Investigations into Gukurahundi memorial destruction begins

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

POLICE have started investigating into the mysterious destruction of memorial plaques for Gukurahundi victims at Bhalagwe in Maphisa, Matebeleland South, nearly a month after the incident.

Suspected state agents, last month destroyed the memorial plaques that were erected by local pressure group Ibetshu Likazulu on February 21 this year, in memory of thousands of people  killed by the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces just after independence.

Ibetshu Likazulu secretary, Mbuso Fuzwayo told that a police officer from Maphisa Police Station last week interviewed Ibetshu Likazulu officials about the destruction of the plaques.

“We reported the matter of the destruction of the Gukurahundi memorial plaques to the police. Last week officers from Maphisa Police Station where we reported the matter interviewed one of our officials about the incident. We hope and pray that those who are behind this satanic act will be arrested,” said Fuzwayo.

Fuzwayo said he suspected that State security agents were behind the destruction of the memorial plagues. He added that his suspicion was based on an incident that happened before the commission of the crime.

“Several days before the memorial plagues were destroyed; State agents seized my mobile phone. I lost all the information which was in the phone.  I suspect security apparatus wanted to snoop on my phone concerning the memorial plaques,” the activist said.

The Ibetshu Likazulu official said his organisation will erect new memorial plaques on Independence Day.

Maphisa is one of the districts in Matebeleland that bore the brunt of the mass killings by former President Robert Mugabe’s government committed under the guise of fighting a rebellion that had broken out in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.

There are mass graves at Bhalagwe in the district where victims were killed and buried at the detention centre.