Gukurahundi Massacres: Overview of 5 Brigade Abuses (Part 10)
OVERVIEW OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES – NYAMANDLOVU / TSHOLOTSHO DEATHS AND DISAPPEARANCES
Deaths have been assessed in terms of both sex and age of victims, with 3 age categories being used, for each sex:
MALE: 83% of all deaths FEMALE: 17% of all deaths
MALE: Under 20 yrs: 4% of all deaths Aged 20 – 60 yrs: 70% of all deaths Aged over 60 yrs: 9% of all deaths
FEMALE: Under 20 yrs: 4% of all deaths Aged 20 – 60 yrs: 9% of all deaths Aged over 60 yrs: 4% of all deaths
Men aged between 20 – 60 yrs are of `breadwinning age’ (ie 70% of all dead). However aprroximately 30-40% of them can be assumed to have had no dependants, as many had just returned from the war and had not yet married. Many others, at the top end of this age group, had fully grown children.
This means between 42% and 50% of all those killed can be assumed to have had dependants. In addition, a few of the women killed were widows with dependants, whose children were henceforth orphans. Around 2% fall in this category.
Total Breadwinners killed is likely to be around 45% of total deaths.
In terms of current figures on Nyamandlovu/Tsholotsho: TOTAL Deaths: approx 900+
BREADWINNERS Dead: approx 400
The vast majority of these were self-employed farmers, who supported themselves from their fields and occasional labour on surrounding farms and in nearby towns.
PROPERTY LOSSES: HOMESTEADS BURNT:
This constitutes the largest category of property loss reported.
Reported burnt: 345 homesteads, with others implied. (Involves burning of 26 villages either entirely or substantially)
This is the largest category of offence, involving both isolated beating incidents and also at least 60 incidents in which most or all villagers in a village were beaten. Both men and women were beaten, with no obvious preference for beating men in the mass beatings. Preference was sometimes shown to the elderly, who would be beaten less severely or not at all.
Individual or small group assaults: 314
Mass village beatings: 70 villages
Mass railway siding beatings: 4
If approx 50 villagers is assumed per mass beating, 3 400 villagers can be estimated to have been beaten.
Most common beating technique: People would be forced to lie face down on the ground, and then would be repeatedly beaten, often for several hours, with thick sticks or gun butts.
Most common complaints:
Permanent back\arm\leg\neck\hand aches, inhibiting any heavy work.
Fractured fingers\arms and other bones
Permanent scarring of buttocks and back
Recurring headaches, dizziness and high blood pressure
Permanent eye damage and hearing disorders
Jaw damage including loss of teeth
Permanent uterine disorders
Permanent kidney damage, also male impotence
For a region by region breakdown on all offences, see Summary following the Village by Village Reports
THE VILLAGE BY VILLAGE SUMMARY – DETAILING OF INCIDENTS ACCORDING TO TIME AND PLACE
NOTE: Numbers in brackets: indicate source numbers of BLPC interviews from which information was derived.
** indicates source document is in a CCJP file
**** indicates an incident involving dissidents. For all other incidents, the perpetrators are identified as Army units or other Government agencies such as the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), or Police Support Unit (SU). 5 Brigade (5B) may be assumed as the perpetrator unless another unit is mentioned.
Tsholotsho has been roughly divided up into four regions for this section, each one being an area within the vicinity of known 5 Brigade Base Camps. In practice some villages were affected by more than one of these units, and in early 1983 the far south of Tsholotsho was probably affected by the unit based in Tsholotsho, as the one at Mbamba Camp appears to have been established later in 1983. The four regions are:
1) Pumula Mission, covering the whole western area and much of the south.
2) Mbamba/Nanda, in the extreme south and east
3) Tsholotsho town and the central part of Tsholotsho, west towards Dhlamini Rest Camp.
4) Gwayi/Sipepa region, in northern Tsholotsho.
The spellings of names of “villages” or “lines” have been standardised in accordance with the 1975 Surveyor General’s map of the Nyamandlovu region (Sheet SE-35-15).
5.1.PUMULA MISSION AREA (WEST TSHOLOTSHO)
In general, this seems to have been very badly affected by 5 Brigade, who set up camp close to the Mission, from late January 1983. From interviews, it is clear that many settlements within a very wide radius of the mission experienced mass beatings, or were burnt to the ground because villagers had fled the area.
A few parts of this area, to the west of the Mission ( eg Korodziba, Soloboni), have been entirely resettled since the early eighties, so reports on 5 Brigade activities here trickle in from other locations in Tsholotsho, wherever people have been resettled to. Fortunately, events around Pumula Mission were well documented by CCJP, and File H also has comprehensive accounts of events in some villages. It has therefore been possible to place those few interviews which lack detail in context within the broader data framework.
