One of the trending news pieces sending tongues wagging since yesterday has been the recent tragic and most unfortunate suicide of a state intelligence operative, who is believed to have planted secret cameras in Archbishop Pius Ncube’s bedroom – a man who had proven a thorn in the flesh for then-president Robert Gabriel Mugabe – leading to his humiliating downfall in 2007, which marked the abrupt end to his anti-government crusade, as his sex escapades (for a Roman Catholic clergy, who had taken a celibacy vow) with his married assistant, were screened on national television.
What gripped my attention regarding this news article was not so much the Pius Ncube issue per se, but the “professional” history of the late state security agent – as he was also reported to have been seriously involved with the 1980s Gukurahundi sadistic and savage Genocide, in which over 20,000 unarmed and innocent men, women, and children, of the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces, were mercilessly massacred in cold blood, by the ruthless Zimbabwe regime.
The news report alleged that a family member of the late operative had pointed out that this “successful” suicide had been after two other failed attempts at taking his own life, which the family member attributed to “spirits”, due to the nature of his work, and “one guesses they did terrible things there”.
That statement struck me to the core of my heart, as it brought back traumatic memories of similar events in the community of Redcliff, where I grew up, and witnessed some aspects of this heinous and horrendous Gukurahundi period – which was referred to as “perming” – as I (in 1984, at the tender age of eleven years old) witnessed hordes of ZANU PF youth brigades (who would be chanting party slogans, and singing liberation war songs) whilst barbarically beating up Ndebele-speaking people in our neighborhood, whilst torching their homes to the ground, coupled by numerous reports of Ndebele-speakers being found crushed to death by the daily ZISCOSTEEL train, while tied to the railway line.
What, particularly, reminded me of this period was the manner in which most of these brutal and murderous ZANU PF youth brigades’ lives came to an end.
These were youths who resided in our community – and, mostly were employed as domestic workers – and so, we knew them very well.
However, only a few years after committing their evil and satanic deeds, quite a number of them evidently lost their minds – as we watched them roaming around the neighborhood, no longer capable to function as proper human beings, dressed in tattered clothes, and living like wild animals.
Such incidents did not stop there, as I witnessed similar occurrences during the 2002 presidential elections, putting ZANU PF’s Mugabe against the MDC’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai – whereby, a “new” group of youth brigades (now referred to as the Green Bombers, and largely trained at Border Gezi training centres) went on a rampage beating up any known or suspected opposition supporters.
By that time, I had become a grown man of 29 years old – running a small business at Redcliff shopping centre, where I witnessed with own eyes (as I had done in 1984), a gang of ZANU PF youths, excitedly sloganeering and singing revolutionary songs, headed towards the nearby house of a well-known residents’ association chairperson (who was also a local MDC leader), whereby they burnt down his house.
Fortunately, he was not at home, or he could have either been beaten up, or killed.
After which, they proceeded to repeat the same savagery at other homes – where, this time around, the targeted occupants wre present, and were callously brutalized.
The very next morning, we found it thoroughly disturbing that the leader of this band of thugs spent the whole day feeling “presidential” (that is how we described it), as he was being guarded by law enforcement agents (since he operated a small vending stall at the shopping center), fearing that MDC supporters would seek revenge.
Yet, the MDC did not need to seek any revenge – because someone or something else did…the thug leader went insane – something that even his powerful ruling party, and police officers could not protect him from.
For the next few months, he began living in a nearby bush, and could no longer operate his stall due to his madness – moving around unkempt, foul smelling, and aimlessly.
Needless to say, he was found dead in his new “bush home” – reportedly lying in his own defecation.
All these events retuned into remembrance when I read the story of the intelligence officer, who killed himself, after two previous failed attempts – with his family suspecting that his Gukurahundi, and other secret agent, activities had impacted him spiritually.
The question I have is – why do people continue allowing themselves to be used as pawns for ZANU PF’s murderous and wicked activities, yet the consequences are always there for all to see?
Is it that, either these individuals, roped in by the party, honestly have no idea where this could lead, or they never take their time to seriously ponder on what they would be getting themselves into
If only our youth, and all other over-zealous party faithfuls, would understand that, there is absolutely no gain or reason to kill or be killed, to beat up or be beaten up, to destroy or be destroyed, for a political party – as they would only be inviting evil in their own lives.
…and for what – as everyone who is politically mature would know that political party politics is merely for the benefit of the leadership (who seek to fulfil their own power ambitions), and seldom has anything to do with the ordinary people.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org