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Mnangagwa ouster a welcome move on Gukurahundi massacre disclosure

by Bakidzanani Dube
13 Nov 2017 at 16:25hrs | Views
Ibhetshu Likazulu, a Bulawayo based pressure group lobbying for truth and accountability on Gukurahund has said the recent ouster of former vice president Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa from government and ZANU-PF is a positive move to enhance the process of seeking disclosure and admission of guilt on the massacres.

Deposed former vice president Mnangagwa who was the Minister of State Security during the Gukurahundi massacres has always been fingered as the chief architect of the genocide which claimed more than 20 000 Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) supporters in Matebeleland and Midlands between 1983 and 1987.

Upon leaving office last Monday, Mnangagwa's diplomatic immunity immediately expired, leaving him open to easy prosecution.

In an interview, Ibhetshu Likazulu Secretary General Mbuso Fuzwayo said the sacking of former vice president Mnangagwa from government and his party, the Zimbabwe African People's Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) last Monday will make the process of seeking of truth and accountability on Gukurahundi easier.

"Obviously there is a lot that Mnangagwa has to say to address the Matebeleland and Midlands genocide as he is a key witness to it. In the absence of Mugabe, all the answers to all questions on the genocide can be provided by him," said Fuzwayo.

Fuzwayo called upon the victims and human rights defenders alike to seize the moment and press on for legal action.

"We call upon the people of Matebeleland to approach the courts and lay charges on Mnangagwa to bring him to book on Gukurahundi," Fuzwayo said.

Meanwhile, ZAPU National Spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said the sacking of Mnangagwa from government should be taken with a pinch of salt, arguing his ouster may not necessarily be helpful to those who want closure on Gukurahundi massacres.

"First and foremost we need to remember that Gukurahundi is a crime that was committed by the sitting government of which Mnangagwa was only but a member to that government of which his loss of immunity may not necessarily help especially to those who want closure, truth ,healing and accountability," said Maphosa.

Maphosa hinted that he could only be hideous on the issue and provide scanty information on the genocide as he is pretty much aware of the implications.

"All that he is likely to do is to implicate the sitting government. Of course he is going to give his side of the story. But what is most worrying is that in the flimsy charges that the government is laying on him Gukurahundi is not among them. It is an indication that this government is not ready to open up any dialogue on Gukurahundi," Maphosa said.

After leaving office last Monday, Mnangagwa skipped the border to neighbouring South Africa, alleging that his life was in danger.

Moving on, Maphosa said that Mnangagwa' self-exile is likely to complicate matters.

"It is now up to those who need closure to press charges first and then engage Mnangagwa if possible," he said.

Source - Bakidzanani Dube