NESHANGO LINE (next to Ningombeneshango Airstrip): 3 FEB 1983: Mass beating of villagers and shooting of 2 young pregnant girls, followed by their being bayonetted open to reveal the still moving foetuses. These two girls (already pregnant) and several others had been raped by members of the ZNA in November of 1982, who reportedly left by helicopter after several days of raping these girls. (1146 – 1168 inclusive, also file H). Raped: 8 Dead: 2 Beaten: 6 named victims, 50 estimated total
KUMBULA SCHOOL, PUMULA VILLAGE (approx 5 km SE of Pumula Mission) 13 FEB 1983: Whole village beaten, and 7 shot dead, including a teacher, after digging their own grave. Witnesses refer to a fountain of blood from the pit. (file H, all named,** CCJP case files confirms 1 name, also 298-9, 310-11)
APRIL 1983: Several ZAPU officials badly beaten, one named victim (323) Dead: 7 Beaten: 50 estimated (January), plus 10 estimated (April).
DINGANDAWO: (near to Kumbula School): 11 FEB 1983: The villagers were rounded up and beaten, and then some were shot dead at 7p.m. (458-9). **CCJP case files has name of 1 dead here, 1983 Dead: 3 named, plus others Beaten: 50 est
SAHLUPEKA (approx 7 km due South of Pumula Mission) FEB 83: the whole village was rounded up in the evening and very severely beaten. 5 members of 2 families were chosen and shot to death in a shallow mass grave.(file H has all names) Dead: 5 Beaten : 50 est
PATALIKA: (2 km south of Tankahukwe) 2 men were abducted and their decomposed bodies were later found in the bush. (319, also file H) Another villager from here was abducted from Bulawayo, where he had gone for safety, and was later shot dead at Tshitatshawa in Tsholotsho. (482). Dead: 3
PELELA: (approx 8 km due South of Pumula Mission) FEB 83: Man killed coming home from a beer drink. A stranger to the village was also tortured and left for dead. He managed to crawl almost to the village and died – nobody knows who he was. (File H, 303) FEB 83: Man accused of supporting dissidents and killed. (320). FEB 83: a villager from here fled to Plumtree, where he was killed by 5B. (294). APRIL 83: villagers who were in church were forced to leave by 5B and made to sing and dance all day. 5B also killed and ate 3 goats. (3257) Dead: 4
DANDA: (approx 9 km due South of Pumula Mission) FEB 83: 3 ex-ZIPRAs from Mkubazi were among many taken to the pan here and shot. One escaped with gun shot wounds to Botswana and one was killed. The other went missing. (3246/7/8) Missing:1 Dead:1 GSW:1
MUZIOMUTSHA (10 km South of Pumula Mission) 14 FEB 1983: 4 villagers were badly beaten, then 3 were taken to Pumula Mission. One was tied to a tree and was later shot. The other 2 had to bury him. (257, 2259-60) Dead: 1 Beaten: 3
CAWUNAJENA (10 km SW of Pumula Mission): 8 FEB 1983: Entire village rounded up, and many were beaten very severely. 12 men and women, including 2 school teachers, were shot dead. This happened during the night. The 5B camped nearby and the dead were not buried until a year later, by which time many bones were scattered around.(File H has all names, also 479). 2 other men abducted and killed here in FEB. (315, 318) A woman was also abducted into the bush and shot with her baby on her back. (314) Another woman was also abducted in FEB and shot. (481) Dead: 17 Beaten: 50 est
TEMBILI: (adjacent to Cawunajena) FEB 83: People here were beaten by 5B after church and made to cook daily for the soldiers, who killed and ate some of their livestock. (3258-60) APRIL 83: a man visiting from Patalika was shot by 5B. (3256) Dead:1 Beaten:20? Property:livestock eaten.
GULAKABILI (approx 20 km SSW of Pumula Mission) 12 FEB 1983: Whole village abducted from nearby to the Pumula Mission area, where they were beaten. Some were then forced to dig a mass grave, made to climb in, and were shot. They were buried while still moving, and villagers were made to dance on the grave and sing songs in praise of ZANU-PF. Number of dead given as 12. (File H has all names, also BLPC 300, 305-9 incl) One victim locked in a hut and burned to death. (296) MARCH 83: 5B burnt 5 homesteads one morning. (3246-48) ZNA soldier killed while trying to visit his mother, on leave.
