Fresh calls to revisit Mgagao massacre 

Source: Fresh calls to revisit Mgagao massacre – The Southern Eye

IBHETSHU LikaZulu senior member Cetshwayo Sithole has rekindled debate on the Mgagao massacre during which Ndebele-speaking liberation war fighters were killed at Mgagao training camp in Tanzania in 1976.

Sithole told Southern Eye yesterday that the Mgagao massacre was as important as the Gukurahundi issue because relatives of the victims needed closure.

“It is unfortunate that we are not getting enough attention and yet during the Mgagao massacre, people lost their lives,” Sithole said.

“Mgagao happened way before Gukurahundi and the relatives of those who passed on need the government to address the issue too.

“The relatives of those that died during that war want the government to get in touch with them. The government needs to revert and show them where some of their loved ones lost their lives.”

During the Mgagao killings on June 6, 1976, about 50 Zapu guerrilla war fighters attached to its Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra), who were mostly Ndebele-speaking, were singled out and killed by Zanu-affiliated Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (Zanla) militants in the wake of the assassination of Zanu leader, Herbert Chitepo, in Lusaka, Zambia, the previous year.

Zanla and Zipra had combined to form the Zimbabwe People’s Army to fight the Ian Smith regime in then Rhodesia when a conflict broke out between the two groups.

Calls to revisit the killings come as President Emmerson Mnangagwa has roped in traditional leaders in the Matabeleland region to resolve the emotive 1980s Gukurahundi issue.

“I … think … the same energies that the Gukurahundi victims are getting, the same should be done for Mgagao victims,” Sithole added.

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