Calls to boycott Mugabe bash

BULAWAYO - MDC vice president, Thokozani Khupe, has joined the loudening chorus by opposition and civil society groups who are calling for a boycott of President Robert Mugabe’s 93rd birthday celebrations in Matobo.

The bash, organised by the 21st February Movement, will be hosted by Matabeleland South Province at the Rhodes Estate Preparatory School (Reps) in Matobo, where the Gukurahundi massacres took place between 1983 and 1987 when the national army’s Fifth Brigade unit crushed dissent by so-called “dissidents” — disgruntled former guerrillas and supporters of the late Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu — killing thousands.

Khupe’s sentiments are on the back of the Matobo Business Community this week calling on opposition parties and civil society groups to institute measures to block Zanu PF from holding the celebrations in the area.

“I have never seen such insensitivity because you can’t go and provoke people who are still bearing wounds and scars. What kind of disrespect is that?” Khupe queried.

“Instead of Mugabe apologising because of what happened during Gukurahundi where over 20 000 civilians were massacred, you (Mugabe) have the audacity of celebrating your birthday while other people are still buried in shafts like Bhalagwe,” she said.

Speaking at Nkomo’s memorial service on July 2, 2000, Mugabe admitted that “thousands” had been killed during the campaign, calling it an “moment of madness”.

Khupe called for a total boycott of the event.

“Those who are calling for a boycott are justified because honestly we cannot try and sanitise something which cannot be sanitised. People must not attend this unholy event. They must just stay away from this madness,” she said.

The former deputy premier accused some Zanu PF hardliners of misleading the nonagenarian leader, a development she said has contributed to many challenges the country has been battling for decades now.

“Some of the people in Zanu PF must advise Mugabe properly because it is not the right choice. Honestly, thousands of dead people have not been given a proper burial, for me it is just unheard of. It’s a sign of serious disrespect to that particular community. It’s a sign of being insensitive to issues at hand.”

Zanu PF youth secretary, Kudzai Chipanga, has declared that the ruling party would not be dictated to by the opposition.

“The issue around Gukurahundi was dealt with by our elders ... Mugabe and the late...Nkomo. Matabeleland South is a Zanu PF stronghold with the party having won all seats in the province, Matobo included, where we have two Zanu PF legislators. As a party, we will not be driven by the opposition but our members,” Chipanga told State media.

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe documented at least 3 750 killings and speculated that the actual number could be double that, or higher, since its coverage was limited to the Tsholotsho districts of Matabeleland North and the Matobo districts of Matabeleland South.

Locals put the figure at between 20 000 and 30 000.

In a unanimously adopted resolution in 2005, the International Association of Genocide Scholars estimated the death toll at 20 000.

Comments (2)

Mugabe and his Zanu PF mafia mob are as shameless as hyenas. Mugabe dances on top the graves of his victims. Please, somebody, make this cartoon dancing on top of Gukurahundi victims. That is the fact!

Mbareboy - 4 February 2017

this frail nonagenarian must go.He is the dirty mind behind crippling this country since 1980.He is a total failure together with his lieutaniants.He is cruel,atypical example of chaka.It's high time we use the barrel of the gun.

lodza - 22 February 2017

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