(304) 2 others from this area also killed by 5B, circumstances unclear. (478, 484) A woman was accused of cooking for dissidents and was shot dead. (293). A woman and her child were taken from here to Pumula Mission and killed (292, also file H) 7 others from this area met individual deaths – one was detained trying to get to Plumtree and was never seen again, another went missing from a house in Bulawayo, and his wife and child were apparently killed by 5B, while trying to flee to Botswana. Another man had his throat cut and bled to death. (file H) Dead: 25 named victims Beaten: 50 est Destroyed: 7 known homesteads
MPILO: (due west of Tankahukwe) OCT 82: ZNA took the store-keeper and killed him and assaulted his wife. (3264/5) JAN 83: 2 men from here were killed by 5B because they ran away when they saw 5B coming. (3262-3) Dead: 3 Beaten:1
TANKAHUKWE (7 km SW of Pumula Mission) FEB 1983: All the villagers were rounded up and severely beaten. 12 were selected and shot after being forced into 2 mass graves.
One of the chosen managed to run away, so his younger brother was killed instead. 5B came back in 1984 and stabbed the escapee to death, also severely beating another brother at this time. Another villager who was badly beaten ran away but died later of his injuries. (file H has all names, also 295, 297, 312, 324, 455, 3264-6) Dead: 14 Beaten: 50 est
EGOMENI (5 km almost due west of Pumula Mission): FEB 1983: Villagers were rounded up and beaten. 5 were then shot and buried in one grave. (301-2, 321) A villager was shot dead in February and then had his hut burnt down. (461). One villager killed trying to return to work in Harare (314) Another villager was abducted in a truck as a dissident and shot at a nearby farm (483)
Another villager was killed in the Sonqinyana area. (463) 13 FEB 83: One villager shot at dawn at his home. (460) FEB 83: woman shot dead by 5B who also burnt the homestead. (461) ** CCJP case files report 1 named death here, could be 1st incident. A man was also detained and never seen again here, February 1983. (319) Missing: 1 Dead: 10 Beaten: 50 est
MAZHOU: (near Egomeni?) FEB 83: 4 villagers were abducted to the bush, and were tortured with sticks and knives. One villager attacked his assailant, allowing another to escape. 3 were then killed. (file H) Dead: 3 Beaten: 1
ST WILFRED’S SCHOOL ( Pumula Mission area) 2 FEB 1983: Some of the ex-ZIPRAS in this area ran away in January. The mothers of 2 were tortured for “parenting dissidents”, and were then shown 5 men including their sons. These 5 were taken to Tsholotsho town, and 2 weeks later one returned, with serious gunshot wounds. He had climbed out of a mass grave in which he had been shot with many others, and had made his way home. He died a day later. (609-11) Dead: 5 plus possibly others Beaten: 2 plus possibly others
MANALA: (West of Pumula Mission, resettled) 29 MARCH 1983: 1 beaten, bayonetted, finally killed the next day, and his body burnt, by 5 Brigade. (1230) Dead: 1
SALANKOMO ( approx 5 km NW of Mission): **28 JAN 1983: 20 5B soldiers came in the morning and killed the village ZAPU chairman and 2 schoolboys, one aged 14. They were beaten in front of the villagers first, and all the adults present were also beaten. (Comm of Inquiry Statement, also file H). **28 FEB 1983: same soldiers rounded up people in the village and put 2 men, 7 women, 2 with babies, and 3 children into one hut.
They set fire to the hut, and the men inside forced the door open. As the 12 ran out, 6 were shot and killed including a baby and a girl, and 1 was shot and left for dead. **CCJP has on record the Medical Cards and Comm of Inquiry statement of the victim who suffered a GSW to the stomach in Feb 83 incident – records start from May 83 by which time wound is very infected. (file A, also file H) Two more homesteads were burnt at a later date. (BLPC 338-9, 457, 3274-5) Dead: 9 GSW: 1 Beaten: 5 plus possibly others Homes burnt: 3 known
NDAWANA (6 km west of Pumula Mission): FEB 83: 2 villagers from here were curfew breaking and their tracks were reported by villagers from Egomeni nearby, who did not know who they were. 5B prepared to beat and destroy all at Egomeni, and had already dug mass graves.
However, the 2 from Ndawana were caught before this happened, and they were killed instead. (file H, also 3273-6).
