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21st March Matebele Genocide demonstrations in South Africa

by Thulani Nkala
18 Mar 2017 at 11:48hrs | Views
The time is drawing nigh for the historic anti-gukurahundi genocide march which will reverberate in Johannesburg on the 21st March 2017 under the auspices of uLoyiko. Gukurahundi is a Shona word which means early rain that washes away the chuff, this was an operation which took place in the areas of Matebeleland and Midlands in 1982 to 1987. The operation from the onset bore all the hallmarks of a genocide which was fuelled by tribal hatred and inferiority complex of the new government. The international organisation Genocide Watch has since officially declared gukurahundi as a Matebeleland Genocide.

The Siphesakhe Youth Organisation wrote a theatre play called uLoyiko whose thrust is to uncover what really happened during the genocide. The play has slowly but surely gained prominence particularly within the Matebeleland community in South Africa, but also it is gaining inroads within the South African community.

"We cannot blame our fellow South Africans for lack of knowledge of this genocide, our leaders have been so quiet about it, it is as if they knew nothing about the genocide" Mr Yanga Mhluzi the Public relations officer for uLoyiko explained. He continued "we have taken this upon our shoulders to educate our fellow South Africans about the evils of tribal hatred which led to the Matebele genocide, in the process we are confident that we shall awaken the Matebeles from their fear so they work towards their emancipation".

The demonstration on the 21st March against the gukurahundi genocide it is going to be the first of its kind in South Africa, it is going to be a noise and exciting event which will see the convergence of many different stakeholders, which will include the South African human rights activists, ordinary members of the public and the Matebele community at large.

"We arrived in Johannesburg yesterday, and some of the prominent invited guests have started arriving as well, in attendance at the historic demonstrations would be Chief Nhlanhla Ndiweni, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa ZAPU President; Mqondisi Moyo-President of MRP; Ibhetshu likaZulu, Mr Silonda- Chair of uMhlahlo wesizwe Sika Mthwakazi and Moses Mzila -President of ANSA" Mr Mhluzi said.  This is an interesting line-up, however, Mr Mhluzi indicated that the list is not exhaustive as some invited guests are still confirming their attendance.

Mr Mhluzi informed this writer that tomorrow they will be performing uLoyiko theatre play at Market Theatre.

When asked of the purpose of the demonstration, Mr Mhluzi eloquently responded as follows "Firstly, we aim to expose the genocide which has been hidden under the carpet for three decades, second, we need to expose the culture of impunity which has developed in Zimbabwe which may encourage another genocide; thirdly, we are seeking justice for the victims, we aim to mobilise human rights activists in South Africa and beyond to pile pressure on the relevant regional and international bodies"

"We are taking this to the next level now, our first phase was the theatre play but we soon realised that theatre on its own will not change the status quo, the perpetrators of the genocide are still oppressing the Matebeles without shame and relentlessly. We therefore implore the whole of Matebeleland in South Africa to be part of this revolution, if they come in great numbers their plight will never be ignored by the international community" Mr Mhluzi said inviting the masses.

Over the years, the people of Mthwakazi have spoken in hushed tones about their plight in Zimbabwe, but of late they are surely regaining their voice and their cause is gaining currency.

Source - Thulani Nkala