By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE opposition party, Zapu has expressed strong reservations over the National Chiefs Council president, Fortune Charumbira’s involvement in the exhumation and reburial of Gukurahundi victims, claiming the traditional leader is complicity to the early 1980s atrocities.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week mandated the Charumbira-led council to spearhead the Gukurahundi victims’ reburials.
However, the decision has raised a storm among some Matabeleland activists who are demanding localised solutions to Gukurahundi issues especially concerning reburials.
“Fortune Charumbira is quickly installed as head of the committee tasked with the resolution of Gukurahundi. Charumbira is a confirmed tribalist with a verifiable history of hatred of the Ndebele people. He can, therefore, never lead a process of finding justice for the same lot especially on a crime for which he too is complicity,” claimed Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa.
The Zapu spokesperson accused Charumbira of denigrating Ndebele speaking people while he was a student at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) during the early 1980s.
“Those who knew him (Charumbira) from his time at the University of Zimbabwe, will remember the slogan in the 1980s that he used while campaigning for a Student Representative Council (SRC) position.
“It was; ‘Let’s all Shonas, Zezurus, Manyikas, and Karangas unite against the common enemy – the Ndebeles’. This was at the height of the Gukurahundi massacres. How can such a person be charged with bringing peace on any healing to the people of Matabeleland?” asked Maphosa.
“Those who heard him and his friends still remember vividly the hatred that came from him. Zapu puts all on notice that it will never allow this insult upon injury to proceed. A time of reckoning will soon come.”
Maphosa also demanded the involvement of Zapu in the Gukurahundi reburials.
“Without involving Zapu as the primary target, it’s is just child’s play. The process should also involve every stakeholder as in the perpetrator, the targeted, the victims, the survivors, and the witnesses. We want a process that starts with acknowledging the genocide, truth-telling, justice both punitive and restorative, rehabilitation, reparations, memorisation, reburials, and documentation.”