Sekeramayi hand in Gukurahundi ‘exposed’

DEFENCE minister Sydney Sekeramayi has been implicated as having been instrumental in the post-independence atrocities committed by President Robert Mugabe’s government that left over 20 000 civilians dead.

Source: Sekeramayi hand in Gukurahundi ‘exposed’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 27, 2017


A declassified document from US spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), quotes Sekeramayi as having indicated that a crack North-Korean trained military unit codenamed Fifth Brigade had specific instructions at deployment.

“Renewed violence at the end of 1982 provoked the government into a full-scale military campaign against Zapu. The dissidents attacked cars, buses and trains and destroyed government construction equipment; they seized several hostages and killed six whites,” the report said.

“The 5th Brigade was sent to Matabeleland in January 1983 with a mandate to be ‘relentless in neutralising dissident elements,’ according to Minister of State for Defence Sekeramayi.

“Although there were some exaggerated Press reports of atrocities against Ndebele villagers by the all-Shona brigade, there is little doubt it engaged in indiscriminate brutality and destroyed property, including entire villages, in several instances,” the report said.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Sekeramayi said he was yet to see the declassified report.

“I am yet to see that report,” he said.

When NewsDay quizzed him on whether the quoted words were consistent with what he might have said at the time, the Defence minister insisted: “I have not had sight of the report you are referring to.”

According to the CIA, the government followed a campaign, also codenamed “Mailed Fist”, whose aim, besides ending dissident violence also targeted the elimination of “Zapu as a political organisation”.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has denied culpability in the atrocities, arguing he was neither head of government nor the army at the time. Mugabe has described Gukurahundi, which continues to raise emotions, as a “moment of madness”.

Several accounts have accused Mnangagwa and Sekeramai of playing a leading role.


  • comment-avatar
    harper 5 years ago

    The Ministry of Defence was not aware that a Korean Training Team was on its way until the team and their antiques (1934 model equipment) arrived in Mutare. The provision of a North Korean Team was planned between Kim Il Sung and Mugabe during Mugabe’s state visit to North Korea in 1980.

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    mandevu 5 years ago

    the whole of the ZPF team is responsible for the massacres. We will never forget

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    Amaverick 5 years ago

    What is more important than the knowledge of the Minister’s involvement is that the CIA and perhaps the US Govt knew of their involvement and sat back and let it happen. Of course we do not know what steps they did take and perhaps they did not want to interfere in Zimbabwe’s internal politics. 20’000 “innocent and defenseless people” were killed as a result!!

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      harper 5 years ago

      In 1983 Russia was a major threat to the West. China, then, was insignificant. Russia had its Cuban Surrogates in Angola and East Germans in Mozambique. ZIPRA was supported by Russia. If ZIPRA had taken control of the country or even just Matabeleland then Cuban and MK Forces would advance to the Zimbabwe/South Africa border. The UK, US and South Africans therefor sat back and allowed ZIPRA to be crushed to block a Cuban and MK advance into Zimbabwe, My enemy’s enemy is my friend.

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    Karon Dahmer 5 years ago

    Nothing can excuse these actions of a supposedly legitimate state against ordinary people going about their business. These weren’t trained soldiers. They were men.’, women and children who the state identified as the ‘other’ because they belonged to a different tribe. Sekeramayi should hang his head in shame, not pretend he offers the solution to Zimbabwe’s economic malaise. ZANU’s legacy and the legacy of these officials will be forever tainted by the blood of the innocent. They think they won the civil war with a select group of veterans and forget the suffering and sacrifices made by the many citizens who gave them support. Their arrogance and hubris allows them to continue to destroy the future of the children not yet born and those that have to live in their dictatorship. The country has atrophied under men who are themselves dinosaurs stuck in their bloody past.