The guilty are always scared

via The guilty are always scared – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 24, 2016

THE angry reaction by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to former Education minister David Coltart’s autobiography, The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe, is inexcusable.


But what has surprised Zimbabweans is Mnangagwa and his handlers’ riposte to the NewsDay Gukurahundi story that was based on Coltart’s book.

The response the story has elicited from across the country and beyond confirms that there is still a lot of secrecy and mystery surrounding the Gukurahundi issue, where an estimated 20 000 civilians were killed during the dissident era in Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.

It is given, from the way Mnangagwa responded to the story and his threat to sue for damages, that the guilty are always afraid.

Until and unless something along the lines of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings are conducted on Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe, this matter will keep dogging our politics and the families, whose loved ones were “disappeared” or gruesomely murdered, will never have closure.

Even if Mnangagwa seeks to pursue the legal route against those that have opened this can of worms, it will not help because there is enough documentary evidence to implicate him. Oddly, he did not find it appropriate to seek a retraction 33 years ago perhaps because at the time the statements were “politically correct”.

Yet, the situation has changed, Zimbabweans are now demanding accountability. There is no doubt that Mnangagwa’s political life will always be dogged by the Gukurahundi issue.

We do not see any reason why Mnangagwa or anyone else would try to stifle debate over Gukurahundi when President Robert Mugabe has accepted that the atrocities were committed in a “moment of madness”.

Mnangagwa, as then Minister of State in Mugabe’s office, could not have acted on his own volition, therefore, Zimbabweans must be left to debate the way forward seeing that government wants to put a lid on a matter that affects their lives.

Let people argue on whether Mnangagwa’s sentiments were justified or not given the national security threat posed by the dissidents at the time. Is it not curious that Mugabe has refused to make public the Chihambakwe Commission report on Gukurahundi, with the only public record being a report by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP)?

Even then the CCJP report torched Mugabe’s anger, when he should have done the right thing to deal with the matter timeously and expeditiously.

But such secrecy is testimony that Mugabe’s government does not want the contents of the reports to be in the public domain, as they are probably implicated. We believe there can be no healing and closure for those that lost their loved ones if silence is allowed to continue to prevail.

Although it is understood — as reiterated by former Midlands governor Cephas Msipa — that when the retired politician raised concerns over what was happening in Matabeleland and Midlands with Mugabe, the latter called for a meeting at the Bulawayo State House where he said he was “sorry” to hear about the developments and implored people to stop “supporting dissidents”.

Such killings of a “genocidal” proportion require much more than a simple regret, but practical demonstration of commitment to facilitate the healing of the affected by setting up a commission that will perhaps look into things such as the possible need for reparations.

Without such practical steps being taken, the issue will continue to loom over Zimbabwe’s politics like a long shadow.


  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 6 years ago

    The truth will be told when these murderers go to the Hague. When that day comes then only will we rest as a nation.

    • comment-avatar
      Jahelihle 6 years ago

      Hague is waiting for the perpetrators of crimes against humanity. Karadzic of Bosnia has met up with justice, Mnangagwa, Mugabe and those who took part in the massacres and genocide of innocent Zimbabweans over the years, Kugurahundi to mention a few will have their turn. No wonder why they are clinging dearly to their positions hoping these will protect them until they die.