'Gukurahundi is Mugabe's baby'

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa should not apologise for the Gukurahundi massacres because that is not his ‘‘baby’’ but that of his former boss, Robert Mugabe, analysts contend although others feel he lost a golden chance to apologise on behalf of his Zanu PF party.

The sentiments were raised after Mnangagwa’s interview with the international media during the just-ended World Economic Forum in Davos where he was repeatedly asked to apologise for the massacres.

In response, the president had said he had put together a Commission to look into the Gukurahundi issue while also appointing one of his deputies, Kembo Mohadi to deal with the contentious issue. Mnangagwa also added that he has signed the National Peace and Reconciliation Bill into law, and would be willing to appear before the Commission if called to do so.

Mnangagwa was State Security minister in the early 1980s when the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade killed an estimated
20 000 people in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, a figure he also disputed during the Davos interviews.

Playwright Cont Mhlanga said Mnangagwa must not apologise to the gallery and media. “Who said people want an apology in the first place? No, the president must not apologise to the gallery and media. That would be very disrespectful of him to the dead and the affected.

“In fact, he must not speak about Gukurahundi before Mugabe does. Gukurahundi is Mugabe’s baby before anyone else. He was the man in charge,” said Mhlanga.

He added that all Mnangagwa should do is facilitate for Mugabe to come to the districts and have dialogue with the local people where his Gukurahundi operated in the presence of traditional leaders. “No one will harm him,” Mhlanga said.

“This Gukurahundi enterprising in posh hotels must come to an end. No Gukurahundi victims are buried in hotels and none in the cities shares their everyday lives with Gukurahundi mass graves.

“It is people in the districts that do. If Mohadi has been tasked by Mnangagwa to lead on the Gukurahundi genocide, then
all he has to do is bring Mugabe to the districts so that the dialogue can move to a closure.”

Social analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said that Mnangagwa must not try and accept responsibility over everything Mugabe did.

“That is a mistake. When we put pressure on Mnangagwa over Gukurahundi, we are simply saying to him: ‘Hey, you were part of the system. Tell us what happened.’

“His being defensive and arrogant takes the spotlight from the real criminal — Mugabe — to himself. He had a great opportunity to apologise on behalf of Zanu PF, but he takes it personally so the buck keeps falling on him.”

Ngwenya said Mohadi, who has been tasked with the issue is a victim of Gukurahundi. “So a rape victim does not investigate her case on behalf of the rapist. It is an oxymoron.

“Let me put this to rest: Mnangagwa was not president or commander-in-chief, so he should not accept to shoulder the blame, but apologise on behalf of the perpetrators — his party — then allow victims to tell their own story before responding.”

Former National Healing and Reconciliation minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu said for anyone to expect Mnangagwa to apologise for the genocide is an illusion.

“I, however, appreciate the persistent questioning by the interviewer at Davos but Mnangagwa was just being evasive. This is a sign that justice is a remote issue.”

Ndlovu said when we compare the effort to the millions or billions of dollars that are going to be used to compensate white farmers; you see that the Gukurahundi issue is being taken lightly.

“The people of Midlands and Matabeleland deserve better. This was an ethnic genocide or ethnic cleansing. This is why some of us are calling for the International Criminal Court intervention, because it seems he is being persistently arrogant.

“We have seen that before with Mugabe, assigning a Ndebele-speaking vice president to deal with the issue; John Nkomo with the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration and Phelekezela Mphoko. Now we see that with the appointment of Kembo Mohadi.

“This is just identical to what Mugabe did; this was just a cosmetic change. Mnangagwa is not being genuine and reliable. There is no integrity in this,” said Ndlovu.

Ibhetshu Likazulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said people must not pressurise Mnangagwa to apologise if he does not want to.

“It is up to Mnangagwa to make an assessment of the role he played and action to take. He should just know what’s good for him as a person who participated in the atrocities.

“We need to know what he as Emmerson from Mapanzure thinks. I don’t think it was a government policy, said Likazulu.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme, however, believes Mnangagwa should have apologised. “Yes. He should have apologised as these atrocities were State-sponsored.

