Gukurahundi: Mugabe innocent, Mphoko

via Gukurahundi: Mugabe innocent, Mphoko – NewZimbabwe 14 February 2015

VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko has declared that President Robert Mugabe had nothing to do with the 1980’s Gukurahundi conflict which, rights groups say, claimed about 20,000 civilian lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions.

Mugabe was prime minister when his government deployed an army unit specifically trained by North Korea for the purpose to crush “dissidents” linked to then rival Joshua Nkomo in the two regions.

According to the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice CCJP, the crackdown left about 20,000 civilians’ dead in a conflict that still threatens the country’s stability nearly three decades later.

In an interview with state media at the weekend, Mphoko claims Mugabe, despite being the effective head of the country’s defence forces, had nothing to do with the killings.

“Gukurahundi after the war had nothing to do with Mugabe – nothing! That is a fact,” Mphoko told the Sunday Mail.

He said he was opening up on Gukurahundi because Zimbabweans needed to speak openly about the emotive subject.

But despite advocating openness, Mphoko did not call for the public release of the reports of the Dumbutshena and Chahambakwe commissions into the conflict which were instituted by Mugabe but whose findings and recommendations have never been made public.

Mphoko’s Gukurahundi revisionism comes at a time there appears to be an effort by the administration to change the conflict’s narrative in what, critics suggest, is an attempt to sanitise the images of the country’s two vice presidents.

Mphoko and first vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa appear to be in pole position to lead Zanu PF, and possibly the country, post-Mugabe. Both had key roles in government at the time of Gukurahundi.

Mnangagwa was state security minister between 1980 and 1988 while Mphoko has, lately, struggled to distance himself from allegations he worked for the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) after independence.

In his interview with the Sunday Mail, Mphoko repeats his claim that Gukurahundi was a conspiracy of the West.

“, I have always said the post-Independence Gukurahundi was a conspiracy of the West. This I maintain …People can say what they want, but that was a Western conspiracy,” he said.

According to Mphoko, the attrocities resulted from a plan by the West to stem the spread of communism in the region which saw the US and Britain help establish and finance the rebel Renamo and Unita groups in Mozambique and Angola respectively.

When Zimbabwe became independent, Western interests in South Africa were clearly under threat, says Mphoko.

“Because their (West’s) concern was South Africa, they wanted to protect their interests in South Africa from the Mozambican front and the Angolan front that side,” he said.

“Come Zimbabwe becomes independent: South African gets the same threat now. Zimbabwe is independent; the front is open.

“So what do they do? They create – from a myth, from nothing: ‘Ah, Zapu wants to overthrow you (the Zanu Government)’. (This was) in order to justify, to create something.”

Mphoko claims that the fact they were involved explains the West’s silence as thousands were killed in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

“You can never hear the British condemning that – never! They can’t say anything. They never said anything. They never condemned anything because it was their baby.

“They knew what they were doing because they were protecting South Africa. So that point should be emphasised; it is very important.”

On how to deal with anger among those affected by the killings, Mphoko opines: “Our people should be very careful not to be used.

“The Rhodesians, the British have always wanted a war between the Shonas and Ndebele.

“They have always wanted that and this is historical. And up to now, there is so much suspicion between the Shonas and Ndebele because of these things.

“We have lost relatives, I was a victim also. The people who were affected will never forgive you and that is what they wanted.

“It is going to go a long way to heal. That is where the problem is. But we have to be very analytical as a people to understand the source.

“If we don’t do that then we will continue for years and years. But if we understand and be analytical, then you will understand that yes, it was a conspiracy.”

But in a recent interview, opposition MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu said the healing process should begin with public release of the government’s own inquiries into the conflict.

“For reasons best known to the president and his team of advisors, the Chihambakwe Report has never been made public.

“Consequently, there has been no closure to the highly emotive issue pertaining to the Gukurahundi genocide.

“To bring closure to the Gukurahundi genocide phase of our post-independence history, the Parliament of Zimbabwe should immediately be granted access to the Chihambakwe Report so that the same may be debated and the recommendations made therein either be formally adopted or rejected.”


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    kalulu 7 years ago

    I just want to advise this new vice president to sit down and think realistically before damaging his reputation if a all he has one. It appears to me that he was recruited to spice up Mugabe’s rotten image. If he is a genuine freedom fighter as he claims to be and if he expects people to respect him as well as the office that he occupies, he should be more pragmatic and intelligent when opening his mouth otherwise he is displaying his ignorance as well as showing that he is an empty vessel being easily used and manipulated by people like Jonathan Moyo.

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    this comes as no surprise.
    mugabe has never accepted responsibility for anything that has gone wrong in zimbabwe.
    its always someone else’s fault.
    mugabe has perfected the art of sovereignty without responsibility.

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      spiralx 7 years ago

      He has said previously that it was a moment of madness on his part. But – none of the criminals and murderers involved have ever been held to account.

      Some, privately, realise (and have said so) that they need absolution – human, as well as spiritual, for what they did.

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    jijiza 7 years ago

    phoko a threat to the Ndebele society please Dabengwa chip in and help and let divide zimbabwe into two countries

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    Chanisa 7 years ago

    Man oh man! So the succession strategy merely intended to keep accountability for Gukurahundi under wraps? Short of ejecting ZANUPF electorally, we are a doomed nation.

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    Kevin 7 years ago

    This idiot should keep his mouth shut. When the time comes he may find that he has stupid to deny the genocide and Mugabes part in it. Mugabe told Mnangagwa to tell Shiri to do it and the Nuremburg Trials tell us they are all guilty and as the death penalty applies in Zimbabwe they should all be hung.

