From Gukurahundi to August I shootings: The script remains the same

Zimbabwe has a well known history of murder of perceived and known opponents of Zanu PF and the Gukurahundi massacres stand out as the most atrocious killings of perceived opponents of Zanu PF. After nearly 20 000 civilians were killed by the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade, former Zanu PF leader, Robert Mugabe, who refused to apologize for the genocide claimed that Gukurahundi was a moment of madness.

After Gukurahundi, Zanu PF’s moments of madness persisted and following the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999, there were several reports of murder and enforced disappearances of opposition activists with the ruling party denying responsibility.
In 2008, about 200 opposition supporters lost their lives at the hands of Zanu PF militia and the army after it became clear the revolutionary party was going to lose elections. And again, Zanu PF denied responsibility.

Past events during which thousands of people were killed by Zanu PF and the revolutionary party denied
responsibility leave us questioning President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sincerity in appointing the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the murder of civilians by the army on August 1, 2018.
It has to be noted that during the Gukurahundi era, Mnangagwa was Mugabe’s proxy, serving as State Security Minister. He however revealed his penchant of sweeping issues under the carpet when during an interview with the BBC; he flatly denied that there were mass murders in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

He said, “I have never witnessed that. I have never heard about it except to read about it in the press.

I have never heard any complaint of that nature reaching headquarters.”
In the same video clip, the BBC quoted the late Vice President, Joshua Nkomo who was ZAPU leader at that time expressing concern over the genocide in Matabeleland.
“The beatings, the torture is unbelievable. People are being taken day and night and they disappear forever,” said Nkomo.

President Mnangagwa’s insincerity on national healing was further revealed in January 2018 when he was in Davos.

He disputed the fact that 20 000 civilians lost their lives at the hands of the Fifth Brigade and further hinted that he would not apologize for the Gukurahundi massacres saying that the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission would deal with the matter.

“The most important thing is that, what has happened has happened and that should not stop us from having a bright future,” he said.

CiZC reiterates its position that the Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Mnangagwa to look into the August 1 shootings is highly compromised and cannot be expected to objectively investigate the army killings

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