us .If gukurahundis came from across all tribes and united to kill people so be us as well lets unite free ourselves from these monsters and put them to prison at last and our wounds will be healed ,

Diibulaanyika - 16 February 2015

This MBOKO guy is a f***ng asshole. A VP?? to say such shit

Garikayi - 16 February 2015

Eish such a tall figure laden with an empty head or is it ligcwele amanzi! He's got no clue what he doing in the presidency except to sing for his supper. As an Adventist, i'm ashamed to bear the same badge as this clueless bootlicker.

OkaSlwane - 16 February 2015

It would be of interest for Mphoko to give us the number of Zanu-pf officials and supporters murdered by dissidents. How many ZRP support unit officers masqueraded as dissidents,if the dissidents were part of Zapu why would they murder and maime their own supporters and part officials?

Gudli 'ndlu - 16 February 2015

It is known that about 90% of the victims killed by dissidents were either top ZAPU officials, ZAPU businessmen and teachers, ZAPU local government officials and generally ZAPU supporters. The remaining 10% appear to be white people. Not a single ZANU supporter was killed during this period. Does not this fact speak for itself? One does not know what the position is or would be after the Fifth Brigade's bloody escapade in the Western Province of Matebeleland.

Gudli 'ndlu - 16 February 2015

Mboko, Mboko! I have, once, advised you to keep quiet or resign. You aught to keep a toilet roll to wipe your mouth after talking so much shit! Are you not ashamed? You are so simplistic in that you hip RG Mugabe's Gukurahundi atrocities on the Western door step without shame. One thing for sure, RG Mugabe will be leaving this problem unresolved, but you will certainly be tried for participating and concealing this crime. Basopo wena!

Mbareboy - 16 February 2015

One sentence should have read: You ought to keep a toilet roll to wipe your mouth after talking so much shit!

Mbareboy - 16 February 2015

Dlibulaanyika my brother,thank you for teaching the nation at large that Gukurahundi was not a tribal oriented or driven thing but it was a Zimbabwean creation if it had external hand i do not know.Now we need to start preaching peace to be called peaceful people.When you like go now to Matebeland some of our countrymen still preach the message of hate and are still uncouth tribalists up to today emanating from the hard feelings from Gukurahundi.This also is witnessed at church my brother was at seminary in Bulawayo he told me apparently that a lot of his Ndebele colleagues hated them a lot because they were Shona.Where are we going as a nation as one people and one nation?Lets make bygones as bygones,judging they so-called perpetrators does not give us peace just like if shortly after independence killing Ian Douglous Smith would not erase memories of the Chimoio massacres and other many more done across Mozambique and Zambia that claimed lives of our countrymen.But we simply said let bygones be bygones and we open a new chapter to our history,but we never forget of what happened thats our history and it should act as reference to future generations to come and draw lessons and have a reflection.Apparently as a nation we need a day maybe a national holiday to say its a day we pray,we remember ,we meditate about the atrocities as a nation and not as Matebeland because Matebeland is not for the Ndebele but it is for Zimabweans as much as Mashonaland is not for the Shona but for all Zimbabweans.

carson macate - 17 February 2015

Phelekezela Mboko ... sorry .. Mpoko must be banned forthwith from Matabeleland. No progressive Zimbabwean in Zimbabwe must buy from his shops. His shops in Bulawayo must be picketed.

Rejoice Ngwenya - 17 February 2015

Mboko indeed. The best thing is to apologize we had hoped you are level headed and would convince your other guys in the presidium to own up on gukurahundi but alas uri MBOKO

Perekedza Mboko - 17 February 2015

This Mboko guy will probably tell us one day soon that the liberation war never happened. He is a good example of the calibre of diplomats Mr Mugabe appoints to represent our country. These are the people Mugabe appoints to fulfill his 'pasi neZanuPf)' slogan. It would seem Mugabe and Mboko are part of Jonathan Moyo's strategy of destroying Zanu Pf from within.

Chenjerai Hove - 17 February 2015

lam equally disappointed in th so called Mboko vice or vise, he lacks the so called integrit or ethics if he ever is allowed ample time in power wow wow ! the duplicate of Mugabe. Where are the states men? We are yet deep into another dilemma .

fanuel bhebhe - 17 February 2015

Gugurahundi was planned and crafted by Zanupf to get rid of all Zapu pf , ex-combatants, cadres, and anything thought to be hlping the liberation movement to continue to exist. We were there , as the North Korea trained soldiers bulldozed ,raised homes down, we were there as we saw families perish , we saw for example one family a Gumpo family loose 5 man being shot in front of school kids . we are ready to stand witness if the commission is opened. No one can pin that on Western pwrs, amanga it was Zanupf scandouls act , since they brewed that concoption let them face music , who knows how more damage these guys have caused elsewhere , kabashe !.

fanuel bhebhe - 17 February 2015

Mphoko did not exonerate anyone per se.He merely gave his own view of the issue. He placed ultimately blame on the apartheid and British governments acting in collusion. There may be some truth in what he said. I do recall white farmers were being killed in Matebeleland at the time. Together with that 1976 bombing of the viscount jet that killed foreign tourists in Hwange or was it Kariba ? Might this not have caused Western hatred against Zapu to grow. Put together that party's Russian links at the time of the Cold War. I believe Zapu was more hated of the two liberation parties and a scenario in which they gained traction in Zim politics was strictly undesirable to western governments mainly because it would mean Russian hegemony in Zimbabwe. Remember Super Zapu ? It was obviously an apartheid funded project intended to cast aspersions on the real Zapu thereby sowing the seeds of disunity amongst the freedom fighters. Mphoko must not be dismissed in his views because of emotions. I believe we must consider all facts as we try to lay this difficult time to rest. Attribution of blame must be carefully done.

the vulture - 18 February 2015

The Vulture, oh my word. Why would any straight thinking Zimbabwean beleive this load of nonesense. Did you not hear President Mugabe say it was a time of Madness? Were you there when the ZNA surrounded Bulawayo and beat up people in areas like thorngrove? Are you forgrting Mugabe's speeches during this era he called madness? Do you not remember Enos Nkala's rantings? Do you not remember Zanu boasting how SPILLS THE BLOOD downed a chopper and yet now they say she didn't? Have you not got tired of listening to these peoples lies? Zanu pf and Zanu pf only is responsible for the killings, including those of the Farmers, Talent Mabika , Tichaona Chiminya, Gloria and Martin Olds and many more. Mphoko is a clown of serious proportions. All he had to do was take the job and shut his mouth. Do not ever fool your self. If Britain and the US wanted to cause mayhem Mugabe would of long been history. They chose to disengage and it has not affected their economy in the one least bit. Ours is down the toilet.

Dr Do little - 18 February 2015

Even Boko Haram have not slaughtered so much people in six yrs.lt is so disturbing to see a man who's meant to advocate for the compensation for the pain,torture,maiming,rape,mass killings off unarmed civilian fellow brothers and sisters of his by a armed battalion taking the side of the perpetrator in return for vice presidency.You r a disgrace little known Mperekedzi,by so doing you putting the blood spilled in your hands.you thot u were pouring water,whilst u carrying a bucket of paraffin and u dump enough to smell it,mthengisi,mphelekezeli.

Ntsimbikayigobi - 19 February 2015

Gukurahundi was an evil of epic proportion carried out by Shona people against Ndebeles. It is no coincidence that the name exists only in the Shona language. VP Mphoko will eat his words, truth be said.

Dr. J.M. Zwana(USA) - 9 June 2015

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