By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE current government will not address the Gukurahundi atrocities because most of its senior officials, including the president, were implicated in the killings, opposition MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa has said.
Addressing party supporters at Maphisa growth point in Matebeleland South on Thursday, Chamisa said the Gukurahundi atrocities can only be addressed by a new government.
“I feel pained that today I am close to Balagwe camp where a lot of people were killed for their ethnicity,” he said.
“So, those who caused the killings of those people cannot console the victims and their
relatives. Look, they are failing to even say sorry so that the country can move forward,” said Chamisa.
Some 50 villagers were reportedly killed at Balagwe camp in Matobo by the army during the 1980s Gukurahundi campaign.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was the minister of State Security during the ruthless
crackdown while the current minister of Agriculture, Perence Shiri was the first commander of the Fifth Brigade which is blamed for the killings which targeted mainly civilians from Matebeleland and some parts of the Midlands provinces.
Cockroaches and bugs
Although Mnangagwa has denied his involvement in the massacres, on March 5, 1983 he reportedly likened ZIPRA dissidents to cockroaches and bugs during a rally in Victoria Falls in remarks that were seen as inciting the crackdown.
Activists and survivors estimate that 20,000 civilians lost their lives during the Gukurahundi era.
Meanwhile, Chamisa also insisted that the new government is incapable of bringing any meaningful change because, for the past 37 years, Mnangagwa was part of the leadership which brought misery and suffering to the people of Zimbabwe.
“Mnangagwa has been part of the previous government which has brought much suffering to the people,” said the MDC Alliance presidential candidate.
“How can you expect him to retrieve the country from the mess which it is in now when he has been part of the problem?
“Only a capable and a youthful person like myself can bring real change to the people.”
Chamisa said the problems bedevilling the country are bigger than Mnangagwa and his colleagues in government.
“Our problems are not Mnangagwa. He (Mnangagwa) is also suffering from poverty. He needs assistance including (vice president) Chiwenga and the rest of those who work with them,” he said.