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Dr. Ralph Mguni: my Mentor, my Teacher

02 May 2021 at 16:13hrs | Views
His proud self is still intact. He has never been different at any time and space. We should accept that the Nguni people are known for their high self-esteem are a proud people. In the interview he made last year with a Matabeleland Broadcasting Service, he displayed what we already know about him. I have known Dr. Ralph Mguni in London in 2008, desperate for a PGCE teaching-training attachment, he was Head of Science department at a college south east of London.

Without doubt, Ralph is a born teacher; he knows science chemistry: it is at his fingertips. Observing him teaching, what teacher-training demands from prospective students, I was able to gather my courage and take the challenge, demonstrate the mentorship from him had been successful. My teaching abilities are recognised and on demand internationally: thanks to my mentor and teacher: Dr. Ralph Mguni.

Dr. Ralph Mguni's interview in September 2020, touched on several issues I knew best. He was one of the Zapu members who resuscitated Zapu UK branch level. What he alluded to in the interview: how we organised ourselves to be a formidable brunch externally, thanks to many of us who put our energies together to make the brunch a success. The personalities in the brunch were young men; Thamsanqa Zhou, Bekezela Dube, Zwelibanzi Ncube, Maphosa, Fariranai Zhou, Panyika Karimanzira, Zenzo Ncube: those are the famous names I still remember. My omission of other members does not mean they are lesser by any stretch of imaginations.

Dr. Mguni's interview is noteworthy, he demonstrate his love for politics: it is rare to get such an honest interview. He articulated the Gukurahundi in the manner it was executed mincing no words about the genocidal art of what the Fifth Brigade wanted to achieve. Off-script, Ralph articulate the mental and physical element of Gukurahundi atrocities constituted acts of genocide.

Mugabe and his henchmen intended to destroy in whole an ethnic group of the people of Matabeleland: if one such act of crime was committed, it would have constituted genocide anywhere. The Fifth Brigade committed all 6 acts that constituted genocide in Matabeleland.

The term "dolus specialis" is a legal framing of genocide so that its definition stands out from other crimes against humanity. The legal definition of the term genocide and that of crimes against humanity should never be interchanged because the acts of crimes are explicitly different from each other are tried differently.

However, never to mean that one is worse or serious than the other. Genocide atrocities must be identified separately for legal reasons, today and in the future.
The people of Matabeleland and Midlands were denied the right to exist as individual beings hence the Fifth Brigade went on a killing frenzy: anyone who spoke Ndebele language was a target and systematically eliminated in worst brutal means by the army. This selective killings was done to a group of people in this case the people of Matabeleland.

This criminal act ticked the box of what genocide constitute. According to Dr. Mguni, the Fifth Brigade deliberately inflicted physical and mental destruction to a group it targeted. These intents were an accumulation of events that predate independence: The Morogoro, Mgagau clashes were breeding what was to happen after independence.

It is established that a grand plan was hatched in 1979 (dolus specialis) by a group of Zanu criminal leaders to decimate Ndebele people as a reciprocation of atrocities meted to the Mashona peoples in 1835 onwards. The Ndebele people were not randomly targeted but carefully executed and was their intention to annihilate the entire nation of Matabeleland and the Zapu cardmembers of Mashonaland.

Dr. Ralph Mguni's interview was unique in many ways: it is one that explicitly made clear that the perpetrators of genocide will face justice in living or dead. Names of perpetrators will be tried and prosecuted in their graves. This has been exemplified in several global countries whereby genocide that was perpetrated 106 years ago, were followed by history, and were found guilty of mass murders of genocide nature and tried in death and in life. Their names will linger in the history books forever.

Armenian genocide
The Armenian Genocide was the systematic mass murder and ethnic cleansing of about one million ethnic Armenians from Anatolia and adjoining region of Ottoman empire during the WWI. Only this year: 24.04 2021 did the USA President Joe Biden became the first US President to officially recognize the massacres of Armenia under the Ottoman Empire as a genocide. The Armenian genocide took place 106 years ago.

Cambodian genocide
Another genocide took place in Cambodia under Pol Pot. It is estimated that 1,5 to 2 million were systematically persecuted and brutally killed. Criminals Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge were supported by the Chinese community Party that gave their regime almost 90% of foreign aid. Just like in Zimbabwe, Khmer Rouge wanted to turn the country into socialist economy. This nation was a monarch whose citizens were forced to go and work in labour camps. Mass executions started when the people resisted to leave the cities and work in labour camps.

The Cambodian regime under Pol Pot targeted ethnic Vietnamese, ethnic Thai, ethnic Chinese, ethnic Cham, Cambodian Christians, and other minorities that were banned by decree by Khmer Rouge.

This brutal regime lasted from 1975 to 1979: a regime that executed, starved its people to death. The four years that the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia, it was responsible for one of the worst mass killings of the 20th Century. The regime was defeated by th Vietnamese troops in 1989; they invaded Cambodia and forced the Khmer Rouge to retreat in mountain areas where they began a guerrilla warfare.  

Press fast forward: the UN established a tribunal to try the surviving leaders of genocide in Cambodia. Only three were remaining in 2009. In 2012 Kiang Guek Eay also known as the notorious Duch was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012. This was followed by the sentencing of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan in 2018 whose crimes were more on crimes against humanity than genocide itself.

These Cambodian prosecutions exemplify the fact that such crimes of genocide nature do not die a natural death as Mnangagwa would like us to believe. The crimes of genocide nature meted by Mnangagwa and all of them, dead or alive, sooner or later they will face justice. This is what Dr. Mguni categorically made it clear in the interview.  Magonya was telling us to forgive Ralph Mguni agrees that forgiveness is a good thing. But justice will be followed; he said. Forgiveness should never be seen or misconstrued as blanket amnesty to criminals of genocide: we still want that justice. We awe it to the dead to seek justice on their behalf.

Dr. Mguni's interview shadowed that of Mqondobanzi Magonya on many points. Magonya's interview was apologetic and unsure about what to say. I believe he was fearful of Zanu regime. His display of English language was pushed to be of importance than the subject matter. One example is when Magonya tried to impress forgiveness to a people who have genocide wounds and lifelong experiences of silent genocide still taking place in the regions of Matabeleland. On the other hand, Ralph Mguni was eloquently clear about what should happen to the perpetrators of genocide. He had contacted the ICJ The Haig about the matter showing seriousness about previous crimes committed in this region od Matabeleland.

Magonya was talking about an alliance with Zanu, the party Zapu could be a game changer in the scheme of things, come elections in 2023; he said. Honestly, I should be excused if I said Magonya and Justice Nare could be working against the wishes of Matabeleland region. I am not sure who they are representing, judging from their actions and utterances. How has Zanu become a party to be reconciled with and see in it some alliance?

Zapu must be careful who they want as a leader. In desperation it will just pick people who have their own agenda and not that of the people of this region. While Magonya's interview had hallmarks of street-smart speech: Ralph's interview was intellectually pitched, eloquently factual, rightfully so. Ralph Mguni is not aspiring to be the leader of Zapu but is a member of the council of elders. There was no match of Magonya's interview and that of Mguni: Sorry.

Matabeleland should do away with politics and start concentrating on development of the region. To b said you are the president of a party is not bankable at all. We need a board of directory who will meet the people and strategize development committees. This will be my contribution point in this region. Mr. Magonya dialogue is necessary to get the devolution done.

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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