The soldiers then moved to Ndawana, where the commander ordered the whole village into a hut and set fire to it. Once the commander left, another 5B soldier let the villagers out of the hut, so they were spared. (file H) MARCH 83: an old man from here was taken to Pumula Mission, tied to a tree and forced to make animal sounds. 5B also killed his ox. (3272) Dead: 2 Tortured: 1 Burnt: 2 homesteads
SOLONKWE: (4 km north west of Pumula Mission, now resettled) **JUNE 1983: CCJP Comm of Inquiry report of 22 villagers including women and children burnt to death in a hut, after being brutally beaten first. The owner of the hut begged for the lives of his 4 youngest children to be spared, and this was allowed, although the life of an older daughter was not spared. (file A, file H also refers, also 316-17, 322, 462) Dead: 22 Burnt: 1 hut
PELANDABA (west of Pumula Mission): 29 JAN 1983: 5B rounded up many men from the area, tortured them until they couldn’t walk and shot them. File H names 8 victims, **CCJP case files also reports 11 other named deaths here in 1983, probably same day, and 1 death in 1984. BLPC names 2 more victims from Jan incident. (342-346) 3 others killed, including a married couple who went to report dissidents in the area. (345, 348)
Dead: 25 named victims Beaten: 50 estimated
SEQWINI: ( approx 15 km due north of Pumula Mission): 15 APRIL 1983:1 person killed by 5 Brigade, bayonetted to death. (1232) Dead: 1
TANKENI: (NW of Pumula Mission) 1983? a villager from here was one of 6 men beaten and then machine gunned by 5B at Mzimwatuga. 5B also burnt homesteads in the village and destroyed crops and livestock. (403) Dead: 6 Burnt: several homesteads.
KORODZIBA (west of Pumula Mission, now resettled): FEB 83: 5B came to the school and took about 60 pupils aged over 14 years. They were all beaten and asked about dissidents. 20-30 girls were raped and then ordered to have sex with some of the boys while the soldiers watched. They were beaten for 3 hours. (3311) 4 MARCH 1983: 5 villagers were murdered at night for being PF-ZAPU members. (1223-27 incl)
Also MARCH: 2 children out of a group of children died of starvation trying to run away from 5 Brigade in this area.
They were trying to reach Ngamo railway siding, which is about 100 km NE of Korodziba. The dead were aged 9 and 14, the survivor was 15. (1234-5) Dead: 5 plus 2 Raped:25? Beaten:60
SOLOBONI (west of Pumula Mission, now resettled): 23 FEB 1983: 5 Brigade rounded up entire village to the borehole. 6 people were chosen at random and were bayonetted to death, and buried in one grave. Everyone was then beaten. 5 people were beaten to death, and one person died years later, partly as a result of injuries from this beating.
Another man who wept to see his brother killed, was severely beaten and died a few weeks later from his injuries. One old lady who was found in her hut was raped, and 5B then set fire to a plastic bag and burned the old lady with it, setting fire to her blanket. She died 3 weeks later from the burns. (3313) 1 hut was burnt. (1238-42 incl, 1282-87 incl) Dead: 14 Raped: 1 Beaten: 50 est Burnt: 1 hut
GIBIXEGU (NW of Pumula Mission, now resettled) 2 FEB 1983: 5B entered the village in a truck and rounded all the villagers up. 2 women were tortured and a man taken away was never seen again. 6 people were beaten to death, including 4 women. (275, 697-703 incl) Dead: 6 Missing: 1 Beaten: 2 known, plus others
EMANALENI (7 km NW of Ematetshaneni) On the same day that 5B beat and killed people at Gibixegu, they “did the same” at Emanaleni (698). A villager was taken by the Army and killed with bayonets, because he asked “World Vision” to film atrocities in their area. (613) MARCH 1983: 5B killed a headman from Filabusi and chopped off a woman’s head. (1228 9) Dead: 4?
EGAGWINI (approx 25 km due north of Pumula Mission): MARCH 1983: One young man was taken by 5 Brigade, badly beaten, returned, and while his parents were washing his wounds, 5 Brigade came back and shot him. (1236) Dead: 1
EMATETSHANENI (approx 24 km due north of Pumula Mission): FEB 1983 School treasurer beaten and then shot for not handing over funds, 500 m from his home. (1237) Dead: 1
SIHAZELA (30 km NNE of Pumula Mission) FEB 1983: an old man was shot 500 m from his home by 5B. They came back 3 days later and killed the old man’s wife and daughter, and burned down the homestead. They also kicked a year-old child and broke his back. (599-603) Dead: 3 Injured: 1 Burnt: 1 homestead
MKHONYENI ( Between Dzimidza-Sihazela, approx 20 km NNE of Pumula Mission): END JAN 1983: the first woman to die in this area was accused of feeding dissidents. She was pregnant and was bayonetted open to kill the baby. She died later. (350) FEB 1983: All the villagers were forced to witness the burning to death of 26 villagers, in the 3 huts of Dhlamini. (326-37 incl, 347-49, 605-7). Women and children died. There was only one survivor.
File H lists all names of victims. The same report says that a few days before the hut burning, many men were killed, in punishment for having failed to catch a local thief the 5B wanted. (5 names in file H, 7 more in **CCJP case files) **CCJP case files also name 9 who died here, probably same incident as above. Just before the hut burning, at least one woman was beaten to death. (334) MARCH 1983: many men were shot dead at Mzimwatuga Pan.
