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Mthwakazi group to 'block' Mugabe bash over Gukurahundi crimes

by The Citizen Bulletin
28 Jan 2017 at 10:28hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE'S long time ruler Robert Mugabe faces fresh trouble over his alleged Gukurahundi crimes which he committed between 1983 and 1987.

 His Zanu PF party has announced that it will hold the nonagenarian's annual birthday bash in Matabeleland South's Matobo district where most innocent civilians perceived to be the late Joshua Nkomo, then leader of the ZAPU party, supporters were butchered in cold blood by Mugabe's Korean trained army.

 A pressure-group-turned-political-party - Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) - has vowed to stop Mugabe's lavish party arguing that the fete would be "a celebration of the 1980 genocide which claimed an estimated 20 000 people in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.

The killings are popularly known as Gukurahundi - an incident which soon-to-be 93 year-old Mugabe has described as "a moment of madness."

"We cannot allow Zanu PF to throw a birthday party near the Bhalagwe Gukurahundi mass graves. To us this is a celebration of the atrocities," MRP said during a presser to announce its intent to contest Zimbabwe's 2018 elections in Bulawayo mid week.

Bhalagwe is a disused section of the Antelope Mine where the Fifth Brigade - believed to have been sent by Mugabe tortured and mercilessly buried people alive in the shallow grave. The mine has never been opened since then and bones of the deceased have not been properly buried to date.

Relatives of the Gukurahundi victims believe that reburying their relatives properly constitute a step towards justice. However, the Zimbabwe government led by Mugabe has since time immemorial made sure that the matter remains a "closed case" and at worst taboo to discuss publicly.

Asked what he thought about the decision by Zanu PF party to hold the celebrations in Matobo, former ZIPRA intelligence supremo and current ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa said "the matter was not for politicians".

 "It is (you) civil society who must decide what to do about the issue. It's not for us politicians to take a move," Dabengwa said during a civic dialogue meeting organised by the Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo on Wednesday this week.

 "The Maleme community did it and the civil society there in Matopo took a stand and said no this cannot happen here; so I am sure you can still do something about this," he added.

 Ironically, ZANU PF continues with the preparations for the bash scheduled for next month undeterred.

In a statement gleaned by The Citizen Bulletin, Matobo villagers said they have no power to stop Mugabe but they do not want him to set his foot in the area whose dwellers are still apparently grieving Gukurahundi atrocities.

"We have no powers to stop His Excellency from celebrating his birthday where ever he wants to, if we had, we would not want him to dare step his foot in Matobo but history will record that we are against it and that we warned," a statement issued by the villagers through Matobo Community Development Trust read in part.

"We appeal to the broader Civil Society, opposition parties, media and everyone who is sane and cares to stand in solidarity with us during this painful time of celebrating Mugabe's birthday.

"We may be arrested, tortured and even disappear; we live in fear but our spirits are unwavering. We are being threatened and forced to attend by the regime against our will," further read the statement.