This morning, Zimbabwe woke up to the welcome news of the long-awaited arrest of the man accused of marrying a 14-year-old girl, who tragically passed away on 15 July 2021, whilst giving birth at a Johanne Marange sect shrine, in Marange, and is suspected to have been hurriedly buried at the site, in an attempt to conceal this despicable crime.
As much as it took what most people considered an eternity – with much speculation that the government was dragging its feet in bringing the culprits to book, due to the sect’s notorious and blind support for the ruling ZANU PF party, leading to a widespread uproar amongst a cross-section of the country – finally learning of the arrest of the alleged perpetrator was much refreshing news.
Indeed, the wheels of justice appear, so far, to now be moving swiftly.
However, whilst pondering over this story, my mind could not help wondering – would it not had appeared extremely awkward, if not downright outrageous, had the government (and, other state institutions, most particularly, law enforcement) in fact, allowed the man accused of this egregious crime to facilitate and oversee its investigation and resolution?
Indeed, many may start to ask whether my mind had gone bonkers – as how on earth could I even think of something so absurd.
It would be akin to suggesting that, the Nazis could have been permitted, or even invited, to preside, facilitate, and oversee investigations and the resolution of their own 1930s and 1940s Holocaust against Jews in Europe.
I am sure that sounds even more preposterous.
Yet, it may not be all that outlandish.
Well, at least, not in Zimbabwe.
As it turned out, immediately after reading the story about the Marange pedophile’s arrest, my eyes fell on the news that the president, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, was scheduled to meet with traditional chiefs from the Matebeleland region in Bulawayo this Saturday, 21 August 2021 – ostensibly, to review progress in addressing issues related to the 1980s Gukurahundi genocide.
In the report, the minister of justice, legal and parliamentary affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, is quoted as saying the meeting had been organized by the chiefs, but the government has been invited as facilitators of this process of “addressing issues related to Gukurahundi”.
If anyone had said my earlier examples were crazy, now listen to this.
How can the people who deployed their military (the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade) to cold-heartedly, savagely, and wickedly massacre over 20,000 innocent men, women, and children in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces (purely based on their ethnicity) be invited to facilitate “addressing issues related to” their own crimes?
What are these Matebeleland chiefs thinking…or, smoking?
Honestly, just imagine Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler (and his colleagues), after the Second World War (WWII) facilitating the resolution of their genocide, and being invited by Jewish Rabbis and other leaders to review the process of “addressing issues related to the Holocaust”!
Would that not have automatically rendered such a program not only meaningless and nonsensical, but a grave insult to the over 6 million Jews who were ruthlessly murdered in gas chambers, or tortured in concentration camps by the Nazis?
Then, why are we in Zimbabwe – most specifically, those in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces – allowing such a brazen provocation and undermining of the ZANU PF regime’s merciless and murderous attack on the people of these regions, to proceed unchallenged?
Is such action not a shameless and obscene attack on the memory of all those who were shot at point-blank (execution style), burnt or buried alive, had their limbs chopped off (with their family members forced to cook and eat them), gang raped, and had their unborn babies gouged from their mothers’ wombs?
If these chiefs continue on this reckless path, then they have clearly abdicated on their sacred responsibilities of protecting their people, and looking out for their interests – since, they would, clearly, be siding with the perpetrators, who sadistically and satanically butchered their own mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters.
As a witness to some aspects of this cruel genocide – which I watched at the tender age of 11 years old, in 1984, and whose memory and trauma still haunts me to this day – to say I am hurt, would be the understatement of all time.
If ever there was a more befitting use of the word “sellout”, then we have found one.
Those who ordered and carried out this darkest part of this country’s history, are still with us today, and even occupy some of the highest offices in the land – living freely and happily – should not be facilitating over their own crimes, but standing in a court of law, answering to their evil deeds.
© 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: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: email@example.com