By Bulawayo Correspondent
POLITICAL parties and activists have angrily reacted to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s assertions that some individuals were behind “attempts to reignite Gukurahundi,”
Speaking during the Unity Day at State House Wednesday, Mnangagwa castigated some unnamed individuals whom he claimed were an impediment in his administration’s efforts to address the mass murders.
Mnangagwa who is widely believed to have played a leading role in the atrocities in his then role as state security minster said the government is committed in addressing the atrocities.
“It is sad that the murderer of the innocent man and woman, school children is accusing, condemning innocent people who are saying the process must not be perpetrator lead but victim cantered and lead by an independent commission. He can threaten or issue statements, but I challenge him (Mnangagwa) to say one thing tangible since 2019 that has come out from his engagements that has healed or benefited victims,” pressure group Ibetshu Likazulu secretary general Mbuso Fuzwayo said.
Fuzwayo challenged Mnangagwa to return all confiscated Zapu and Zipra properties which were confiscated by the government in 1982.
“Up to now, Mnangagwa has not returned ZPRA veterans’ properties despite cheating them to help him stage a coup against Robert Mugabe. Also, to declare that those Gukurahundi victims who need medication and national documents can access the facilities is still nothing except low hanging fruits,” said Fuzwayo.
Zapu spokesperson Msongelwa Ndlovu said Mnangagwa’s statements reeks of someone who is unrepentant.
“This just shows that Emmerson Mnangagwa is unrepentant. It is unfortunate that he continues to make assertions that the victims caused the genocide. Otherwise, how do you explain his warning about re-igniting Gukurahundi? How do you re-ignite what you didn’t ignite in the first place,” Ndlovu querried.
“His biggest problem is that he thinks he is some god who wields not only power to dictate but must not be challenged. We have made it clear before as we do now, any process led by perpetrators, and which excludes the victims as represented by Zapu is bound to fail.”
“Our call for justice cannot be likened to opening old wounds even by the standards of occultists in government who are obsessed with graves and contents therein. Our call for justice is just and shall never be silenced.”
“We used to ask for an apology, access to social and economic benefits for our people and equity in the distribution of resources and opportunities. Zapu feels that those demands are akin to asking to be ruled better when we should be fighting to remove this abusive regime from power. This is what we have invested in and we shall achieve it in our lifetime,” the Zapu spokesperson said.
The MDC Alliance also described Mnangagwa’s statement as unfortunate and reckless.
“The problem is Mnangagwa conveniently beliefs Zanu PF structures are government structures. We all know that the government has been working with Zanu PF aligned structures such as the chief’s council and certain captured organizations to purportedly address the Gukurahundi issue. This top approach will not yield anything unless the victims are fully represented in these processes,” the party’s Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza.