Smith had the bloodiest hands, Bob

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says Ian Smith was so evil and brutal that under his rule Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) experienced the worst atrocities in the whole of Southern Africa.

President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe was addressing mourners at the burial of heroines, Victoria Chitepo and Vivian Mwashita, at the national Heroes Acre Wednesday. The two died last Friday and were declared national heroes.

He said: “He had the bloodiest hands of all, Ian Smith. They would bomb indiscriminately and they would not discern which are refugee camps which are not. No country in Southern Africa recorded as many deaths as us.”

Mugabe said the Smith regime bombed the liberation war movements’ camps in Zambia and Mozambique. The Rhodesian government bombed Zanu and Zapu camps in Zambia and Chimoio in Mozambique towards the end of the liberation war, sparking universal condemnation.

But, in an interview with the BBC decades later, former Zanu PF secretary general, Edgar Tekere, said as a soldier he saw nothing wrong with the bombing of the Zanla camp in Chimoio.

It is not the first time for Mugabe to accuse Smith of committing atrocities.

Before his death in 2007, Smith denied ever killing civilians, accusing Mugabe of “killing thousands of Matebeles during Gukurahundi.” Smith said he was more popular than Mugabe because of the latter’s crimes against humanity.

Known as Gukurahundi, the 1980’s killings of civilians by the Mugabe government, were, in 2011, declared genocide by Genocide Watch.

Alongside his ministers, Sydney Sekeramayi and Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe was named as responsible for the atrocities which human rights groups say killed 20 000 civilians in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces.

Mugabe has never apologised for the atrocities choosing to express his “regret”.

In the film A soul in Torment, yet to be shown in Zimbabwe, a former Fifth Brigade member, Edson Chitekuteku, narrates how they routinely killed innocent civilians including children and the elderly under the pretext of hunting down dissidents.


Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *