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Gukurahundi survivors vent anger over Youths Day

by Staff reporter
22 Feb 2024 at 04:55hrs | Views
GUKURAHUNDI survivors have vented their anger over yesterday's National Youths Day celebrated annually on the birthday of the late former President Robert Mugabe whom they accuse of causing the suffering they endured in the 1980s.

Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924 and passed away in September 2019, and his birthday which used to be called the 21st February Movement when he was still alive became known as National Youth Day soon after being deposed in November 2017.

Gukurahundi Genocide Survivors 4 Justice chairperson, Nomagugu Khumalo said: "Surely no one can rejoice and celebrate the date of birth of someone who came and imposed himself as a demigod on them and determined their destiny.

"While Zimbabwe remembers and celebrates Mugabe's birthday, the Matabele people ask one pertinent question: Was he human after all in spite of his physical stature? Certainly in place of his heart was a huge hard rock of ice."

Mugabe deployed the Fifth Brigade to Matebeleland and Midlands provinces to hunt down dissidents in an operation which ended up killing an estimated 20 000 innocent civilians. Some years before he died he described the massacres as "a moment of madness".

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has begun processes to address the mass killings, with traditional leaders at the forefront of engaging affected communities.

"Zimbabwe as you go on the merrymaking bandwagon, just remember that the wounds inflicted upon us the people from Matebeleland and Midlands during  Gukurahundi operations are as old as new," Khumalo said.

"We remember vividly what the 5th Brigade did to our families. Our children, their children and their children's children will always view Mugabe as the most evil person to happen in their ancestors' lives."

Gukurahundi survivor Ben Moyo said it was painful that Mugabe passed away without acknowledging the massacres.

"For us, therefore, the National Youth Day is the day on which Mugabe was born. We rue that day because Mugabe brought to us nothing, but horror even as he assumed leadership he visited untold horrors and massacres on us," Moyo said.

"We mourn because of the loss of lives we suffered.

"We mourn because of the massive genocide we suffered; we mourn because while Mugabe was developing the rest of the country in the first 10 years, for us that was a lost decade, no development took place because we were locked out."

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association secretary for administration, Thembelani Dube said Mugabe would always be remembered in the region for nothing else, but Gukurahundi.

Nkayi Community Parliament deputy Speaker Nkosilathi Ncube echoed similar sentiments.

"He must be forgotten by all Zimbabweans, hence his predecessor decided to name his government a new dispensation," Ncube said.

The National Youth Day celebrations were held in Masvingo where President Mnangagwa was the guest of honour.

Source - newsday