Source: Pressure group vows to hold Gukurahundi memorial – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 24, 2017
BULAWAYO pressure group Ibhetshu LikaZulu has vowed to continue piling pressure on the government to allow the holding of commemorations of Gukurahundi massacres, particularly at Bhalagwe mine in Kezi, where thousands of victims are believed to have been buried in mass graves.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
This came after police in Matabeleland South on Saturday barred several civil society and opposition leaders from conducting a memorial service at Bhalagwe mine.
Police had initially cleared the event before barricading the road leading to the site.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu co-ordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo told Southern Eye yesterday there was no let-up in their efforts to visit Bhalagwe to hold a memorial service for the Gukurahundi victims. He said the memorial service was necessary to provide closure to the 1980s mass killings, which claimed over 20 000 lives in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
“They (police authorities) should be rest assured that we want to go and appease the spirits of our people who were killed without provocation. We are re-strategising, we are definitely going to Bhalagwe without fail. We are going to have this memorial prayers whether they like it or not,” he said.
“What the police did is exactly what our theme was speaking to. We are restrategising, time will tell on what we should do, even going to court. It is sad that after 30 years we still cannot deal with the genocide effects, abusing scarce State resources protecting the crime done by individuals.”
Fuzwayo added: “Those who did genocide must know that we are not intimidated, they can bring the support unit, army or what …people need an opportunity to reflect on their sad past experiences, share their pains, console each other and find closure.”
In a statement, the Dumiso Dabengwa -led Zapu blasted police for acting in a barbaric manner and stopping the Saturday event.
“We then wonder as to what could be the reason for such barbarism? What is it that the State is hiding behind those thousands of skeletons,” Zapu said.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu once lodged a court application demanding the release of the Dumbutshena and Chahambakwe Committee reports that contain findings of the Matabeleland disturbances during the 1980s, but nothing came out of the court challenge.
The two commissions of inquiry are believed to have produced damning reports about the Gukurahundi massacres and submitted them to then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, but the findings have never been made public.