BY SILAS NKALA
THE opposition Zapu party has dismissed claims by prominent historian Stuart Doran that the British government was not involved in the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres where over 20 000 civilians were killed in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
Speaking during a CITE-organised online lecture titled Why the International Community Turned a Blind Eye to the Gukurahundi Genocide, Doran said there was no evidence suggesting that the British government were involved in the attrocities.
But Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said there were notable pointers to British’s involvement in Gukurahundi.
“Doran, for reasons best known to him and the British intelligence, chose to exonerate the British and the then South African apartheid regime in Gukurahundi during the said lecture,” Maphosa said.
“The question for Mr Doran is why wading into such an issue which continues to cause pain to victims of the genocide? Could it be that Doran has all along been a paid double agent, appearing to side with the victims, waiting for that moment to show his true colours?”
Maphosa said Doran needed to be reminded that Zanu PF was a 1963 British and American project set up to destabilise Zapu.
He said the British Conservative party perceived Zapu/Zipra as the only threat to their preferred Zanu PF administration in an “independent” Zimbabwe.
He said Zapu’s proximity to the Soviet Union was something the British did not like.
The Zapu spokesperson said the the British used tribalism in the matrix and the powder keg was lit.
He said they found willing vessels in the form of power-hungry political novices such as the late former President Robert Mugabe and his accomplices.
“There was boiling anger from the British over the bringing down of the (Rhodesia) Viscount; indeed and illogically the humiliation of it in the wars of the 1890s was thrown into the mix,” he said.
Maphosa said the Western foreign policy objective was to use whatever means to stop the advance of the Soviet Union into sub-Saharan Africa.
“The abduction and killing of so-called Western tourists in Matabeleland north also exposes the British hand in instigating mass killings,” he said.
Between 1983 and 1987, Mugabe deployed the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade to Matabeleland and Midlands, resulting in the mass killings. The international community did not openly condemn the massacres.
During the lecture, Doran said: “There is the allegation that the British encouraged Gukurahundi and were involved in Gukurahundi. The long and short of that is there is no shred of evidence in that regard and in fact there is a huge body of evidence that it’s not the case.”
Doran is the author of the book, Kingdom, Power, Glory: Mugabe, Zanu and the Quest for Supremacy, 1960-1987.