“So when one is head of State, they take responsibility for actions of previous regimes, more so in this case he was part of the State’s apparatus then and arguably, directly involved.”

Saungweme added that the president’s dodging of the question, betrays him as man of little honour, a man not willing to really turn a new page on key issues.

“He is stuck in the past and no real transformation comes with that mentality. We cannot wish that important issue to be a bygone when we have people currently living the horrors of the aftermath of that gory and despicable act of commission by the State.

“The victims deserve justice and people must not stop speaking about this until Zimbabwe’s government meaningfully addresses this.

“He also lied to the world that he set up and independent commission to look into that. What type of independent commission is chaired by a vice president, who himself also suffered directly or indirectly from the atrocities and has been compromised over the years by co-option into the camp of the perpetrators?”

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said Mnangagwa was a bit dodgy and avoided direct answers on many crucial questions and the issue Matabeleland was one of them.

“The other issue was the issue of elections where he intimated that those who commit violence don’t apply to do so, yet as national leader he should have simply stated the government’s zero tolerance to such people.

“In a forum intended to create confidence, investors wouldn’t want to be left hanging because of equivocation on critical questions.

“He appeared to be arguing that people must not look back, but probably the CNN correctly observed in an interview it is convenient for someone in government to say so,” said Gwede.

He added that the reality is that while he was clear on the economic front, he left a lot to be desired where he was supposed to address the political reforms questions.

“One hopes that this so-called new government is not forgetting that Zimbabwe’s international isolation primarily a result of political developments than its economic status,” said Gwede.

Spokesperson Crisis Coalition Tabani Moyo said Mnangagwa should not find it difficult to apologise for the heinous crimes committed against humanity in the early 80s.

“His body language must show contrition rather than aggravation through impressing on processes towards national reconciliation and healing.

“If he is serious about national reconciliation and healing, he needs to come in the open and apologise while he sets the policy framework to handle the dark chapter of our national existence,” said Moyo.

Social analyst Rashweat Mukundu said Gukurahundi is the most controversial issue that the president faces in his leadership and a matter that needs careful consideration.

“I think the political leadership must apologise for this sad chapter of our history which has been politicised.

“While Mnangagwa could have apologised, the question is was that the right platform and would that not have been seen as political grandstanding. I think away from cameras, Zimbabwe must deal with its issues more genuinely,” said Mukundu.

A fierce critic of the president and former Cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo, who is now in self-xile, said Mnangagwa just did not get it.

“So #Zimbabwe’s ED . . . refuses to apologise for #Gukurahundi. He just does not get it! So much for the transition, new era, new dispensation, new transparency or new whatever run by the instigators & enforcers of Zim’s darkest post-independence past,” Moyo wrote on his verified Twitter page.



Comments (11)

Mugabe did not run this country alone he did that with hid good boy Mnangagwa . We all know Mnangagwa still think he did the right think by killing thousands of unarmed citizens so the only solutions to this issue is to remove zanu from power then another political party in power will then fix this issue for ever

Diibulaanyika - 31 January 2018

In my view I don't see any basis for the president to make n apology over Gukurahundi but rather only to investigate as regards to what really happened & who was affected & then attend to those affected in view to the need to compensete them.What he has done to send vp Mohad to attend to the issue with the local chiefs is the only correct action needed . Bec otherwise it also needs answers or to address the question as to why there were desidents in Matabeleland in the first place, if at all the president is needed apologize publicly on behalf of the state.It waz a war situation & collateral damage was highly possible.But thisz not being unsympathetic to those who lost lives or relatives in the issue

addmore gudo - 31 January 2018

This issue needs careful handling. It's good that at least something has started, but a lot of grey areas need to be addressed. What led to the desertion of Zipra components from the army, why were Zipra members being killed by fellow army members during operations and outside operational scenarios. Who killed the tourists, how do we handle the information that tourist were murdered by Chiwenga and ED. The murder of tourist led to escalation of Gukurahundi operations. Who was Super Zapu, why use of DDT and coakcroaches terminology, why murder of pregnant women, when did we start defining pregnancy as being armed to the teeth, why were the reports by past commission not made public, who are members of the Zezuru-26 committee mentioned by Enos Nkala, what was the committee role, how many meetings did ED have with SA intelligence system at the time, what was he discussing . Too many questions!!!

