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Zapu applauds ULoyiko Play on Zimbabwean Gukurahundi Genocide

by BMV
03 Jul 2016 at 05:18hrs | Views
 Zapu would like to make it categorically clear that it is fully behind the Uloyiko play based on the genocide perpetrated in Zimbabwe in the early to late eighties by the Mugabe regime. It has taken the creative genius, vision and bravery of the directors and actors of the Siphesakhe Youth Organisation, a performing theatre arts company, to expose the evils of Robert Mugabe and his henchmen.. This is why the party sent its Chief Executive in the form of party president, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa. Dabengwa was not just passing by Hilbrow Theatre, venue of the launch of this inaugural play on 25 June 2016. He was there by special invitation to witness the launch of this tragic tale unfold in a play.  DD was there on behalf of the many people from back there in Zimbabwe who could not be there to witness this revelation of what Robert Mugabe has been trying to bury for decades. Chawakadja chamuka! Other regional leaders present included the respected Chief Gumede, Dr Churchill Guduza of MLF, veteran politician Moses Mzila Ndlovu and Mnu Mqondisi Moyo of the uncompromising MRP.

It is obvious why Zapu as a party is willing to lend any moral and material support needed to ensure that Uloyiko receives maximum publicity. Zapu was almost destroyed by the genocide perpetrators. Zapu supporters were clearly targeted as Mugabe pushed for an autocratic one party state. The people of Matabeleland faced the major brunt of the massacres and torture whether or not they were politically connected to Zapu. They were deemed guilty by association by reason of their ethnic origin. Those in the Midlands and other areas were identified by the SiNdebele language they spoke while a handful of ChiShona speaking Zapu members suffered similarly for supporting a political party with a Matebele at its helm. It is in Zapu's interests that that the Gukurahundi Genocide is brought to the fore and repeated ad infinitum just like the Rwandan genocide and the Jewish holocaust. The main difference from the above-mentioned tragic periods in human history is that the perpetrators have been and, continue to be, brought to book for their callous acts. Supporting any legitimate means of highlighting the Gukurahundi Genocide is the official party position. That is why, we in Zapu, support this long-awaited play.

The affected people of this region deserve to be treated with sensitivity and respect. They lost family members, friends and neighbours. The remains of the deceased lie in shallow unmarked graves. Some are in mass graves in named deserted mines like at Bhalagwe. Some were torched alive and burnt to ashes. The least they deserve is decent reburials and commemoration shrines at no cost to the Harare government. The people are prepared to foot the costs literally from their pockets in spite of the crippling economic conditions prevailing in the region. People here want to have a nominated day when they can observe a minute of silence to honour their departed. Just sixty seconds to remember our true fallen heroes and heroines who faced their to-be executioners, with some who were brave enough to  look  their attackers straight  in the eye and said ‘Bulalani uma libulala'. Unarmed but maintaining their dignity while obviously experiencing the profound fear of realising that they would not live to see another day. Most of them died this way while others survived, stoical and resilient.  Zapu stood by them then and eventually signed the now much hated 1987 Unity Accord in order to halt the hostilities.  Zapu stands with the people on this. That is what Uloyiko is showcasing in solidarity with the people of Matabeleland.  

In case some people are wondering why Uloyiko and why by a South African performing arts group, here are two reasons why. The first one is about the fear that grips the people of Matabeleland such that they cannot speak out against this heinous atrocity. The draconian laws of Zimbabwe can land one in jail for raising this taboo issue. People talk in whispers and look around before mentioning Gukurahundi, genocide or Mugabe. Such is the gripping and crippling fear experienced by those who survived this sad period in the history of our people.  Uloyiko, which means fear in Xhosa, is a play with a mission to remove the fear to speak out. This play is also symbolic in that it signals the current generation of the young mind which refuses to be cowed down by the fear that enslaves the older generation. The young do not have much fear partly because they were not there in those dark years and partly due to the desperate times we now live in. Secondly the South African stage is safe from the prying eyes of the dreaded CIO of Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe this play would not have seen the light of day. Even at this distance, the hyenas tried to stop it by offering monetary bribes to the group but Siphesakhe Youth Organisation said hatshi to blood money.  This group of daring youngsters is motivated by a sense of responsibility and a desire to see justice bestowed upon the nation of Mthwakazi. They are challenging conventional South African institutions to wake up to the fact that their government is in bed with the Harare regime whose leadership has hands still dripping of the blood of the  innocent people of Matabeleland and Midlands.

Siphesakhe are also showing their humility and gratitude to the people of Mthwakazi and Zapu in general for the support they gave the ANC and Umkhonto Wesizwe during the apartheid era. They are not content with the silent diplomacy adopted  by the ANC government over its dealings with Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Let the truth be told. Zipra forces and Umkonto Wesizwe fought side by side from the Sipolilo Battles to the South African hinterland. After Independence in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe and Zanu-pf attempted to hound Umkonto Wesizwe out of Zimbabwe. Ask former South African president Thabo Mbeki who tasted incarceration ordered by non-other than Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Let the truth be told. Mugabe was not against the ANC and South Africa achieving  independence per se. Mugabe was worried about the strong alliance between Zapu and ANC. The scheming dictator was worried about a future coup that could have been organised by disgruntled Zipra forces and Zapu leadership with a likely backing from a future ANC government. That is why he tried to completely destroy Zapu by violence and by assimilating them via the unity accord of 1987. One would be forgiven for assuming that the ANC and Umkhonto Wesizwe  betrayed Zapu and its supporters during the Genocide years and subsequent years that followed the on-going implementation of the Grand Plan of 1979 to politically and culturally annihilate the people of Matebeleland and Midlands. This is not the case since there is no evidence that Zapu ever approached its South African neighbours for help during those terrible years.  Perhaps Zapu should have enlisted Umkhonto Wesizwe's assistance. Yet the gesture of staging Uloyiko may turn out to be the best thing the South Africans ever did for our people apart from begrudgingly accepting them as pseudo citizens of their country.

Zapu should take the launch of this play seriously. Zapu should assist Siphesakhe Youth Organisation in every way possible.   This play has the potential of being developed into a Sarafina-like movie which could attract a wider audience. The Gukurahundists must be exposed. Zapu, as the primary target of Mugabe-orchestrated genocide should take this case further and bring this case to the attention of the African And international judiciary bodies. Zapu cannot expect others to push through the courts on their behalf.

In the meantime let uloyiko expose the Gukurandi genocide. The Gukurahundists must, and, will fall in our life time. Amandla!

Source - Zapu InfoDesk