By Staff Reporter
VICE PRESIDENT Kembo Mohadi has urged Zimbabweans to stop reopening old wounds brought by the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres and others forms of citizen transgressions saying everyone has wronged the next person at some stage in their lives.
He was speaking in Chirumhanzu while commissioning a bridge last week.
The VP said for the nation to progress, there was need to look beyond ethnicity and the Gukurahundi genocide that claimed 20 000 mostly Ndebele lives in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces back then.
“There are some people who say there has been Gukurahundi, there has been that, but who has not wronged the other?” he said.
The VP was among the former opposition PF Zapu officials who endured severe torture in the hands of the Robert Mugabe led state at the time.
Survivors of the atrocities are still demanding government to come clean on its role in the darkest period of post-independence Zimbabwe with incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa fingered as being one of the chief architects of the massacres.
The Gukurahundi subject has also often been mixed with tribal hostilities in the country as it is often viewed as an attempt by government to exterminate the Ndebele tribe which supported Mugabe’s bitter rival at the time, Joshua Nkomo.
Both politicians are now late.
But VP Mohadi feels the country could do better if citizens could stop tribal hostilities.
“I am here. I can’t even speak proper Shona and I can’t even speak proper Ndebele, but I ask myself how did I find myself here (as VP)”.
Added the VP, “Zimbabweans are one and Zimbabweans should be one. Let it be Zimbabwean first before it is Shona first, or before it is Ndebele first, or before it is Zezuru or Kalanga or Venda. We are Zimbabweans first. This is our country and that is where we belong.
“So when someone asks you who you are, don’t say I am Karanga, I am Shona or I am Ndebele. Say you are Zimbabwean because you are Zimbabwean, that is what makes you, who you are, because if we don’t try to degenerate and go to ethnic groups, we are good.
“We want a united nation, hence where there is unity there is development. Unity begets development. There can’t be peace when people are fighting,” he said.
Mohadi is the chairperson of the National Peace and Reconciliation portfolio.
He said he was going to use the wisdom he gathered through engagement with traditional leaders across the country on how to resolve national conflicts.