via Police stamp out Gukurahundi prayer – DailyNews Live 26 January 2015 by Jeffrey Muvundusi
BULAWAYO – Police on Saturday swooped on members of the public who had gathered at Stanley Hall to conduct a memorial prayer for the victims of the Gukurahundi atrocities.
This is the third time in a row that police have suppressed efforts by the pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu to remember an estimated 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces who were butchered by the North Korean-trained fifth Brigade.
The police action came after the pressure group defiantly attempted to go ahead with the event despite Bulawayo West district chief superintendent Mbeko Kunene having warned them against the move.
“Please be advised that this office has noted that the intended Gukurahundi memorial prayer is likely to create public disorder,” said Kunene in the notification dated January 22.
“Therefore, you are prohibited from holding this public gathering in terms of Section 26(1) (C) of the Public Order Security Act Chapter 11:17.
“You are also warned that if you proceed contrary to this notice, you will be charged in terms of the above Act.”
When the Daily News crew arrived at the venue, baton-wielding police officers were milling outside the venue while others camped inside. Ibhetshu Likazulu spokesperson Mbuso Fuzwayo told the Daily News that police officers arrived at the venue earlier than the organisers.
“The police were there as early as 7am and our prayers were supposed to start at 9am,” said Fuzwayo.
“Those who arrived first were immediately driven away and to avoid commotion, I had to phone some not to come. Anywhere, we are not giving up as yet, we are going to take the matter up with the courts as this seems to be the only viable avenue for us.”
Fuzwayo accused President Robert Mugabe’s government of having double standards.“Mugabe recently appointed vice president Phelekezela Mphoko as the man in charge of Peace and Reconciliation,” he said.
“If he (Mugabe) was really sincere, we were not going to see this kind of treatment particularly on the Gukurahundi issue which is the major one in terms of peace and reconciliation.”