Gukurahundi not a political weapon: ED

…MPs trade insults over Insiza violence

(Last Updated On: October 20, 2022)

TENDAI BHEBE IN BULAWAYO 

 

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) said opposition outfits working with external forces should stop attempts to ignite conflict by evoking Gukurahundi emotions for selfish political gains.

Mnangagwa’s calls that came during the launch of a manual on Gukurahundi in Bulawayo came as opposition Members of Parliament yesterday clashed with Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi after claiming the political violence that rocked Insiza and Matobo on Monday were reminiscence of Gukurahundi.

Government is working with traditional leaders in affected provinces to try and address the issue that civic society say left over 20 000 dead in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

“The Gukurahundi issue has provided fertile ground for those who seek perpetual conflict and acrimony. Some political formations have sought to use the Gukurahundi issue as a political weapon which they deploy in the regions of Matabeleland and Midlands in order to gain political mileage for selfish political ends,” Mnangagwa said.

He however, warned external forces against interfering in the matter his government is working to resolve together with traditional leaders.

“To the external detractors who seek to maintain Gukurahundi as a perennial fountain of conflict, I say to you lingena ngaphi? (Where do you come in). This is a matter for Zimbabweans and shall be resolved by the people of Zimbabwe.

“These mischievous actors have not succeeded and they will not succeed. As Zimbabweans, we have continued to boldly seek the path of peace and dialogue as a way of resolving all the issues that confront us.”

He said the external forces have “hostile intentions” hence attempts to use the Gukurahundi issue for their agenda.

“For too long, we have let our differences hinder our collective development. We have allowed external forces with hostile intentions towards this country to dictate to us how we should conduct our affairs and relationships with each other,” Mnangagwa said.

Traditional leaders crafted and adopted a Gukurahundi manual to guide the holding of victim-friendly public hearings to ensure national healing.

“The resolution of conflict in our tradition is not a prescriptive process but one that involves consultations and dialogue among affected parties.

“The very construction of our traditional conflict resolution system renders chiefs the most suitable leaders to engage in the process of finding concrete and lasting solutions to all the challenges that our people encounter,” he said.

Chiefs are expected to soon lead the public hearings in communities on Gukurahundi which remains a thorny subject in some parts of Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday warned opposition MPs against abusing the issue of Gukurahundi to score “cheap political points.”

This came after Glen Norah MP Wellington Chikombo said the violence that rocked Insiza and Matobo were reminiscence of the Gukurahundi atrocities.

Citizens Coalition for Change Bulawayo MP Jasmine Toffa was treated for fractured hands and leg injuries after the Insiza attack.

“What have you done as government to bring those culprits to book? What happened in Matobo last week is reminiscence of Gukurahundi where women were subjected to torture,” Chikombo said.

This however drew the ire of Ziyambi who described the opposition MP as excitable.

“The Honourable member is excitable and believe in bringing the word Gukurahundi in areas where they do not relate,” Ziyambi said.

Angry CCC MPs demanded an apology from Ziyambi who is also the leader of government business in Parliament.

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