This was in punishment for having failed to catch a local thief 5B wanted. This report also mentions the hut burning (file H, also 604) Another villager was stabbed to death at Tshiyakwakiwe, near the pan. Another villager also died in this area. (332, 353) **CCJP also report 1 missing here in 1983. Missing: 1 Dead: 1(preg): 26 in the hut: 12 named victims at the pan: 3 others = 42
****JULY 1984: Dissidents killed the ZANU chairman as he was addressing a meeting. (1231) Dead: 1
SEMAWURU/ CUSECULU/ NINGOMBENONZI (10 km NE of Pumula Mission): FEB 1983: All the people from these villages were rounded up and beaten and some were killed. Name of one dead victim. (600, 1125) JUNE 83: 5B shot 2 cows who ate their washing off the line. (3211) **** JULY 83: as dissidents passed through the village of Semawuru, the army arrived and started shooting. The villagers ran away and a woman was shot in the foot.
Her husband took her to hospital and in their absence Army vandalised the house. (1248) Genuine crossfire. OCT 83: A villager was asked about dissidents by “Nai Ka” and then hit in the mouth, losing all his teeth. A villager found milking and the headman of his village were taken to Pumula Mission by the Commander whose nickname was “Nai Ka”, and the villager was killed. (658, 590) An old man from the neighbouring kraal of EMPISINI was hit with rifle butts. (608) A villager was assaulted when he asked a soldier to pay for goods taken from a child. (1120) Dead: 1 known victim. Beaten: 150 est
BONKWE/NYANGANYUNI (15 km NE of Pumula Mission) FEB 1983: A young woman from Bonkwe going to buy mealie meal was beaten for wearing her husband’s watch. Her husband was summoned to Nyanganyuni and beaten to death. Every bone in his body was broken – he is referred to as being “like a cloth”. (612) Another local was abducted to Pumula Mission and killed there. (file H) Dead: 2 Beaten: 1
FOLOSI (7 km due east of Pumula Mission): 3 FEB 1983: Whole village beaten with sticks. Boys were made to fight each other, while other villagers were forced to dig a mass grave. 4 men were made to lie face down in the grave and were then shot. (1169-1174 incl) 2 other men were abducted and tortured to death and buried in shallow graves. (file H). Dead: 6 Beaten: 50 est.
LUBESI (10 km SE of Pumula Mission):
7 FEB 1983: The entire village was rounded up, was forced to sing songs and was then beaten. 3 men were made to dig a grave (2 were “curfew-breakers” from neighbouring Nxuma). They were made to jump in to the grave, and were then shot. They were buried while still moving. 5 Brigade also killed and ate a cow and some goats around this time, while camped at Lubesi Dam. (1135-7 incl, 1139, file H also refers to 2 of these dead) Dead: 3 Beaten: 50 est
MBIRIYA and NXUMA (15 km SE of Pumula Mission): END JAN 1983: All villagers in these two neighbouring settlements were assembled in Mbiriya. They were accused of cooking for dissidents and everyone was beaten, after being placed in small groups. 10 people were shot dead at the dam (9 names). 4 were beaten to death, while others were badly beaten, including a 4mth old baby. Some of the injured went to Pumula hospital. After the beating, the villagers of Mbiriya deserted the village for a while, and 5 Brigade came back and burnt 15 homesteads to the ground. 10 others were killed at Nxuma, and buried in 1 grave (all names, file H). In another incident in February 1983, 2 teachers at Mbiriya School were badly assaulted, one was killed, and a house was burnt down. (1182-4, 1199, 1186-92 incl, 1257, 1262-1268 incl, 1292-93, 2016ff) APRIL 83: an army Puma carrying villagers after a rally where Mugabe spoke, was fired at and people were injured near Nxuma. (3273) Dead: 25 Beaten: 100 est Burnt: 15 homesteads
BUMBU (just east of Mbiriya): END JAN 1983: A councillor and a man back from working in South Africa were shot dead. 11 homesteads were torched to the ground. When other villagers saw the fires, they ran away, but 5B fetched them back. 1 man was made to bury the dead and another was taken away and never seen again. (628, 634, 1116-18 incl, 1128-32 incl, 3261) JAN 1983: a man trying to return to work in Harare from here has never been seen again. (1272). **CCJP case files names another man who went missing in 1983. Dead: 2 Missing: 3 Burned: 11 homesteads.
