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Zapu hits back at VP Mphoko on Gukurahundi re-burials

by Bakidzanani Dube
08 Jul 2017 at 20:57hrs | Views
Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) has condemned Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko's handling of Gukurahundi victims' reburial process, describing it as a mockery to the people of Matebeleland.

This follows VP Mphoko's statements where during the 3 July 2017 launch of the reburial and registration process of Gukurahundi victims done by the Ministry of Healing and Reconciliation he said the government will just rebury the victims but not compensate the survivors because the process needed a lot of money. In an interview, ZAPU Provincial Secretary for Legal Affairs in Matebeleland South Nicholas Dube said ZANU-PF should respect the people of Matebeleland.

"If he says those people will not be compensated then it's like they are dogs and not people. If those were people then certainly they should be compensated. This government does not even want to be open about it, that's mockery. It should respect the people of Matebeleland," said Dube.

Dube also said ZANU-PF should dialogue with the victims of Gukurahundi and not force its ideas of reburials on them.

"Mphoko should come down to the people – the victims and survivors of Gukurahundi and humble himself down before and apologise to them and hear what they are saying. Most importantly the people should accept his apologies," Dube said.

Dube also emphasized that VP Mphoko should not be misled into thinking that his position in government will aid him to do his short-cuts in that process.

"Just because he holds a high position in ZANU-PF and thinks that he will therefore just bull-doze his way and tell the people that he will do ABC, no, we will not accept that. Healing is not by telling the people what to do; it's a process of dialogue, negotiation, admission of guilt and compromise, not instructions," Dube said.

The subject of Gukurahundi, a 1980's genocide where more than 20 000 ZAPU supporters in Matebeleland and Midlands Provinces, were massacred by the Fifth Brigade, a North Korean trained military unit belonging to ZANU-PF, has caused a lot of controversies and an impasse regarding how to move forward.

To date, President Robert Mugabe to whom the Fifth Brigade directly reported during the massacres has not openly apologized to the victims and survivors of Gukurahundi. He is on record calling it "a moment of madness".

VP Mphoko is also on record saying the disturbances that happened after independence were not because of President Mugabe's problem, it was a Western conspirsacy to destabilize the newly independent state of Zimbabwe.

Moving on, Dube said the move to assist the survivors of the genocide with identification documents cannot be carried out before identifying their late parents by names.

"Where the parent's name should be written what would be written there when the government does not want to identify the victims by names? He also should be more specific on what people should say when they get to the registry offices. He should not just say people will be reburied, this thing should be done step by step," he said.

Another senior party member in the province, Mbonisi Fuyana who is a member of ZAPU's National People's Council (NPC) said people needed counseling first.

"Shortcuts will not work, people need counseling. That can only be possible after the admission of guilt by ZANU-PF," said Fuyana.

Source - Bakidzanani Dube