BY SILAS NKALA
Human rights’ activists have called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga to openly address the Gukurahundi massacres in the same way they have been publicly claiming to have roots in Matabeleland.
The calls come after Chiwenga claimed Mzilikazi and Lobengula royal roots.
During his visit to Bulawayo last week, Chiwenga said his great grandfather was the last Monomotapa, and that the latter’s sister was a chief in Nkayi married to Mzilikazi as one of his many wives.
Chiwenga, who was accompanied by his newly-wedded wife Miniyothabo Baloyi, also said Mnangagwa’s grandfather, Mubengu was kept at the Mzilikazi royal kraal until he was conscripted into the Mbizo regiment.
Political commentator and human rights activist Effie Ncube, however, said Gukurahundi victims were not interested in “disjointed self-serving historical narratives”.
“Instead, what matters to millions is truth and justice on the Gukurahundi genocide in which they were leading actors,” Ncube said.
“Therefore, now that both Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are speaking about their history in Matabeleland, let them focus on the most important and recent history, primarily the roles each of them played in the Gukurahundi genocide. It is this truth and not the hazy precolonial history of their forefathers that people are interested in.”
Mnangagwa and Chiwenga have been accused of having played a leading role in the 1980s mass killings that left over 20 000 civilians dead, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and
Mnangagwa was the State security minister at the time and Chiwenga was in charge of the Bulawayo battalion that supported the North Korea-trained 5th Brigade that led the massacres.
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) president Mqondisi Moyo said: “Why would both Chiwenga and Mnangagwa as the nephews of Mthwakazi facilitate the killing of their uncles? Both of them are shedding crocodile tears on our people.
“We are glad that MRP is giving them sleepless nights, no wonder why up to this day they are failing to sincerely own up to Gukurahundi. We are expecting them to be fixing the ailing economy instead of playing with our emotions.”
Nkayi Community Parliament deputy speaker Nkosilathi Ncube accused Chiwenga of trying to curry favour with the Matabeleland voters ahead of the 2023 elections.
“What surprises us is that this is emerging when they now want our votes and this disturbs us,” Ncube said.