Gukurahundi survivors demand answers from ED

Source: Gukurahundi survivors demand answers from ED | Newsday (News)

BY SILAS NKALA

RELATIVES of Gukurahundi victims and survivors in Lupane, Matabeleland North province, have demanded that President Emmerson Mnangagwa should go to them to explain why people in the region were tortured, raped and killed.

Mnangagwa was State Security minister in the 1980s when the late former President Robert Mugabe deployed North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland and Midlands regions in an operation that resulted in over 20 000 fatalities.

The emotional villagers made the demands during a meeting by Rural Community Empowerment Trust (Rucet) and the Centre for Innovation Technology in Dakiwe village, Matshiya ward 15 in Lupane, Matabeleland North, on Friday.

National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) commissioner Lesley Ncube and an NPRC official Mercy Nkala attended the meeting.

Since he took over in a November 2017 coup, Mnangagwa has twice met civic organisations under the banner, Matabeleland Collective, to try to resolve the Gukurahundi issue, but no meaningful strides have been made.

Marko Ndlovu, one of the villagers, said Mnangagwa should be careful on how he tried to handle the Gukurahundi issue because he was the head of a key ministry complicit in the killings.

“The anger which is exploding here, maybe, can be appeased if Mnangagwa comes to the people here and apologise over what government did,” he said.

Another villager, Collen Mkandla, said if government was failing to feed people, how was it expected to resolve the Gukurahundi issue?

Speakers called on Mnangagwa to come to them to answer questions on why their relatives were brutalised and killed.

Ncube said the NPRC team would take the villagers’ issues to the commission’s chairperson Justice Selo Nare for onward transmission to Mnangagwa.

“The commission is committed to go around hearing people’s concerns and experiences so as to ensure peace, reconciliation, reparations and compensation of victims,” Ncube said.

Rucet co-ordinator Vumani Ndlovu hailed the villagers for attending the meeting to express their feelings and expectations on the issue of Gukurahundi.

He challenged the villagers to open up to enable the emotive issue to be addressed, adding that there would be no development in the community if there was no peace and reconciliation.

“All along, this issue was not spoken about even in our houses, but now we are allowed to talk about it, that is why the NPRC was constituted,”Ndlovu said.

COMMENTS

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    Gukurahundi was not only 5th brigade. It was the prime minister, cabinet, 5 brigade, pisi, CIO, zanu youths and mnangawa was leader of CIO. You d poo nt expect a perpetrator to resolve the issue. He will never change from being the ddt against amaNdebele. He saw coakroaches rather than human beings created in the image of God. The gukurahundists deserve to be tried before the icc. That explains why they rig elections to stay in power. When freedom comes there will be truth telling. We need the whereabouts of the remains of our people. We want to know why Ndebele soldiers were removed from gukurahundi 5 brigade. It cannot be a process that white washes the heinous activities of gukurahundi militias. Genocide and crimes against humanity only get resolved by telling the truth.