MDC Alliance hints at Gukurahundi let-off for Mugabe

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By Nkosana Dlamini

THE MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa has hinted at possible forgiveness for former Robert Mugabe whose erstwhile administration has been accused of sanctioning the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians in Matebeleland and Midlands provinces.

Mugabe, the country’s sole leader for 37 years, was ousted in a popular military coup November last year.

The veteran leader has reportedly confided in allies he feared incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his regime could pursue him and his family if they were to return July 30 to form the next government after elections.

Mugabe, now 94, has lost many friends and seems lost again on who among the country’s political protagonists he could entrust his safety on.

He is accused of presiding over the killing of civilians in successive post liberation episodes as he tried to protect what was his octopus grip on power.

His fears are however, not just limited to what could be done with him by his bitter opposition rivals but also extend to former allies in the Mnangagwa-led government who accuse the once feared leader and his wife, Grace of antagonising them when he still enjoyed State authority.

In its manifesto, the MDC Alliance says “in order to move forward, wrongs of the past must be corrected, but in an inclusive, just and non-vindictive way. The future must not be a prisoner of the pas; but equally so, past grievances must not be sacrificed at the altar of future dreams”.

Speaking to on the side-lines of the manifesto launch last Thursday, Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube said an MDC government will not risk deepening divisions in the country through pursuing old scores with the enemy.

“President Chamisa has said we can’t go forward while looking at the rear view mirror repeatedly,” Ncube said.

“To concern ourselves endlessly with the past will detract us from looking into the future and doing the things that we need to do into the future.”

He added, “But that does not mean we stick our heads ostrich style in the sand and pretend we do not have a bad history.

“Which is why we say there must be honest truth telling and honest truth telling must involve those who did wrong, whether it was Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, the pre-emptive coup of 2008, they must be given an opportunity to come clean.

“’We did terrible things, we should not have done them, we are sorry we did them, we need forgiveness, so you have truth telling and justice’ so that you move on.

“You do not want to simply pretend bad things did not happen because if we do that, history will repeat itself and you are promoting impunity.”

The MDC Alliance position could come as a disappointment to some survivors of Mugabe’s cruelty who have longed to see their former leader tried for the transgressions.