BUTSHENA (just West of Mbiriya): 11 FEB 1983: The villagers moved out of their houses after witnessing what had happened in neighbouring villages. On 11 Feb they saw 5 Brigade burning all their homesteads. (1143) Burned: 22 homesteads, 9 granaries
SANDAWANA (approx 10 km East of Mbiriya): 4 FEB 1983: A man accused of telling others to bury their property to save it was taken to Pumula Mission and killed. (1279) 10 FEB: all the villagers assembled and some were selected and beaten. At least one was taken away and killed. (1275) After this, the villagers deserted the village, and 5 Brigade found it empty and burnt down 30 homesteads – names of 28 owners given. (Exact date not clear – reports say variously Jan, Feb, April, – Feb seems most likely, as the curfew was still in force).
On this same day, a girl found near the homesteads were severely beaten. She was hidden by her parents and then smuggled by scotch cart 30 km southwards to Ndolwane clinic. (1179, 1254-58 incl, 1288-91 incl, 1300-17 incl, 1261) 2 men killed after being tortured at a borehole in this area. (file H) MAY 1984: a villager from here was among 5 taken from a bus for having no ID, and was apparently tortured and killed at Bhalagwe Camp in Kezi. [see Part Two, II for Bhalagwe Camp].(1278) NOV 1984: a man from here had his house burnt down, ran away and was never seen again, although rumour had it that he was buried at Empandeni Mission, in Bulilimamangwe. (1280) Dead: 5 known Beaten: 1 named, plus others Burnt: 30 homesteads
KALANE: (near Sandawana) 18 FEB 1983: The day the villagers saw neighbouring Sandawana go up in flames they ran away. One villager came back to let his cattle out and was badly beaten. 11 kraals were burnt down that day. (1261) SEPT 1983: a villager was beaten to death and 3 homesteads were burnt. (1273-4) Dead: 1
Beaten: 1 Burnt: 14 homesteads
TSHOMWINA and DZOKOTZE (5 km due south of Mbiriya): JAN-FEB 1983 All the villagers of Tshomwina were forced-marched to Dzokotze nearby. They were beaten, and 5 were killed. One man died after terrible mutilations which included having his jaw broken and his tongue cut out. This man ran away and was found by his family in a neighbouring village. He took 8 days to die, without medical care. (1186-98) 20 homesteads in Tshomina were burnt down. (1186-98) A ZNA member home on leave was taken to Pumula, tortured, taken from there in a car and never seen again. (1144) Another interview refers to 6 villagers from TSHOMWINA detained in Jan 1983, taken to Pumula Mission, where they were beaten and released after 6 weeks. (1140-41) Dead: 5 Missing: 1 Beaten: 100 est Burned: 20 homesteads. Detained: 6
DZOKOTZE: OCT 83: **** DISSIDENTS shot dead 4 and injured a 5th, accused of conniving with the Army. (1295-99incl) Dead: 4 GSW: 1
GARIYA – near BUTABUBILI (12 km due south of Mbiriya): 5 Brigade referred to as raping all the women in the village, and forcing them to cook for them. (Time not given, but probably early 1983). They are then said to have returned some months later, posing as dissidents and beating people.(569) Another interview refers to 3 killed by 5 Brigade, including the kraal head, in 1983. (569-70) JUNE 1983: a few villagers found at a nearby dam were beaten and 9 villagers were killed. (1292-4) SEPT 1983: 5B came at night and took away 4 men in the village, who were then shot at a nearby kraal. One survived.(575) OCT 1983: 6 homesteads are burnt, and 3 villagers are beaten. The woman who was ZAPU chairwoman for the area was burnt to death in her hut. (1270-71, 1279) DEC 84: 5B interrogated villagers about dissidents. They injured one man, and woman had her leg broken . They then burnt one villager to death in his hut. (576-7, 670) Dead: 17 Raped: several GSW: 1 Beaten: 6 known plus others Burned: 6 homesteads
MGODI MASILI: (5 km east of Butabubili) 2 FEB 1983: villagers heard 5B coming and ran away. 2 who stayed behind were bayonetted and beaten to death. An old woman was also killed, and 7 huts and 2 granaries were burnt. (555, 557, 581) Young men were taken from the villages in the area to train as “youth patrol” to look out for dissidents. Some youths were shot dead by 5 Brigade during the training exercise. (1259-60) 15 FEB 83: an ex-ZIPRA was picked up and never seen again. (1253) FEB 84: a man was picked up and stabbed 32 times with bayonets by 5B, and thrown in a pit – he survived. (554) 1984: a man and his wife were picked up at the shopping centre and beaten, then were taken to an Army camp in Plumtree for a week, before being hospitalised. (1723-24) 1 other man was also killed. (546) 1 other man also beaten. (574) Dead: 6 known victims plus others Missing: 1 Stabbed: 1 Beaten: 3 known Burnt: 7 huts 2 granaries
SIKENTE (approx 10 km due south of Sandawana): END JAN 1983: The whole village was marched to Sekatawu Pan. Many were beaten and some were accused of being dissidents and were shot and buried in one grave. Number of dead not given, one named victim. (562 )
