Source: ‘Tribalists have hijacked Gukurahundi issue’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 10, 2017
FORMER Bulilima East legislator, Norman Mpofu (MDC-T) has claimed that the Gukurahundi issue has been hijacked by some elements, with hidden tribal agendas, hence, the push to close debate on the atrocities.
BY SILAS NKALA
Mpofu said this after Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko recently announced that the government had moved in to assist relatives of the victims to get birth certificates, as part of efforts to bring closure to the issue.
“As things stand, the moment this issue is raised, citizens assume tribal positions. It polarises the nation and real issues surrounding this issue are drowned by tribal noises,” he said, claiming Mphoko had only raised the matter as a public relations exercise for his hugely “tainted” Zanu PF party.
“If the matter was brought up by Zapu, this unhelpful tribal dimension would have been avoided and allowed the issue to be approached objectively and given it a better chance to get justice for the victims. The target of Gukuraundi was Zapu, not Ndebeles. Just before the 1980 elections, a lot of Zapu officials and candidates were slaughtered in Mashonaland. Zanu PF was after power and Zapu was the stumbling block.
“Zanu PF quickly realised the central role Zapu could have played in seeking justice for its supporters. It swiftly neutralised Zapu and harvested the top leadership, who were bribed with positions that gave them access to looting and enriching themselves. That literally destroyed any chance and hope for the victims of the Gukuraundi genocide.”
Mpofu said, in simple terms, Zapu denied Gukuraundi victims justice.
“Currently, it is difficult to raise the issue in a meaningful way. Those who were leaders and some of them, who were directly affected and have the means and capacity to push for justice like Jonathan Moyo are simply not interested, only raising the issue of the murder of his father when it suits his personal circumstances,” he said.
Moyo recently organised for the reburial of his father, who is said to have been killed during Gukurahundi in Tsholotsho.
Mpofu said the opposition, in its current form, had no capacity to handle the issue.
“The best they do is to use the issue as a political football. It is only raised by officials when addressing rallies in the affected areas. The matter is political capital only used to earn voters and never to get justice for the victims,” he alleged.
“The international community could have been handy, but then the Cold War issues were of paramount importance to them. They sacrificed lives for their political and economic interests. Zapu was a threat to them as it was an ally of Russia. They chose to look aside when their better devil aligned to China committed genocide. They now back civic groups after their kith and kin were pushed out of the land.
It makes it difficult to embrace their help as it is coming too late and with dirty hands.”
“The Gukurahundi issue, if looked at from a sober perspective, cannot be solved fairly in the near future. This is basically due to the fact that all the current players involved in finding a solution are contaminated in one form or the other.”
“It will be naive to expect criminals to investigate and prosecute themselves. The solution from this angle can only come when there is change of government or when a new crop of leaders who were not actively involved take over.”