Don’t Re-ignite Gukurahundi – Mnangagwa

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By Thandiwe Garusa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has castigated individuals he says are behind attempts to reignite Gukurahundi.

In his Unity Day address at State House Wednesday, HMnangagwa said he will do whatever it takes to heal the wounds left by the mass atrocities which left an estimated 20 000 people dead.

“We must boldly confront and tackle the aftermath of that era, heal wounds it left in its wake, and where possible, assuage persistent difficulties and challenges traceable to it,” Mnangagwa said.

“This, I am resolved to do until we remove whatever bitter memories may still exist and are likely to linger. We are the generation that must resolve issues of early independence conflict, so we release our children to move forward and ahead as a united people,” he said.

He added: “On countless occasions I have met and interacted with interest groups, community, and traditional leaders from Matabeleland and parts of Midlands all with a view to establishing what needs to be done so the aftereffects of this regrettable era are put behind us.”

“Our traditional leaders led by our chiefs have a great role to play in this regard. They preside over communities affected by the conflict, those hurt by the conflict are their subjects. They know the hurts, hear all the cries from the ear and have suggestions on what needs to be done.”

“As we give space to our traditional leaders to lead processes of reconciliation and repair, we should guard against those negative elements which aim to re-ignite frozen differences to throw us back into renewed conflict. As always there are sinister forces which seek to profit from a divided and divisive past. They must not succeed.”

Mnangagwa allegedly played a key role in the Gukurahundi, engineered by his later former principal Robert Mugabe, then Zimbabwe’s prime minister.