By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE government must pay the Matebeleland US$100 billion in compensation for Gukurahundi and other outrages perpetrated by successive Zanu PF administrations since 1980, an opposition politician has said.
Self-exiled leader of the secessionist Matabeleland Liberation Organisation (MLO), Paul Siwela, the region must not accept President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s offer to apologise until the compensation is paid.
Mnangagwa recently indicated that he was prepared to issue an apology based on the recommendations of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
He was speaking in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“We should be man enough as a government to accept whatever recommendations which are made and see how we can comply with them,” said the Zimbabwean leader.
“I would not want, in advance, to say this is what I will do. This is the first time in our history we are having such things done in the open.”
However, speaking to New Zimbabwe.com via social media from his undisclosed base, Siwela accused the government of exploiting Matebeleland‘s resources to the exclusion of the people of the region.
“Our demand, as MLO, made to the government of Zimbabwe through the Office of The President of Zimbabwe was that Matabeleland be paid a compensation sum of US$100 billion for the multiple level damages suffered under successive Zimbabwe administrations since 18 April, 1980,” said Siwela.
He added; “We urge all the people of Matabeleland to reject the pending apology without compensation from the government.
“Let’s all stand together and enforce this demand for US$100 billion compensation as failure would be a betrayal of our departed relatives.”
The former Zapu leader said the compensation will cover the Gukurahundi atrocities committed between 1980 and 1988, the “loss of property, marginalisation, loss of dignity, trauma and dispersal across the globe as economic refugees”.
Siwela skipped the border in 2013 before the finalisation of his treason trial which was going on at the Bulawayo High Court, citing a sinister plot by State security agents to assassinate him.
His whereabouts since then remain unclear with some claiming he is in Sweden while others say suggest neighbouring South Africa.