THE Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) has blasted Zanu PF politburo member and the party’s political head in Bulawayo, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, for accusing pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu of opening old wounds by organising a Gukurahundi prayer meeting.
The meeting did not take place after police advised those gathered to disperse saying intelligence gathered indicated that the gathering was a political protest.
Among those who were at the venue of the meeting was President Robert Mugabe’s arch-critic and former Roman Catholic archbishop for Bulawayo Pius Ncube.
Ncube went livid after the police’s move to block the meeting saying people did not need anyone’s permission to meet with God.
Anti-riot police were dispatched to ensure those gathered dispersed. Ndlovu criticised some Matabeleland-based activists of trying to gain political mileage by “opening wounds” inflicted on some people by Gukurahundi instead of concentrating on reviving industries in Bulawayo to create employment for the region’s high number of unemployed youths.
But MRP president Mqondisi Moyo said Ndlovu insulted the people of Matabeleland because the Gukurahundi issue was real to them and should not be overlooked.
“We are very much disturbed to hear a seasoned politician castigating people of Matabeleland who took their time to organise time to pray for the abandoned Gukurahundi victims,” he said.
“It’s an insult to the people of Matabeleland to say remembering Gukurahundi victims is trying to gain political mileage and opening up old wounds. Who told him the wounds had healed in the first place?”
Moyo said Gukurahundi remained a sensitive issue to many people in Matabeleland and it was contemptuous for someone like Ndlovu who knows the truth about the massacres to make careless remarks on the topic. An estimated 20 000 people are believed to have perished during the genocide between 1982 and 1987 when the government unleashed the North Korean-trained 5 Brigade in parts of Matabeleland and the Midlands.
“The government must allow the affected people to mourn their loved ones because it is not yet a closed chapter that we can’t just forget overnight. As long as Gukurahundi is not openly addressed, there will be no healing process and we will not allow the issue to be swept under the carpet,” Moyo said. “Ndlovu knows the plight of the people of Matabeleland, but he sings for his supper because he is a beneficiary of the continued oppressive system of this government.”
Moyo said Ndlovu was the least qualified person to talk about revival of Bulawayo industries because his Zanu PF party caused the closures through its poor policies.
“Characters like Ndlovu and his political party are the major contributors to the closure of industries in Bulawayo,” he said.
He must not say we must concentrate on reviving industries because his Zanu PF must instead take responsibility and resuscitate our industries.”