Tsvangirai savages 'Gukurahundi bash'

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has slammed President Robert Mugabe for holding his multi-million dollar birthday celebrations this coming Saturday near the graves of Gukurahundi victims who were slain by the North Korea-trained 5th Brigade in the early 1980s.

Mugabe, who turns 93 today, will be feted by thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Rhodes Estate Preparatory School (Reps) — near Matopos and close to Bhalangwe, a burial site for hundreds of victims of the killings.

An estimated 20 000 innocent civilians, mainly in Matabeleland and the Midlands, were killed by the army unit during a government crackdown which came to be known as Gukurahundi.

“It is an insult for a leader to host a multi-million dollar bash when people are facing hunger, it is not a secret that Zimbabweans are suffering and Mugabe decides to splash funds on a birthday.

“But what is worse is that he is doing so near the graves of people who suffered from Gukurahundi, a dark era that everyone would like to forget.

“It is really shameful that Mugabe goes to Matobo and insults his victims,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said.

But Zanu PF youth league secretary Kudzanai Chipanga told the Daily News that the ruling party had chosen Matopos to promote domestic tourism.

“We are looking at promoting local tourism. That is why we have been holding our celebrations at holiday resorts.

“Besides, Matopos is of historical value to us given that King Lobengula was buried there. So, in a way, we will also be honouring him by celebrating the life of our dear leader there,” he said.

The remains of Cecil John Rhodes, who symbolises the British occupation of Zimbabwe in 1890, are also buried there.

Meanwhile, Matabeleland pressure group Ibhetsu LikaZulu has been discouraging people from the region from attending the celebrations.

“It’s an insult to the people of Matabeleland in general. Mugabe’s birthday is not worth celebrating if you are from Matabeleland because he led the genocide in Matabeleland.

“He is so proud that even today he doesn’t want to just say sorry? It is like going to a funeral and start playing wedding songs.

“Matopo is a crime scene, where the bones of people from all over Matabeleland are found. So, attending the event is clearly endorsing the killing of our people,” Mbuso Fuzwayo, the group’s secretary-general, told the Daily News.

This year’s birthday celebrations will be capped by a live musical gala featuring different artistes.

The nonagenarian’s birthday celebrations have previously courted strong opinions, with last year’s bash attracting widespread condemnation after it was held in Masvingo at the height of a ravaging famine which left livestock and impoverished communities needing emergency relief supplies.

A picture of a woman scrounging for crumbs from the high table where Mugabe and Zanu PF bigwigs were seated, captured long after the party had ended, caught the attention of the world after it went viral in both mainstream and on social media.

Comments (5)

Kudzai Chipanga is ignorant of African history let alone the history of his country, KING LOBENGULA's grave is not in theMatopo Hills. His father Mzilikazi Kamatshobana and Cecil John Rhodes are the ones buried in these spiritual hills. Perhaps the Nkumalos who the direct offsprings of Mzilikazi may know where the grave of Lobengula is, some of us were surprised when Chipanga claimed that by celebrating Mugabe's birth at the Hills they would also honouring Lobengula who is buried there.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 21 February 2017

Well the youngster knows the history from Border Gezi camps . Every one who went to l formal schools in this country knows Lobhengula ;s grave is not known where it is up to this day .But once again Mugabe is showing ukudelela by doing his birth day thing in Matopos a gukurahundi killing ground . May the spirit of those who were slain by gukurahundi rise and do something on Saturday .

Diibulaanyika - 22 February 2017

What does King Lobengula have to with Mugabe. We gave our Dear President much love but it twisted him and his moral value. Sir President, you mentioned that if God "requested" you to let go of the office, you would step down. I don't think that would be proper in the most technical aspects that the Most High "request" a mere mortal to step down,plead with him to wal

Zwelithini Farai Singwango - 22 February 2017

if Lobengula is buried at Matopo, then our lives have no meaning.

natural nyasha - 22 February 2017

MaNdevere vese handidi kuvaona pedo neni ndiwo maDzviti akapedza maShona in 1895. kutaura zveGukurahundi batanidza ne nyaya yema Dzviti but dissidents required the state of emergency which was declared to deal with the menace iwe Tsvangirai. Stay home listening to your painful Mutshaza than say something irritating maVhitori.

Mu svina - 6 April 2017

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