MRP Criticises Chief’s Gukurahundi Manual
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) leader Mqondisi Moyo has castigated the language used in crafting the chiefs’ manual on Gukurahundi Community Engagement Processes claiming that the words used downplayed victims’ experiences of the mass killings.
The chiefs created Volume 2 of the Manual on Community Engagement Processes to use as guidance when engaging Gukurahundi victims.
Speaking to CITE, Moyo questioned why the manual seen in Section 17 dealing with “Groups requiring special attention” used the phrase “alleged” in dealing with their comments.
He argued that the use of the term “alleged” suggests that the chiefs are in doubt that heinous crimes such as rape, torture, and extra-judicial killings ever happened. Said Moyo:
The Manual identifies specific groups of people to be interviewed as ‘alleged’ rape victims, ‘alleged’ sodomy victims, ‘alleged’ torture victims, and ex-combatants.
Why should the Manual emphasise the term ‘alleged?’
Does it mean that the government and the National Council of Chiefs are in doubt that these crimes were committed, hence ‘alleged’?
To them, is it yet to be proved that people were tortured, that people were raped? Shame on the authors of the Manual which was endorsed by the government.
He also questioned why the vast majority of Ndebele people were left off the list of victims to be consulted when, according to him, Gukurahundi targetted all Ndebele people. Moyo said:
The derogatory language of the Fifth Brigade and the government was directed at all Ndebele people.
The word ‘cockroaches’ applied to all Ndebeles, physically tortured or not. That all Ndebeles, including the unborn, were labelled as dissidents making all Ndebeles victims of the genocide.
It follows that everyone who was there has to participate in the engagement exercise.
All Mthwakazi people are victims of Gukurahundi. They all underwent emotional torture.
Government and its National Council of Chiefs cannot expect people to be emotionally stable when they witnessed their own parents, children, siblings, relatives, and neighbours being raped, tortured, maimed, and killed.
Gukurahundi is a term used to refer to disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands in the 1980s which resulted in the death of an estimated 20 000 Ndebele people.
It was carried out by the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade which was an elite regiment of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Gukurahundi is derived from a Shona language term that loosely translates to “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.