Gukurahundi memorial coincides with Nkala burial

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A BULAWAYO pressure group will today hold a Gukurahundi memorial service to coincide with the burial of founding Zanu member, Enos Nkala, whom observers hold responsible for the 1980s Matabeleland massacres.

REPORT BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Nkala — who was the Defence minister during the Gukurahundi massacres that reportedly left more than 20 000 civilians dead — died last week aged 81 at a private clinic in Harare.

Mbuso Fuzwayo, the co-ordinator of Ibhetshu LikaZulu, said a Gukurahundi memorial service at Stanley Square, Makokoba, to coincide with Nkala’s burial at the Heroes’ Acre, is a befitting send-off for many who accuse the late Defence Minister for a having a hand in the 1980s genocide.

“There are thousands of people who do not know where their parents are buried, thousands who have never known their parents and thousands who are failing to access birth certificates because of the Gukurahundi killings which happened when the late Nkala was a Defence minister,” he said.

“We feel sorry for Nkala’s family, but as Ibhetshu LikaZulu, we will be grieving with the thousands that are living with the Gukurahundi scars and families that lost their loved ones during the operation and to this day still accuse the late Nkala for being responsible.”

Nkala, in interviews, vehemently denied any involvement in the Gukurahundi pogrom, saying he expressed his opposition to the operation that left more than 20 000 civilians dead, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.

Fuzwayo’s Ibhetshu LikaZulu early this year lodged a court application demanding the release of the justices Enock Dumbutshena and Simplicious Chihambakwe commissions’ reports that contain findings of inquiries into the Matabeleland disturbances.

The Dumbutshena Report contained the findings of a commission of inquiry into the disturbances at Entumbane and other demobilisation camps following clashes in February 1981 between Zipra and Zanla guerrillas, while the Chihambakwe Report contained findings of a commission of inquiry into the Gukurahundi genocide.

The two committees reported to then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, but their findings were never made public.

Nkala’s critics remain adamant that the military crusade was intended to annihilate
Zapu.