Police block another Gukurahundi memorial

By | March 4, 2014

via Police block another Gukurahundi memorial | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Police in Bulawayo have blocked yet another memorial service for the victims of the Gukurahundi genocide, claiming that the event would stir emotions and end in violence.

Reports said last Saturday the police occupied Stanley Square, which was the venue of the planned meeting, before dispersing the gathering crowds. It was the second time this year for the police to stop Ibhetshu Likazulu from commemorating the victims of the 1980s genocide.

In January a prayer meeting failed to take place at the Baptist Church after the police ordered the congregants to disperse. Former Roman Catholic Church Archbishop Pius Ncube confronted the police, but was forced to conduct a short prayer session outside the venue after they refused to budge. The police claimed that the meeting was not a prayer meeting but a demonstration.

This time the Bulawayo-based pressure group decided to notify the police of the public memorial but the police refused to sanction it. A Daily News report said the police wrote a letter to the pressure group claiming that the meeting stood to ‘cause disharmony.’ The police also claimed that ‘those opposed to the event may take advantage of the meeting.’

Edwin Ndlovu, an executive member at Ibhetshu Likazulu, told SW Radio Africa that after the meeting was banned the pressure group resolved to defy the order and go ahead with the event. He said it was the pressure group’s right to hold prayer meetings anytime they wanted to and the police have no right to stop them.

He added: ‘We deny that the meetings we want to hold are divisive. Rather they are the way to go. People need to speak out and the perpetrators must apologise. By blocking such events the government is making things worse. People might be quiet now but they will not be quiet forever. Still waters run deep.’

It is not for the first time police have stopped gatherings to do with Mugabe’s genocide. In 2012 one Matobo family could not rebury Mvulo Nyathi, who was allegedly killed by the Fifth Brigade in 1984. Two years earlier police blocked an exhibition by visual artist Owen Maseko depicting the genocide at the Bulawayo Art Gallery.

Maseko was arrested and charged with undermining the authority of the President and ‘causing offence to persons of a particular race.’ The case was later transferred to the Constitutional Court after Maseko’s lawyers argued that criminalizing creative arts was an infringement on the artist’s right to freedom of expression. In January Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku reserved his ruling after the state said it may not have a case against Maseko.

10 thoughts on “Police block another Gukurahundi memorial

  1. Roving Ambassador

    The guilty are afraid. Let the people exprey their feelings. It is a healing process. Idiots. Ist actually dangerous and repressive not to allow this simple act of expressing grief.

  2. Stingray

    What about a memorial service for those killed by the dessidents eg the australian tourists,farmers,teachers and many others

    1. Mthwakazi

      Who is stopping those killed by he dissidents from holding a memorial service. Let it start with you, organise one, now!!

  3. munzwa

    All is part of our history weather we like it or not!!pulling down statues and preventing these sort of gatherings only highlights our political immaturity.

  4. Mthwakazi

    This gukurahundi Mugabe strategy of always trying to distance the gukurahundi issue from ZANU PF (the culprits) by making it a public, tribal or racial issue that can cause disharmony is frankly annoying to say the least.

    They are desperate to win support for their actions from certain quarters of the public and thus absolve themselves of any wrong doing.

    There is no way the gukurahundi issue can cause disharmony among Zimbabweans in general as long as its sponsors are correctly identified, located and dealt with. What causes disharmony is accusing innocent people of gukurahundi.

    Correctly identifying the culprits means, openly and properly citing Robert gukurahundi Mugabe; Emmerson gukurahundi Mnangagwa; Sydney gukurahundi Sekeramayi; Enos gukurahundi Nkala; Perence gukurahundi Shiri; Mark gukurahundi Dube and others as the perpetrators on the one hand and the victims on the other hand, being the Mthwakazi people in the Midlands and Mthwakazi provinces in general and the villages in these provinces.

    Efforts by these scoundrels to always try to bring in the generality of the Shona people on their side by conflating gukurahundi with tribal wars of the 1890s is plainly mischievous and dishonest. They are deliberately sowing confusion on a straight forward issue, so that they go scot-free; literally getting away with murder.

    We will never allow such cheap tactics to carry the day – the matter will not rest until it is properly attended to. It does not matter how many years this takes.



  5. Doctor do little

    @Stingray your comment could be seen as trying to say that those that were Massacred were dissidents. Mtwawkazi is right to say someone, maybe you should do a service for those you speak about. The people that want to have this commemoration are people that lost loved ones and friends through this brutality.

  6. NBS

    It won’t be swept under the carpet. God will have ZPF deal with this atrocity. No repentance! No restoration!

  7. Stingray

    While i am not condoning violence I just saying people suffered on both sides. I survived a shooting in a bar at makoni by comrades from unit o assembly point , my friend died in the incident. About 20 people were killed in a zem bus by the same comrades several sustained severe injuries.

    1. Mthwakazi

      If people suffered on both sides, does that mean that if one side is not complaining then the other should equally keep quiet?

      As I know of human nature – there is always what is always referred as “the guilty are afraid”.

      Logic dictates that if you feel you were or are hard done by, you should stand up for your rights and raise your voice.If the people of Matebeland were indeed guilty of dissident activity, they would never want this re-opened.

      Human nature being what it is – nobody who knows deep down in their hearts of hearts that they are guilty will want an issue relating to their guilt to be revived. They would much rather it be forgotten.

      Those who dont want this issue to be revived are the guilty party, that is gukurahundi ZANU PF. They know this was never about dissidents per se.

      They are therefore afraid the truth will out if this issue is revisited!!

  8. Doctor do little

    @Stingray My sympathies to you from deep down. What we are commenting on here is an article about a particular incident. There are a lot of incidents i.e. the Talent Mabika murder, that should be commemorated. Gukurahundi is the topic in this debate. For any normal human being (I consider myself as one) there is no loss of life that is more important than the other. We just talk about them in different forums.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *