Pressure group goes to court over Gukurahundi

via Pressure group goes to court over Gukurahundi – DailyNews Live 17 February 2015 by Jeffrey Muvundusi

BULAWAYO – Local pressure group, Ibhetshu Likazulu, has filed an urgent chamber application in the Bulawayo High Court contesting a recent police decision to bar them from commemorating the Gukurahundi massacres which saw thousands of innocent civilians losing their lives at the hands of the army in the early 1980s.

Last month, Bulawayo West district chief superintendent Mbele Kunene barred the pressure group from holding the annual commemorations that had been slated for Stanley Hall in the city.

This was the third time in a row that this had happened.

Police claimed that the Gukurahundi memorial prayer meeting could create public disorder.

But despite this warning, Ibhetshu Likazulu defiantly attempted to go ahead with the event, resulting in law enforcement forces subsequently thwarting their efforts.

Unhappy about the treatment, the pressure group approached the courts on Thursday last week.

“The respondent made an unfair administrative decision to prohibit the applicant from convening a public prayer meeting without giving the applicants any rational reasons (and) seeking consultations with the applicant as required by Section 26(3) of the public order and security Act (Chapter 11: 12).

“The respondent’s action is unlawful in that it contravenes the provisions of Section 3 of the Administrative Act Chapter 10:28),” reads part of the court application.

Ibhetshu Likazulu, through their lawyer Robert Ndlovu of Robert Ndlovu and Company, cited Kunene as the only respondent in the matter.

The group appealed for the court to allow the event to take place on a rescheduled date of February 21, a date that resonates with a movement that celebrates President Robert Mugabe’s birthday.

Mugabe, who has been the country’s sole leader since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, is also Africa’s oldest statesman. He turns 91 next week.

“The applicant intends to convene a scheduled commemorative public prayer on February 21, in the exercise of its constitutional rights and only an urgent intervention of this Honourable court can secure an administrative justice for the applicant by setting aside the prohibition order issued by the respondent and directing the respondent to go ahead and convene its public prayer meeting,” the application reads further.

In their founding affidavit, the group further said one of the main objectives of the civic organisation was to protect and promote the political, social and cultural education and awareness of topical issues in the western part of Zimbabwe.

“As part of its political, social and cultural education awareness project the applicant, ever since its formation convenes annual public prayer meetings to commemorate or remember all the people who died in the Western part of Zimbabwe during the military operation of the

Fifth Brigade army commonly referred to as Gukurahundi,” it said.

In the meantime, Zimbabweans have savaged Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko for his latest controversial comments regarding the Gukurahundi massacres that mostly took place in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

In an interview published by lickspittle State media at the weekend, Mphoko appeared to exonerate both President Robert Mugabe and his government from the massacres in which an estimated 20 000 civilians were killed by the feared and North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade.

But leading political figures who spoke to the Daily News at the weekend criticised Mphoko, saying that he was not just “singing for his supper” but also that he was insulting the victims and surviving relatives of the killings.

In his interview with State media, Mphoko re-stated his long-standing position that the Gukurahundi massacres were a conspiracy of the West — in the process re-igniting the debate around contested claims that he allegedly played a role in the killings as a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

An emotional Zapu spokesperson, Mjobise Noko, said the vice president was speaking like “a deranged man”.

“He is singing for his supper. Mugabe and (Emmerson) Mnangagwa presided over Gukurahundi and everyone knows that. Mphoko was also part of the system and we know it.

“Mphoko should be reminded that Gukurahundi is a serious genocide because we are talking about the loss of many thousands of lives. His statements therefore are a shame and in bad taste. If it was a joke, it’s a joke that is not funny,” Noko said.

The Zapu spokesperson said further that instead of trying to sweep Gukurahundi under the carpet, Zanu PF should set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, similar to the one the South Africans used to deal with apartheid atrocities.

“To us Mphoko has lost his marbles and no one will take him serious.

As Zapu, what we want is for the perpetrators to meet the victims and they engage each other.

“We want real reconciliation because this issue will never die or be swept under the carpet. We want a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be set up to look into Gukurahundi. Anything other than that is an exercise in futility,” Noko said.

