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ZAPU and #Tajamuka demand Gukurahundi demonstrators’ release

02/01/2018 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
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ZAPU and Tajamuka/Sesjikile have condemned the arrest of youths in Bulawayo on the New Year’s Eve for demonstrating against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s involvement in Gukurahundi massacres.

Eight Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) youths were picked up during as they were demonstrating during Mnangagwa’s visit to the City of Kings on New Year’s Eve.

The youths were allegedly violently arrested resulting in injuries after the army and police intervened to stop the protests.

In a statement released Monday, ZAPU Secretary for Information and Publicity, Iphithule Maphosa, urged Mnangagwa to address the Gukurahundi issue by opening up dialogue with victims and survivors rather than using repressive measures to silence the affected.

“ZAPU condemns in the strongest terms the heavy handedness on 31 December, 2017 by Zimbabwe’s security details at Bulawayo’s Trade Fair grounds on peaceful demonstrators. The violent arrest, detention and alleged assault on the Matabeleland youths against President Mnangagwa, was uncalled for and unnecessary.

“Repression of voices of victims who clamor for closure must never be part of President Mnangagwa and government’s strategy on perpetrators. Just a piece of advice to President Mnangagwa; everybody knows his involvement in the genocide that killed tens of thousands of ZAPU supporters.

“This is not a matter he can easily wish away. He should take this opportunity to account on his and government behalf and expeditiously allow the beginning of finding closure to the heinous crime they committed,” said Maphosa.

In another statement, Tajamuka, a social protest movement, shared the same sentiments.

“The President must come clean on his role in the massacre of thousands of people during the Gukurahundi era.

“The President’s reckless response to people’s healing and justice is worrying and shocking. Mnangagwa must not force people to forgive and forget but, should allow people to heal through a genuine national healing and reconciliation process.

“As Tajamuka, we demand the immediate and unconditional release of the eight brave activists who were arrested for exercising their democratic right of protesting. The president must deal with this issue urgently as it affects the whole country,” read part of Tajamuka statement.


Mnangagwa has denied playing any role in the genocide which saw thousands of civilians killed by the Fifth Brigade and Zanu PF death squads. The former President Robert Mugabe during his era failed to take responsibility for the massacres choosing to refer to the episode as “a moment of madness.”



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