Early 1983? Villagers were gathered at Sikente School and beaten. Some were shot dead, others were shot and injured. Details including time are vague. (558) **2 FEB 1983: CCJP reports store keeper and one other shot dead, also one woman with a GSW 3 teachers were also robbed and told to leave the area, and all the homesteads along the Nata river were burned down. (file B – this sounds the same day as 558) LATE 1983: one man detained at night and never seen again. (560) JUNE 1984: a man was taken off a bus in this area, was never seen again. (573) Missing: 2 Dead: 3 known – plus several others from Jan incident GSW: 1 Beaten: 100 est (incl 2 incidents) Burned: Most homesteads – more than 10 estimated
Another incident, SIKENTE area, time not clear, but probably not during early 1983, but later. 5 Brigade are accused of posing as dissidents, collecting a group of men and women, taking them into the bush and chopping them with axes. Interviewee suffered serious injuries – unclear how many others died or were injured.(568)
Another incident, SIKENTE area, time not clear – or perpetrator – this might have been dissidents although it sounds more like an early 5 Brigade incident. An unspecified number of villagers is referred to as having been “killed while worshipping” in the bush. 5 Brigade could well have killed people here as curfew-breakers – the dissidents almost without exception kill only sell-outs and usually make their motive clear. Is this possibly the same incident as the one above? Or it could be same as a church shooting incident among the Plumtree reports? (567) (Plumtree is 544) Dead: 2 named victims, plus others Injured: 2 named, plus others
JALUME (5 km NE of Sikente) 1983: a man was killed on his way back from a cattle sale. He was tortured with burning plastic and then shot. (580). 6 NOV 1985: 5B in plain clothes badly beat a woman, and axed her husband. They then burnt him to death in a hut along with his eldest child. Their footprints led back to the army camp nearby. (571, 572) Dead: 3 Beaten: 1
TSHIBIZINA (between Nengombenshango and Dhlamini airstrips) 3 FEB 1983: mass beating of the village, by 5B from Dlamini Camp, and the headman was shot dead. 2 women who were beaten too badly to walk were also shot dead. At least one homestead was burnt. (1122-3, 1126, 1142) **** FEB 83: 6 dissidents are referred to as beating 2 villagers in Tshibizina (1133-4). 1983: 5B shot dead a man in the village, and then next day the commander apologised. (1180). ** CCJP reports closure of school here after the Headmaster was beaten up in front of the pupils, after which he fled the area. (file B) SEPT 83: 3 taken to Pumula Mission for interrogation, one then killed (1121). **** NOV 1985: dissidents pulled a man out of bed and shot him dead. (1115) Dead: 5 Beaten: 50 est
TSHAKABANDA (approx 20 km due east of Pumula Mission): 7 FEB 1983: the whole village was beaten by 5 Brigade, and 2 were shot dead. Another interview refers to 2 people found chopping wood, who were accused of being dissidents and were bayonetted to death in front of the other villagers – it is not clear when this was. (497) SEPT 1983(?) Tshakabanda: 3 homesteads were burnt, villagers were beaten, and one victim was beaten to death. (1273-74) Dead: 5 Beaten: 50 est Burnt: 3 homesteads
BEMBA: (10 km due north of Tshibizina) 6 FEB 83: 5B marched villagers from Bemba to the school, where there were some from Pumula Mission. They were beaten for the whole day (7 named victims plus others). They also broke window panes and killed chickens and a goat. Beaten: 50 est Property:2 chickens, 1 goat.
Taken from a report on the 1980’s disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands. Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, March 1997.
Tsvangirai appointed spokesperson for GPA principals: Is it a Zanu-pf trap?
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 7th December 2012.
Reports that Morgan Tsvangirai President of the main formation of the
Movement of Democratic Change has been appointed by principals (leaders) of
Zimbabwe’s so-called Global Political Agreement (GPA) to be their
spokesperson (The Daily News 05/12/12) looks like a Zanu-pf trap, in my
Of course, some people may disagree, but that is fine with me, as that is
their democratic right.
First, let’s look at who appointed him and what could be the motive as well
as the possible implications.
Right from the outset, the whole thing is a ruse can be inferred from “who”
those principals were in the absence of Welshman Ncube who leads his own MDC
formation in the coalition government.
Given that Zanu-pf’s Mugabe has done his best to retain Arthur Mutambara
despite High Court rulings over Mutambara’s claim to the leadership of Ncube’s
MDC faction, through among other things, George Charamba’s irritating
statements and Mugabe’s own defiance of SADC positions and so on, it goes
without saying that the whole thing (appointment of Tsvangirai as spokesman)
is no cause for celebration.
