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Matobo Rural District Council accepts Gukurahundi monument request

by Byo24News
02 Mar 2011 at 08:16hrs | Views
A group representing victims of political violence has received permission to erect a monument to commemorate the deaths of thousands that were killed during the Gukurahundi massacres in the eighties.
Last month, the Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust (Zivovt), made an application to the Matobo Rural District Council (MRDC) for the monument. They said it is something that is badly needed, because the story needs to be told after the many years that ZANU PF has been fighting to silence the Gukuranhundi issue.
Zivovt wants the structure to be built at the former Bhalawge army camp in Matobo, which was used as a torture base during the era. Having now received the approval, the organisation will meet to discuss details. They have already said they want to approach local artists to work on the creation.
SW Radio Africa Bulawayo correspondent, Lionel Saungweme, says if the statue is set up it will be an unprecedented development and a thorn in the flesh of Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF.
"It will mean that the Gukurahundi victims will have a remembrance in the lifetime of a party that has actually caused the demise of those people," he said, "I think they will get resistance from ZANU PF and the resistance will be against both MRDC and Zivovt. This is because ZANU PF has failed to acknowledge or show remorse on the atrocities of the Gukurahundi victims,"
The monument will be a test for the government. Last year it outlawed a Gukurahundi art exhibition by Bulawayo artist Owen Maseko, saying it was prohibited because it was a 'tribal-biased event'.
The Gukurahundi massacres saw tens of thousands of innocent Zimbabweans killed by soldiers loyal to the Mugabe regime, in the mid eighties. Last year, the Gukurahundi massacres were officially classified as genocide by the internationally recognized group Genocide Watch. 

Source - Zimbabwea