By Bulawayo Correspondent
MTHWAKAZI Republic Party (MRP) has threatened to block National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) spokesperson, Obert Gutu from attending any of the commission’s future meetings in Matabeleland following the ex-legislator’s utterances Gukurahundi massacres were a “tiny fraction” of past atrocities that have been experienced in the country.
Gutu was this week in the eye of a storm after he was captured on video rubbishing the government sanctioned atrocities which claimed an estimated 20 000 people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early 1980s.
“Gukurahundi is a small, tiny fraction of various other disputes. We are talking about issues that happened in 2005 – Murambatsina.
“We are talking of various other issues, even some dating back to pre-independence times,” said Gutu who recently defected to Zanu PF.
The NPRC spokesperson’s remarks have received wide condemnation from political parties and human rights activists.
Said MRP president Mqondisi Moyo in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, “Foul utterances by Obert Gutu who was recently appointed to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) on the emotive Gukurahundi issue cannot be ignored by any living soul.
“Gutu has said without shame that the Gukurahundi genocide which left about 40 000 dead, thousands others disappeared is not significant to deserve attention.
“For the record, Mthwakazi Republic Party will lead from the front to ensure that Obert Gutu won’t set his foot on Mthwakazi soil to talk about the genocide and reconciliation because we already know his position and that of his master Emmerson Mnangagwa. It is now known why he was appointed to NPRC.”
Moyo questioned Gutu’s appointment to the Commission, suggesting the former MDC-T official was deployed in the Commission to serve the interests of the Zanu PF led government which presided over the mass killings.
Moyo added, “One wonders the criteria by which Gutu was appointed to serve in a Commission which is supposed to be composed of people with unquestionable commitment to true peace and reconciliation.
“NPRC is supposed to close the wounds of injustice which the government of Zanu PF opened soon after independence. Here we have Gutu, in line with the thinking and attitudes of his fellow kinsmen, relegating the genocide to an insignificant lot. Who in their right senses will ever have faith in NPRC?”
Moyo said Gutu’s comments were just a true reflection of government’s position on the atrocities.
Gutu is the same person who once blasted former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko for the latter’s 2015 utterances Gukurahundi was a “Conspiracy of the West”.
Then opposition MDC-T spokesperson, Gutu said “Mphoko’s remarks are in extreme bad taste, insensitive, and grossly offensive to both the victims and survivors of the genocide”.
Moyo found everything wrong about the former opposition legislator’s inconsistent behaviour.
“Gutu is reflecting chameleon tendencies. On February 17, 2015, he shed crocodile tears as if he cared about Gukurahundi victims and survivors. Now he is singing for his supper in Zanu PF. He cannot be trusted. He is actually a perpetrator,” added the MRP leader.
The MDC Alliance has also condemned the Zanu PF official for his insensitive remarks.
“The comments by Obert Gutu are clearly not meant for the people of Matabeleland and the Midlands who bore the brunt of Gukurahundi.
“The sentiments are meant to please Emmerson Mnangagwa and other members of the Lacoste. He comes across as someone who has always been part of the Lacoste faction of Zanu PF,” said Swithern Chiroodza, MDC Alliance Bulawayo spokesperson.