Nkosi - 1 February 2018

It is factually the local media that should apologise for misleading the public and thus covering up the real criminals. It was an official operation of psychological warfare in South Africa and Ted Sutton-Price their advisor on Zimbabwe and former Home Affairs n Rhodesia. At independence, the local employees that werec used to destabilise the freedom fighters were transferred to the SA payroll, SA fearful that what occurred in Rhodeasia would happen in SA. It was decided to stir up violence on Matabeleland utilising their local agents and also train mercenaries over the border in Mozambique and Botswana. British intelligence approved the plan as Zimbabwe supported Russia and there was the cold war. Hence the massacre was never mentioned in the commons. It was surmised that Mugages would be forced to send in the army and not trusting the integrated army would send in the fifth brigade. The the others would join in and slaughter. The journalists would blame Mugabe and the gullible would agree. A local laws fitrm organised the largest currency transaction ever from phychogical warfare as quoted at the time in the press. The journalists were too dim to question real news. I was a state witness and knew all the names.

John - 1 February 2018

Who the hell does Moyo think he is fooloing when he continously say mnangagwa must apologise for Gukurahundi. When him Moyo was part of a system that caused many atrocities during the 2008 rerun, did he ever say anything reagrding apologising for that. Why then is he turning a blind eye on that? Lead by example Moyo. Apologise first for the suffering and massacres that you caused to the civilians in 2008. You very much supported that.

Moyo just bitter - 1 February 2018

To say that ED must apologize is wrong bring his former boss first then him later. RG must face the music for his own duing

shayneLove - 1 February 2018

Please leave Prof Moyo on this one, we are talking about Gukurahundi massacres, can some one give me answers to Nkosi's posed questions, and also make the record straight. Where is Mugabe to talk to, a sane person may not mind to leave Mugabe for now because he is nolong official to say anything meaningful and official, ED and Chiwenga must be brave and account t6o the nation or else mazitsotsi ese

Just-In - 1 February 2018

Bottom line is ED and his fans do not want the truth to be known. That is why there is a lot of this ducking of questions. Through Mohadi a gukurahundi survivor who is now feeding from the golden trough they will fudge an ineffectual solution which they will force down people's throat and say we have drawn a line. Apologising or not is not really important especially when it comes from an unrepentant heart what is most important is truth and justice. An independent commission that can uncover the whole truth of this episode would set the record straight & people can get closure. If people remain ignorant of their past they will remain on course to repeating it. Zanu and ED in particular are very fearful of the past. Their stay in power and amassed great wealth they have accumulated is built on the shameful past they dare not revisit. Important key questions like the ones being raised by Nkosi and Rejoice and others in the absence of truth telling and respect for facts will continuously lead us the sort of diversions by ignoramus like 'moyo just bitter' comments and the sick denials by 'addmore gudo.'

Galore - 1 February 2018

Apology from Ngwena is meaningless unless he apologises on behalf of the Government otherwise this is simply Mugabe's problem not Mnangagwa. There is no collective punishment. Mugabe was leader and Commander in Chief so he is entirely responsible for any omissions and commissions by his government.

dick mboko - 1 February 2018

Tell me guys, from the side of the ndebeles who is going to apologise for raping, killing and stealing of Shonas by Ndebeles? Who is going to apologise and pay Shonas killed by Ndebeles during the same period which resulted in the army intervening? If you cannot answer these questions then shut the fuck up and enjoy Shona hospitality or we fcuking chase you back to Zululand.

Joseph Mutasa - 1 February 2018

Joseph Mutasa...spot on.

sandra - 2 February 2018

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