Survivor Sues Mnangagwa Over Exhuming Gukurahundi Victims

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

A SURVIVOR of the early 1980s Gukurahundi atrocities, Charles Thomas, the opposition Zapu, and Ibhetshu Likazulu have filed a joint urgent application at the Bulawayo High court seeking an interdict to bar government from exhuming victims of the state-sponsored massacres ostensibly for decent reburials.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks ago met a section of Bulawayo based civil society organisations under the leadership of Jenni Williams’s Matabeleland Collective and resolved to expedite the issuance of death and birth certificates to the Gukurahundi victims.

They also agreed to exhume the victims and offer them decent burials.

However, the move has angered a lot of people in the region who accuse Williams and her colleagues of lacking the mandate from affected communities to speak on their behalf.

The litigants, through their lawyer, Nqobani Sithole filed the application on Saturday evening.

Sithole confirmed the development to

“Yes, we filed the application on Saturday evening. My clients want the court to interdict the government from proceeding with Gukurahundi victims’ exhumations,” said Sithole.

According to the High Court application, Mnangagwa is cited as the 1st respondent while the Minister of Home Affairs, Kazembe Kazembe, Williams, and Matabeleland Collective are cited as second, third and fourth respondents respectively.

The chairman of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Retired Justice Selo Nare is also cited as the fifth respondent while the NPRC is the sixth respondent.

The respondents are still to respond.

Mnangagwa is expected to officially launch the issuance identity documents to Gukurahundi victims at Maphisa growth point in Matabeleland South next month.

The growth point is close to the notorious Bhalagwe detention camp, the epicentre of the gruesome atrocities committed by the North Korean trained 5th brigade.