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Chief Ndiweni accuses Zanu of hypocrisy

by Staff reporter
24 Mar 2024 at 15:01hrs | Views
Outspoken Ntabazinduna traditional leader, Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni has accused the Zanu-PF government of "hypocrisy" in commissioning the Pupu Battlefield Memorial Site in Lupane.

Chief Ndiweni claims the act is merely an attempt to further Zanu-PF's agenda rather than preserve Ndebele heritage.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned the monument and toured national monuments commemorating events that led to the battle in which Ndebele warriors defeated White settlers led by Major Allan Wilson on Thursday, at an event attended by government officials, traditional leaders and ordinary citizens.

However Chief Ndiweni said this was surprising since President Mnangagwa's government "has and continues to operate based upon tribalism" over the years marginalising the Ndebele people.

"To this end the Zanu-PF administration has tried to erase the history of ZAPU and its military wing ZPRA Forces from the history books and everywhere else. To the extent of confiscating all of its farms, businesses and properties all because it was and is a Ndebele led organisation,"  said the chief.

"To this end the Zanu-PF administration has cultivated profound regional marginalisation of Matebeleland North and Matebeleland South. Under all criteria this region is now completely underdeveloped and its people do not have a voice."

The chief claimed the Zanu-PF government is trying to craft a narrative that incorporates the Battle of Pupu into the liberation war.

"That is not possible since the Zanu-PF administration rejects the Ndebele descendents of the warriors of the Battle of Pupu who joined ZAPU and ZPRA in the liberation war. This narrative is not truthful and does not have honour in it," he said."

Chief Ndiweni stated whenever the government does anything in the "Ndebele region of the country," it uses the phrases "Unity and Peace" to cover up its actions, despite it doing the reverse.

"How does a victim that is pinned to the ground with a size 12 military boot on their neck, suddenly have feelings of empathy ‘Unity and Peace' towards the oppressor who is wearing that size 12 military boot. To all rightful thinking people this narrative must be rejected without reservations," he said.

"The attempt to erect a new Battle of Pupu monument has nothing to do with preserving the Ndebele heritage but has everything to do with advancing the Zanu-PF narrative to beguile the Ndebele Nation into believing that Zanu-PF is doing something for them, when in fact it is doing nothing meaningful or significant for them. Are we expected to believe that suddenly, after 43 years in office Zanu-PF has come across and discovered The Battle of Pupu? We must accept this for what it is that is ‘Public Relations for Zanu-PF.'"

The chief urged all "rightful thinking people" to reject the narrative propagated by Zanu-PF.

Chief Ndiweni further noted that if the government was genuine about recognising previous Ndebele historical battles, it should have done so within the first five years of office between 1981 and 1985.

"However with regret, during these years of 1981 to 1987 the Zanu-PF administration was too busy committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Ndebele nation. From the various reports between 25 000 and 35 000 Ndebele people were slaughtered. An estimated 100 000 Ndebele women and girls were raped. An estimated over 350 000 Ndebele men women and children were injured and/or tortured. An estimated over 1 million Ndebeles displaced," Chief Ndiweni claimed.

"Zanu-PF perpetrated these atrocities. How then is it possible that now Zanu-PF would seek to celebrate Ndebele Battles. Highly improbable. It is like the current government of Israel celebrating Palestinian historical battles. Or like Vladimir Putine celebrating Ukrainian historical battles. That is just not possible or realistic. One would have to be very cynical indeed to believe that such a rationale is possible."

Chief Ndiweni argued it was hypocritical that the Zanu-PF government wanted to erect monuments in honour of the Ndebeles yet denied them opportunities when people placed plaques on mass graves.

"It is important to note that the Ndebele nation has tried four times to erect monuments near mass graves from the Ndebele Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. On each of those occasions the erected monuments were destroyed by the Zanu-PF administration. On occasion even with the use of explosives," he stated.

"Now the same Zanu-PF administration wishes the Ndebele Nation to celebrate a monument it has unilaterally chosen for the Ndebele Nation. We note that the VIP's for this event are all Zanu-PF. Yet the Region of Matebeleland as a whole voted out Zanu-PF from the Region in the last elections in August 2023. By this note this whole event smacks of imposition."

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