Just say, Im sorry

mugabe_sickThe shedding of crocodile tears is an act that should come naturally to every politician worth his salt, but it seems President Robert Mugabe will not shed even these for the victims of the armys 1980s Gukurahundi campaign in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

At the burial of the late Vice President Joseph Msika last week, Mugabe described the murder of an estimated 20 000 Ndebeles by the notorious 5th Brigade as a sad period that should never have been allowed to happen. He sounded more remorseful for the fact that this accident of history happened but not for the fact that he caused it.

At one time Mugabe even feigned madness, labelling the 5th Brigades four-year orgy of bloodletting in Matabeleland and Midlands an act of madness, all just to avoid a very simple task apologising.

On the one occasion Mugabe was able to muster enough courage to apologise in privacy to former PF-ZAPU leaders, the late Msika found the insincerity and self-interest too much to ignore. When we asked him about the massacres he apologised, but I was not convinced about his sincerity, the vice-president told a rally in October 2006.

We find it utterly incomprehensible that such a skillful political master and gifted orator as Mugabe could find it so difficult to say these three little words: I am sorry.

Even at this late hour, a formal apology from Mugabe would go a long way to soothe the pain of survivors and victims of Gukurahundi and the political violence of recent years.

Attempting to sweep their suffering under the carpet as a mere act of madness or a sad period in Zimbabwes history that should be simply forgiven and forgotten like it never happened is an insult to victims and survivors of Gukurahundi.

Acknowledgement of the injury and pain they suffered at the hands of soldiers and Zanu (PF) goons was and has always been the first objective of those who suffered at the hands of the 5th Brigade and Zanu (PF) militia.

But we must say that the ranks of those clamouring for The Hague solution are swelling with every moment that passes without an apology from Mugabe or Zanu (PF) for Gukurahundi and all the other crimes that they have committed against this country.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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