Of, late it has become increasingly clear why Mugabe wants to retain Arthur
Mutambara as a ‘principal’ although he is accused of not leading a political
party (nor MPs?) and his only claim being his signature on the GPA. And
Mutambara has not worsted time showing his pro-Mugabe stance.
Mugabe has everything to benefit from the ongoing feud between Ncube and
Mutambara and to pretend there is nothing he (Mugabe) can do about it
claiming that his hands are tied by the GPA. What a load of rubbish.
You don’t need to robotics professor to know that Mugabe is a Machiavellian
schemer who knows how to buy time in power by setting up his opponents in a
virtual boxing ring.
Although, we have pre-empted on the motive of appointing Tsvangirai as a
spokesman for Mugabe and Mutambara, we can still expand by observing that
with a referendum and elections in the pipeline, Mugabe’s strategists may
not all be fools after all.
His advisers know how to make the opposition work for him by setting up
Tsvangirai against Welshman Ncube and Mutambara against Ncube and possibly
Tsvangirai against Mutambara as well.
Although, Welshman Ncube has ruled out the possibility of a merger of his
MDC and Tsvangirai’s, even just for elections only, such a prospect would
have caused Mugabe sleepless nights.
If that were to happen, Mugabe’s Zanu-pf would ‘wet its pants’ (a phrase
once used by Jonathan Moyo, when he was opposed to Mugabe).
Probably more scary for the 89-year old presidential candidate is the
prospect of a Grand Opposition Coalition of Zimbabwe led by Morgan
Tsvangirai – bringing in Zapu, MDC Ncube, Makoni’s MKD, Sikhala’s MDC 99,
Zanu Ndonga, Mozorewa’s UANC and Egypt Ndinemunhenzva’s one-man party.
If all those parties were to declare that enough is enough, we want to back
Tsvangirai as the only presidential candidate and get change in Zimbabwe,
Zanu-pf ‘s Robert Mugabe would arguably throw a tantrum.
Since Tsvangairai says he might appoint some Zanu-pf ministers in his future
government, why would he not also appoint Welshman Ncube, Simba Makoni,
Dumiso Dabengwa, Jacob Sikhala , Egypt Dzinemunhenzva and so on for
If that were to happen, and there is no reason why it cannot, Mugabe would
be finished politically well before the country goes to the polls because of
the psychological pressure on Zanu-pf supporters.
But, in my view, that is exactly why Mugabe is paradoxically gagging
Tsvangirai by shrewdly appointing him his spokesman because the only
principals left in the GNU are himself and Morgan Tsvangirai, after elbowing
out Welshman Ncube.
Another possible motive for appointing Tsvangirai his spokesman, Mugabe is
playing his final political cards on the most sensitive part of his
tyrannical rule – the rewriting of the constitution, a role Mugabe is
desperately trying to seize from COPAC, again using Tsvangirai or while he
is not paying attention. Sadly, that looks like another Mugabe victory, at
least for now.
The implications of Tsvangirai’s acceptance of that spokesperson role go
beyond the GNU. The public will see him as just like another George Charamba
or Jonathan Moyo.
Unfortunately, the unsuspecting Tsvangirai believes that the move is meant
to reduce “partisan interpretation of our decisions.” Obviously, it remains
partisan as long as a politician did the spin for the notorious GPA, given
that so many outstanding issues have been shoved under the carpet.
Another big headache for Tsvangirai ahead of the referendum and elections
is how he will communicate his party’s position on the violence being
perpetrated by suspected Zanu-pf supporters and/or state security agents –
thanks to the spokesperson role.
In my view, Tsvangirai may have fallen for a huge con-trick by agreeing to
be “co-opted” by Mugabe to do his and Arthur Mutambara’s dirty work for
them, after which they will dump him.
Tsvangirai should appreciate that he will have a dilemma by being “Mugabe’s”
spokesperson ahead of another potentially stolen election in 2013, in which
he and his party will be the victims given that the country is sleepwalking
into elections which exclude about 3 million voters in the Diaspora and no
credible media reforms.
Will he as the principals’ spokesperson declare the 2013 elections free and
fair, if they are marred by violence, given that bodies of MDC-T supporters
are already being picked up – months before polls?
I am convinced that Zanu-pf is setting up a trap for Tsvangirai by
“appointing” him GPA principals spokesperson. Muzazoti hatina kukuyambirai
(Don’t say we did not forewarn you).
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is a doctoral candidate for two programmes -
international relations and social sciences. Zimanalysis2009@gmail.com