Zapu dares Mnangagwa on Gukurahundi

BULAWAYO - With former Education minister David Coltart opening a can of worms with his recently released autobiography — the Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu has dared beleaguered Vice President Emmerson Mngangagwa to come clean on the role he played in the Gukurahundi atrocities.

Although President Robert Mugabe came short of apologising for the atrocities  — where an estimated 20 000 people lost their lives — saying it was a “moment of madness”, his deputy preferred to say the issue is now a closed chapter, something that Zapu and other human rights organisations say is an insult.

In his autobiography — The Struggle Continues: 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe — Coltart quotes Mnangagwa describing dissidents as “cockroaches”, and the Fifth Brigade, the military wing that orchestrated a reign of terror in the regions of Matabeleland and Midlands as “DDT”, a deadly pesticide that is used to kill vermin.

In a statement, Zapu deputy national spokesperson Patrick Ndlovu said Mnangagwa should “either tell the truth about his publicly known role in the Gukurahundi massacre or just keep quiet and enjoy the feeding frenzy on the gravy train”.

Incensed by Coltart’s hard-hitting autobiography, Mnangagwa threatened to sue the former government minister.

But Zapu says instead of issuing threats Mnangagwa and everyone who had an alleged hand during one of the darkest periods in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe, must at least own up.

“The victims and their families deserve closure on that painful and shameful chapter in the history of this country.

“Zapu knows that the Zanu regime lacks the moral courage to own up to its role in the planning and execution of its massacre of Zimbabwean citizens simply on the basis of their preferred political allegiance.

“As the government, Zanu PF owes an explanation to the victims, the country and indeed the world at large as to the true motive behind a holocaust similar to the Nazi anti-Semitism, not in scale but in cruelty and effect.”

With the governing party reluctant to own up to the dark era of the 1980s, Ndlovu said the Mugabe-led regime has a legal obligation to release to the public the findings of the Chihambakwe Commission that was set up to investigate the killing of civilians by the army.

“We therefore advise ... Mnangagwa that should his conscience compel him to talk about Gukurahundi it should be on the above issues and not some thinly-veiled attempts to justify his bloody hands.”

Ndlovu said instead of burying their heads in the sand, government should also draft a comprehensive reparations policy to redress the political and social imbalances that have taken place in independent Zimbabwe.

“The government should just stop its rhetoric on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and act to establish the commission to deal with its numerous human rights abuses.

“It should draft ... policy to redress the imbalances caused by its actions among the communities affected by its embargo during the Gukurahundi period.

“The Zanu PF regime remains the only government to impose internal sanctions and unleash highly trained murderers on its own unarmed civilian population. Those people who now confess losing their sanity should also ask for forgiveness from their victims.”

Human rights activists and political parties have continuously piled pressure on Mugabe to at least apologise for the massacres but the nonagenarian leader has intractably remained quiet.

Respected Zanu PF elder Cephas Msipa in his book titled In Pursuit of Freedom and Justice — A Memoir, that was launched last year, dismissed the official massaging of narratives on the Gukurahundi atrocities as “a moment of madness”, saying as the massacres happened over a period spanning more than five years, hence they could not therefore be described as such.

Msipa who helped broker the unity accord of 1987 that ended hostilities between Zanu and Zapu — described the killings as “gruesome”, calling on authorities “to look into the aftermath of Gukurahundi.”

While in the past it had appeared more like a taboo to openly speak about Gukurahundi, lately there has been an upsurge in voices condemning the genocide.

Comments (7)

And those voices will get louder ... much much louder!!

Essexvale - 4 April 2016

and some have the nerve to parrot ED as a future president of this country

truth - 4 April 2016

@truth,sme like who?say their names.are yu scared?

hunda - 4 April 2016

If I were ED, I would tender tell the nation that there is only one centre of power, hence all decisions to do with who does what and to who, is decide by that centre of power. I would make it clear that any matter to do with human life rests with that centre of power. So the mission to decapitate humans was an assignment from that same centre of power

Obert Maseko - 4 April 2016

Dabengwa and Patrick Ndlhovu are now saying yep, yep about Gukurahundi. For all these years they were part of the Zanu-PF gravy train during which none of them have bothered to take up this issue with Mnangagwa. Hypocrites or rather sell-outs - grandstanding at the cost of innocent lives lost. After all you Dabengwa was the leader of the dissidents - you sacrificed other people`s children for your own good. You knew very well whichever way it ended you yourself will be safe. Come on tell Zimbabweans why you were dissidents in the first place. People are not stupid to buy your story mid-stream. They need to hear from you Dabengwa why you were a dissident.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 4 April 2016

Why are people pressing on ED when he was taking instruction from his boss just like Dabengwa was when he was minister of home affairs. Anyone who was in government has the same crime as ED. Lets forget about the unity accord, these same guys still worked the same government that killed their own and they have the guts only when they leave the employer to say rubbish.

katu moloi - 5 April 2016

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