In his contributions at a Policy Dialogue Forum, Elections Postmortem held at the Southern African Political Economy Series offices in Harare last week Tuesday, Mudarikwa said: “The mainly youthful Matabeleland electorate preferred Zanu (PF) over MDC-T because they know nothing about the Gukurahundi myth.”
He said ‘in fact, there was never a Gukurahundi in Matabeleland and no single life was lost in the so called genocide. It is just a myth.’
His statements left participants at the dialogue tongue tied.
Mudarikwa went on to boast about what he described as practical Zanu (PF) economic policies, which had helped lure the electorate into Mugabe’s camp.
Zapu president, Dumiso Dabengwa, was shocked with Mudarikwa’s statements and had little comments.
“I think people of Matabeleland should make their own responses to the statement. I would not want to prejudice them of their comments in this regard,” Dabengwa told The Zimbabwean in a telephone interview.
After The Zimbabwean failed to reach Welshman Ncube for comment, MDC spokesperson, Nhlanhla Dube said: “Mudarikwa’s statements were words from the mouth of a maroon. What he said was like someone saying there was never a holocaust.”
Nhlanhla said though it was good for Zanu (PF) to celebrate its victory, it was not justified for them to insult victims of their evil past governance.
He advised the ‘honorable MP’ to shut his mouth if he knows nothing, for people to give him benefit of the doubt that he is knowledgeable.
Bulawayo based analyst and director for Amakhosi, Culture and Heritage, Conte Mhlanga, said he was struggling to respond to comments made by an ignorant and irresponsible politician.
Mhlanga said if people do not have solutions to heal the trauma caused to people of Matabeleland, they should keep quiet and avoid talking about the painful Gukurahundi period.
What we are expecting is for the president to seek ways of permanently appeasing victims of the ruthless Gukurahundi, not to rub salt in fresh wounds.
“One can easily show Mudarikwa one of the several mass graves which were as a result of the Gukurahundi now described by Zanu (PF) as a myth. Instead he should be helping government find ways of helping our children to economically move forward,” Mhlanga told The Zimbabwean in a telephone interview.
He said the Gukurahundi era was so painful that no one should make careless statements about it.
Mhlanga said youths in Matabeleland could have voted Zanu (PF) because they believed in their little mines, which they thought would be grabbed away should whites return to Zimbabwe in the event that MDC-T wins elections.
President Mugabe described the massacres as an act of madness but offered no appeasement to victims and other survivors.
Morgan Tsvangirai in his election campaigns, promised compensation to victims should MDC-T come into power.
The then Zanu (PF) government led by President Mugabe as Prime Minister then, deployed the army 5th Brigade in Matabeleland North and parts of the Midlands province to suppress acts of banditry by ‘dissidents’ in January 1983.
The army went on to commit thousands of atrocities including murders, mass torture and indiscriminate burning down of property.
Detentions and disappearances were the order of the day.
Over 20, 000 people lost lives in the military operation against defenseless civilians.
Survivors of the Gukurahundi sustained various forms of disabilities, illnesses and trauma.
Emmerson Mnangagwa was the State Security minister while Air Marshal Perrence Shiri, was commander of the Korean trained 5th Brigade.Post published in: News