Deputy spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Sibongile Mgijima, accused Mphoko of opening Gukurahundi wounds that, she said, were “slowly healing”.

“Mphoko is opening wounds that had started drying up. Mugabe was the commander in chief of the defence forces when this happened. These Zanu PF people must admit their crime and say sorry.

“Indirectly, Mugabe admitted having had a hand in this when he said it was a time of madness. To add a little more, where does the West come in on these massacres? Even before independence, Zanu PF terrorised people in parts of Masvingo, Midlands and the whole of Matabeleland into voting them into power,” the angry Mgijima said.

Mqondisi Moyo, president of a party that has been vocal on Gukurahundi, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), accused Mphoko of failing the people of Matabeleland.

“Mphoko is a liar, a hypocrite and a shame to the people of Matabeleland. As his name says, he is clearly accompanying others in Zanu PF and singing for his supper.

“He has betrayed people from Matabeleland. He might go on his tours of Matabeleland but he has shown us that he is not one of us,” Moyo said.

The MRP president added that Mphoko should, in a quest to understand the matter properly, question why the Unity Accord was signed and why he had recently been appointed a vice president.

“The truth of the matter is that Gukurahundi was genocide where a brother killed another brother. It’s a lie that it was meant to deal with Zanu leadership. It was a project to wipe out all Ndebele speaking people. But people like Mphoko want to lie and tell us otherwise. People should ask him how he got that post. What led to the Unity Accord to be signed? Mphoko has betrayed people from Matabeleland,” Moyo added.

Spokesperson for Ibhetshu Likazulu, Mbuso Fuzwayo, also did not have kind words for Mphoko.

“After following his assertion, it has become clear that he is saying half truths, which is black propaganda. He is shoving the blame for a genocide committed by Zanu PF government to the USA.

“The fact of the matter may be that the West was involved in planning and possibly funding it, but what Mphoko is not saying is that Zanu PF implemented the conspiracy,” he said.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 12
  • comment-avatar

    It wasn’t that long ago that Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, straight faced, declared the Cholera outbreak a “serious biological-chemical attack by the British”. Nobody outside of Zanu-PF believed him, because nobody else was that retarded. Paranoid as ever, Mugabe “arrested” Cholera, except he didn’t, because more people died. Now another conspiracy theory, but at least Mphoko has called it exactly that so people with half a brain can discount everything he says.

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    I have been on a lot of forums of late where this subject has cropped up. Every sensible person knows that the British and the Americans had nothing to do with this. The only thing that I would blame the rest of the world is that for some unknown reason their silence on this matter has been deafening.Kenyatta and some others were charge for crimes against humanity for what to me was based on lesser levels of blameworthiness.For some reason the world is content in making like this never happened with African leaders more so. We would base blameworthiness as a legal term, refers to legal blameworthiness and responsibility in each area of law. It refer to both the actus reus and the mental state of the perpetrators. The basic principle is that a perpetrators should be able to contemplate the harm that their actions have caused. Different forms of liability employ different notions of fault. We here have the Commander of the armed forces saying it was a time of madness, and the massacre deniers saying it was the Western world. Of late contributors of these forums are saying that this never happened and are asking for proof of figures of how many perished. The truth of the matter is that 20000 is only an estimate. There is proof beyond doubt that the figure is a lot higher, and as we have said there are known killing sites that still have bodies that were left in the shallow graves. The United Nations should hang their heads in shame for allowing this KOSOVA to take place in Matabeleland. More so a few years later the same Regime got involve in butchering farmers and innocent opposition supporters for expressing different views. Anyone who thinks this will go away is sadly mistaken.Mugabe might not see the inside of a court but the blameworthiness will increase on those who participated when Mugabe leaves this world. Some are saying the subject should be put to rest. We are saying as long as there are perpetrators alive the fire must burn on.