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    Please mphoko its really important for a man in your position to think hard and fast before talking ,you have embarrassed yourself on every occasion thus far sinc e your dubious appointment,its better to shut up,,how on earth does the west authorise the deployment of soldiers to Matabeleland,, we all know that only the commander in chief can do that,do not defend that which is not defendable,,we know the guilty and all we want is justice not stupid excuses

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    kalulu 7 years ago

    What Mboko is saying in this article clearly shows that what Cde Dumiso said that about this man that his cv is silent during the time he was an active cio operative. Who else besides an unrepentant cio can say that the west was responsible for the massacres in matabeleland and midlands provinces. I do not come from these areas but i strongly feel that it was barbaric to massacre my fellow innocent and peace loving people in our motherland. Mboko you should be ashamed of yourself denigrating your own people who were butchered by the tyrant for the love of a post which does not have an executive powers. You are just being used and at some point you will be discarded just like what happened to Mutasa. You are indeed a disgrace apart from being unprincipled andshallow minded.

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    Jona Amedza Hove 7 years ago

    Ah ah ah. Hooo..we didn’t know Cde Mboko. Amazing discoveries after decades. You are A FOOL MBOKO very very foolish person indeed.

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    Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

    This is the problem with these unelected officials, they have to sing for their supper but in this case of Mphoko he is singing his voice hoarse in discord.

    Mugabe, Shiri and Mnangagwa were sorely responsible for Gukurahandi. They are ones who formed a new brigade with the sole mission to go and wipe off Matabeleland and the Midlands by whatever means. The results are there for all to see with more than 20,000 civilians in barbaric manner.

    To try to exonerate Mugabe is the most thoughtless and insensitive thing one can do. Mugabe knew what was happening and he endorsed it as the commander in chief.

    I would advice Mphoko to keep silent about some of these things which he seems not to know about and focus on his main job

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    Abbie 7 years ago

    For lack of better words, this is a tragedy of monumental proportions and an indescribable insult to our intelligence. A VP opens his mouth to say the commander in chief who specifically made a decision to have a brigade trained by a regime known only for torturing its own citizens; a brigade that unlike no other in the Zimbabwe Republic Army reported directly to him; yet this VP is saying these thugs in fact were carrying out instructions from the British..Wow! So, can he tell us what Mugabe’s job was and is for the duration of his 3 and half decade rule?

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    As a person who was directly affected by the killings never once did I see a South African or Western soldier. I was frogmarched by Zimbabwean soldiers on the Victoria falls road. During the time Bulawayo was surrounded by the Army and people beaten up indiscriminately never once did I see a Western or South African soldier. This idiot should shut his big mouth as every time he opens it he spews cows dung.

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    Jaluo 7 years ago

    This is really insane. How can someone open his mouth and say that? Does he mean that the army went there under the supervision of the British? Does he mean that Britain were still in control of the security in this country?
    I don’t think this man deserves to be in that position. He is clueless of what happened in this country or may be he was involved.

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    Mixed Race 7 years ago

    @Doctor do little-see my comment on this issue on the Bulawayo Chronicle because I wanted the VP to read it.

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    wensil 7 years ago

    This is probably the dumbest VP Zimbabwe has ever had. He is taking his cheeerleading role to disproportional heights saying things that do not make sense at all. It is there on record that Mugabe himself made sure a brigade was trained not to fight a war but to torture innocent civilians. The Army Generals were by-passed with Shiri and Mnangagwa reporting directly to Robert Mugabe. How can he not be involved?

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    Petal 7 years ago


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    Herbert Moyo 7 years ago

    I am a victim of the Gukurahundi, the climax is that I spent seven days in Balagwe having been abducted from Callen Bawn. I hope the VP is opening safe spaces for victims to share their experiences without fear for further victimisation. How about the issue of the government owning up, this has to do with the government owning up and acting accordingly to bring closure to the many victims. Think of people who are buried in shallow graves, old mine shafts and in caves! I hope the VP will organise movements for reburials and appropriate restorative justice to primary and secondary victims.

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    @Mixed Race that comment was very productive and factual. It is with sadness that there are still people from our side of the country that want to make excuses for the deeds that were committed. I know that there are people that would like to see this chapter closed. Some cannot because their dead lie buried in shallow graves.What I find insulting is the fact that someone who says he was affected would go out of his way to blame foreign forces for what he knows is not true thus undermining our intelligence.Those of other tribes excuse me for saying this but this is a Ndebele issue because we were targeted.We want it to become a National issue.In fact an international issue. I would not blame any other tribe for this. The only fault I can find is that when we were screaming nobody believed us. When our children were wandering through the game parks from Ngamo to Dete nobody could see us. Now everybody from Mukumbura to Beitbridge knows what happened. We would like the VP to take Ndumiso’s advice and stop these silly statements forthwith.

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    Mixed Race 7 years ago

    @Doctor do little-I have just answered one person at that website who is very misguided and naive. I want to take him/her step by step because he/she is ill informed on the issue.

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    Petal 7 years ago

    Just another bootlicker and thug that is why he ascended to the VP post of the sumbag thug party

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      Petal 7 years ago

      correction:Just another bootlicker and thug that is why he ascended to the VP post of the scumbag thug party

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    Chaka 7 years ago

    Mphoko an agent

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    Dwalaliyatsha 7 years ago

    this guy must go back to schools and be taught basic research skills period. how does someone in his position make such a stupid grade 2 political blunder? fellow country man and women allow me to refer you to this site and this for the VP Phoko maybe watch the second one after 3 minute and 10 second to 3 minute and 51 second and then tell me after how he was not involved.