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Opinion: The Voice of the People is the Voice God

The 21st December 2017 was a taster and a forerunner of what is to become for President Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. A handful but very vocal group of people from Matabeleland were demonstrating at the Zimbabwe embassy in Tshwane where Mnangagwa was having a business symposium with various captains of the industry. We agree with Mnangagwa when he says the voice of the people is the voice of God, if you ignore God's voice the end result is demolition and totally oblivion. The voice of God has spoken, the voice of the Mthwakazi people has spoken unless and until Mnangangwa does not view the people of Mthwakazi as human beings. Over the years the gukurahundi genocide has been ignored and at best suppressed. At this defining moment President Mnangagwa should tackle the issue of gukurahundi head on. Whether he is implicated on the genocide or not, he needs to genuinely engage the issue of the genocide in order to bring finality to genocide debacle. It is hoped that Mnangagwa heard the voice of the people of Mthwakazi loud and clear and the voice says gukurahundi genocide cannot be a closed chapter, cannot be a bygone which the president insinuates when he says let bygones be bygones. Gukurahundi is in our living memory, millions of people who were directly affected by the genocide are still alive. The traumatic wounds are still oozing with blood. We hope Mnangagwa will not squander the goodwill of the people which is currently prevailing.

We are of course doubtful that the President will chart any new trajectory which will lead to healing of the people. The greatest mistake which he has done was to elevate the gukurahundi chief architects such as Perence Shiri and Chiwenga to dizzy heights in his government. This is a clear sign that he does not take the genocide seriously and he is not prepared to bring the genocide chapter to closure. If Mutswanga's utterances are anything to go by then it is clear that Mngangagwa means business and that business maybe can be another genocide. How can he let loose his dog of war in Mutswanga form dismiss gukurahundi, he says the country needs a break, a reprieve. A reprieve from what? Doesn't he know that any serious government which will unite the people the first thing it should do is to tackle the issue of the genocide without criminalising the victims. Even Mnangagwa himself has said let bygones be bygones, a clear indication of his intent. Gukurahundi genocide will never be a bygone unless and until justice is served. We feel that the govt of Mr Mugabe did not respect Mthwakazi people and we also think that the govt of President Mnangagwa does not care nor respect Mthwakazi people. As people of Matabeleland we have vowed to change all this come 2018. We need to force the hand of the govt to respect our dead whose white bones lie in shallow mass graves without the performance of any traditional rites to appease their souls and for them to rest in peace. We demand a Truth, Justice and Reparations Commission. It is nonsensical to criminalise the demand for compensation on one hand whilst on the other sweep the effects of the genocide under the carpet. We are aware that the physical genocide prevented development in Matabeleland, but the most dangerous genocide is the one which is currently going-on in the country whose aim is to annihilate the nation of Mthwakazi. We have seen cultural genocide in many guises, we have witnessed psychological genocide whereby many of our people have stopped believing in themselves and their strength as a people. On the 21st December in Tshwane President Mnangagwa was flamboyantly introduced by the creepy-crawley Chinamasa who showered Mnangagwa with all manner of accolades, narrating an illustrious career spanning decades and decades, however, he unwittingly skipped his involvement and the pivotal role he played in the savagery massacres of the Matabeles. This was not a mere oversight, if you look closely it is easy to see that the govt is employing a policy of ignoring the gukurahundi genocide and treating it as if it never happened. Is it not Mnangagwa who equated dissidents to cockroaches which needed DDT to wipe them from the face of the earth. From the recent released confidential documents in SA it has become clear how Mnangagwa collaborated with the apartheid government to cause problems for the Matabele. There is one nonsense which needs to be challenged, the government claimed that the dissidents were killing people, innocent people in Matabelelalnd at that time so it had to send the 5th Brigade to flush them out. If that was the case, how could dissidents have killed people who fed them? What did they stand to gain by killing the people? The other nonsense is that the dissidents killed the 6 tourists, the truth is look no further than the 5th Brigade. Dissidents had nothing to gain from killing the tourists but the government did as it sought and stood to gain international sympathy. The brutality which was meted on the innocent civilians is to be seen to be believed, the callous murder, gang rapes, mass beatings, forced incest, bayoneting of pregnant women, crushing of babies in mill-pounders, was just unbelievable and the govt is now forcing the people of Matabeleland to forget. Is there an insult bigger than this one? We won't forget and we won't forgive, if we are to forgive it will be on our terms. On the 21st December in Mnangagwa's conference I challenged Mr Chinamasa who was giving a glowing profile of Mnangagwa whilst totally omitting the gukurahundi genocide. The security bungled me out of the conference, a clear sign that noone wants to talk about the genocide. If the issue of gukurahundi is not resolved now, two things may happen in the future, that is, the victims of the genocide may seek to revenge and secondly, the perpetrators of the genocide may resort to killing more people in order to silence them. Mnangagwa really believes in his bygones rhetoric, remember he is the one who said that gukurahundi is a closed chapter. The perpetrator prescribing to the victim how to mourn loved ones, what a shame. Zimbabwe is not ready to break away from its past, this can only happen if the government honestly deals with the issue of the genocide. I remember how I also confronted Joyce Mujuru last year on the 16th September in Tshwane and asked her about the gukurahundi attrocities, and she said she knew nothing about gukurahundi.

(c) 2017 24 News

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