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    Rodlin Mvelase 7 years ago

    How was the West involved? The answer is simple, in 1980 Mugabe was an unknown entity and yet the first rigging of the elections(from which Mugabe got a lesson) was done by the British who crowned him first Prime Minister of independent Zimbabwe.
    Why did they do so? Firstly,the British feared Mugabe would call Zanla to go back to the bush if he lost the election. Secondly, Zanu PF did not threaten the white men’s farms as their manifesto made no mention of giving the land to the majority black people.(This is why the 2002 land grabs were a national disaster as they were done by people who had no sound policy on land redistribution). Thirdly, the West had an anti Zapu agenda, since Zipra had downed the 2 planes in 1978.
    The West turned a blind eye to the massacres and even to date will not talk of that period, hence even their irresolute stance as Mugabe have displaced more people than in a country at war.
    Yes the West had a score to settle with Zapu and Zipra but it is Mugabe, Mnangagwa, Shiri, Mpoko, North Korea who got their hands bloody. The doers are the ones accountable.

  • comment-avatar
    Rodlin Mvelase 7 years ago

    How was the West involved? The answer is simple, in 1980 Mugabe was an unknown entity and yet the first rigging of the elections(from which Mugabe got a lesson) was done by the British who crowned him first Prime Minister of independent Zimbabwe.
    Why did they do so? Firstly,the British feared Mugabe would call Zanla to go back to the bush if he lost the election. Secondly, Zanu PF did not threaten the white men’s farms as their manifesto made no mention of giving the land to the majority black people.(This is why the 2002 land grabs were a national disaster as they were done by people who had no sound policy on land redistribution). Thirdly, the West had an anti Zapu agenda, since Zipra had downed the 2 planes in 1978.
    The West turned a blind eye to the massacres and even to date will not talk of that period, hence even their irresolute stance as Mugabe have displaced more people than in a country at war.
    Yes the West had a score to settle with Zapu and Zipra but it is Mugabe, Mnangagwa, Shiri, Mpoko, North Korea who got their hands bloody. The doers are the ones accountable.
    Why is there no talk by International Criminal Court of Gukurahundi atrocities?

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    Rodlin Mvelase you are very near to the truth. What it was was that Zapu was Soviet Union backed and Zanu was Chinese backed.At that time the Soviets were the bigger threat. Thatcher and co got it wrong. Nkomo was a shrewd individual.He excepted Soviet help but did not get tied down with deals that would have tied his hands. The Soviets did not push because they had other fish to fry.Mugabe looked the better option as the Chinese at the time were technologically challenged and had mere numbers.Mugabe responded with his speech. The west thought it was all rapped up.Ian Smith never trusted Mugabe.Now we know why.

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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    Mphoko was and always will be a sellout. We will take revenge soon.

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    Then Mugabe has the gall to refer to Nkomo as UMDHALA WETHU .

  • comment-avatar
    mandevu 7 years ago

    Gukurahundi wounds slowly healing? What an amazingly stupid comment – but should we expect anything else from these crazy ZPF people who seem to operate in a completely different world from the rest of humanity

  • comment-avatar
    Rodlin Mvelase 7 years ago

    Gukurahundi was meant to wipe away Zipra cadres that had been demobilized and were therefore vulnerable. I know my fellow comrades who had been in the Sipolilo zone, who were picked by CIO in 1983 from Gweru and was the last time we saw or heard of them. Governor of Midlands at the time, late William Ndemera, mobilised gangs of Zanuidiots youths escorted by armed police to burn homes of defenceless Zapu members in urban townships of Gweru then bussed them to rural Lower Gweru where they torched a whole village. Innocent civilians died in Ndemera’s overtures. And for VP Report to say it was the West is insanity, or maybe he is telling us the West funded the Gukurahundi operation and Mugabe executed the plan. Had Zapu leadership give the order Zipra was ready to engage and I doubt so many would have been senselessly killed. Maybe today we would be looking at and living in a very different Zimbabwe.

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    mandevu 7 years ago

    Yes Rodlin. A very sad time and no-one in ZPF can just try and dismiss it, as much as they all hope that it will go away. They know that the time will come for justice to be served

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    Petal 7 years ago

    Everyone knows that the North Koreans trained the people who did it – probaly blame the west for Ebola, anything you name it was the west

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 7 years ago

    Probably blamed the west for the Cholera epidemic