Gukurahundi Row: Ibhetshu Likazulu Hits Back At Chief Mtshane Khumalo

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

IBHETSHU LikaZulu has hit back at the Chiefs Council deputy president, Chief Mtshane Khumalo for accusing the pressure group for allegedly stifling the resolution of the post-independence Gukurahundi atrocities.

Chief Mtshane was Sunday quoted in a local State owned weekly describing the pressure group as “one organiSation emerging to confuse the whole process”.

“This is not the time for us to be fighting each other but the time for us to work together in resolving this matter. Let us give Chiefs and their headmen the opportunity to lead the process and ensure that finally this issue is resolved,” Chief Mtshane is quoted as saying in the publication.

Ibhetshu LikaZulu Coordinator, Mbuso Fuzwayo said the Chief ‘s remarks about his organization are not surprising because the traditional leader has no history of condemning the atrocities.

“What ubaba uMtshana has said is sad, but not surprising. He has been a Chief before his subjects were exterminated by the North Korean trained fifth brigade. He has been in parliament for over 20 years. I do not remember him whether in parliament or on the meetings of the Chiefs council speaking for his people and his brother who was killed by the genocidist,” said Fuzwayo.

The Ibhetshu Likazulu Coordinator warned the Chief not to be used by the government to block justice for the victims of the atrocities.

“He (Chief) is now active speaking for the perpetrator. He must not be used to silence those who have been advocating for the matter to be spoken about openly, and fighting to give victims a voice. If he was not sent by the perpetrator when was he going to talk about gukurahundi? queried Fuzwayo.

Since its formation more than ten years ago, Ibhetshu LikaZulu has been constant in its efforts to make the government accountable for the mass killings which left an estimated more than 20 000 people in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces dead.

Of late the pressure group has also been erecting memorial plaques for Gukurahundi victims at various sites throughout the country.

However, the plagues have been either vandalized or stolen by suspected state security agents.

Last month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa met the National Council of Chiefs at State House in Bulawayo , where among other things , each chief was tasked to resolve issues within their area of jurisdiction by consulting with local communities on their needs and expectations.