Justice perm sec wades into Coltart, Mnangagwa row

BULAWAYO - The Justice minister is not intimidating anyone against openly speaking about the Gukurahundi atrocities but will not hesitate to actively act upon falsehoods, a senior official said yesterday.

The permanent secretary in the Justice ministry, Virginia Mabhiza, said yesterday the ministry was concerned about statements that continued to be “wrongly attributed” to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is responsible for the Justice ministry.

“The Justice ministry is there to promote and protect rights and not scaring anyone,” Mabhiza told journalists here.

“But we also don’t promote falsehoods, if they are confirmed to be falsehoods, they should be acted upon.”

Former Education minister David Coltart has accused Mnangagwa of making a latter-day Gukurahundi atrocities denial after his controversial book linked the VP to official accounts of the horrors of 1980s.

The Struggle Continues: 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe, an autobiography penned by Coltart, highlighted inciteful remarks reportedly made by Mnangagwa in 1983 urging the Fifth Brigade to escalate the genocide, which was only brought to an end when then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe and opposition Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo reached a conciliation on December 22, 1987, and they signed a unity agreement.

Mnangagwa allegedly referred to dissidents as “cockroaches” and the Fifth Brigade as “DDT”, a deadly pesticide used to kill vermin. The VP has threatened to sue Coltart.

Mabhiza said this was purely political.

“Without taking any sides, this is a political issue which us, as officials do not concern ourselves with,” she said.

The disparaging remarks attributed to Mnangagwa have attracted furore among a legion of social media users, particularly human rights activists calling for the VP to come clean on the subject.

Comments (16)

Was Mbiza old enough then, when the genocide happened

Mukanya - 24 March 2016

Mabhiza was a young girl during that time ,so she must shut up her mouth . Haana chaanoziva . ngaadye mari akanyarara chete.

Chivadye - 24 March 2016

mabhiza stick to your mandate as perm sec of justice ministry,you are not EDs spokesperson and the said atrocities were committed when the VP was minister of state security not justice minister

truth - 24 March 2016

Mabhiza is an idiot and a 1/2,some of us were there when this happened & the chronicle (gvt newspaper) has confirmed tht the quotations are true. Its js folly to make such remarks as has. Thts why mnangagwa will never sue coltart. Infact its zanu pf tht are tryn to expose mnangagwa bcoz they no longer want him. This mabhiza shld be workng in the niteclubs as a prostitute rather than do gvt wrk.

Benito - 24 March 2016

The horses have already bolted Virginia. As a civil servant paid by tax payers it would be helpful if you stuck to your brief. Leave Lizard to fight his own corner which he is doing a miserable job doing.

Galore 123 - 24 March 2016

Fokofo Vignia you know nothing your boss Munangagwa is awaiting jail the moment his zanu gets booted out for butchering 20 000 human beings . haa injele limlindile unless he runs away to Zambia .

Diibulaanyika - 24 March 2016

Lets face it, was it wrong in the first place to refer to dissidents as cochroaches. Munangagwa was correct. He did not say any tribe is coachroches. He said dissidents. And I can even repeat it today: Dissidents were coachroches

Danai Pazvagozha - 24 March 2016

virginia virginia virginia shamwari dzako ku bindura

truth - 24 March 2016

Dibulaanyika kkkkkkkk. what a foolish dream. Munangagwa going nowhere. We see you struggle to keep his head under water without success..

Grace Jones - 24 March 2016

The less comments by people around ED on this matter the better. There are pouring petrol on to the fire and things will escalate and the croc will not burn but drown in the fire. Coltart has written indisputable facts and has said bring it on. Lacoste should zip up or sink.

X-MAN IV - 24 March 2016

Virginia you are best advised to keep away from this issue.ED behaved during that time as if there was no tomorrow.Let ED deal with this issue in his personal capacity.The Croc was the brains behind those atrocities.As the minister of state security,he was in the nerve centre of those operations.The intelligence gathered by his department determined and shaped the nature of deployment and operations of those troops which carried out genocide.The onus is on him to prove that he wasn't personal responsible for those hate speeches, but by the look of things, it's an uphill task,the evidence is just too overwhelming to ignore.

gen spinola - 24 March 2016

Virginia you are best advised to keep away from this issue.ED behaved during that time as if there was no tomorrow.Let ED deal with this issue in his personal capacity.The Croc was the brains behind those atrocities.As the minister of state security,he was in the nerve centre of those operations.The intelligence gathered by his department determined and shaped the nature of deployment and operations of those troops which carried out genocide.The onus is on him to prove that he wasn't personal responsible for those hate speeches, but by the look of things, it's an uphill task,the evidence is just too overwhelming to ignore.

gen spinola - 24 March 2016

Stop being tribalistic Mnangagwa was right dissidents are cockroaches for real coz they were killing innocent people imagine using axes and machets to hell with that stupid thinking of yours , though if your loved ones were the dissidents who were unfortunate to be referred to as cockroaches

befoward - 25 March 2016

The likes of gwasela would you want that name to be echoed just anywhere nearer to you ....these are the tactics of a disgruntled man coltat a former Rhodesian killer of the black people he must face the hang man`s nose . why can`t he write a book of what they were doing during the smith , Rhodes era another confused cockroach !!!!!!

befoward - 25 March 2016

ED as a qualified lawyer knows when his image is trampled on and will thus exercise his right to sue. Why this bitchy Mabhiza wades into issues that don't concern her hardly makes sense. ED, was there during Gukurahundi let him say what he knows and deny the statements attributed to him by the Chronicle. Mabhiza stop being her spokesperson. Unofira zwa usingaziye!

Nyimo - 25 March 2016

mdidi kaMnangagwa and every Zanu idiot

me - 26 March 2016

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