Gukurahundi: Group approaches court

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BULAWAYO-BASED civic organisation Ibhetshu Likazulu has approached the courts to compel the police to allow the group to hold a commemoration for victims of the Gukurahundi genocide.

Richard Muponde
Senior Reporter

Police on Saturday barred the holding of the commemorations by the group, which were scheduled to be held at Stanley Hall, Makokoba, arguing that the event might cause public disorder.

The event was supposed to be held from 9am, but police details were deployed to the venue as early as 7am to seal it off and prevent people from getting in.

However, the group’s secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo yesterday said they were unfazed by the police ban and were determined to hold the commemorations with the court’s permission.

“We are preparing the papers to seek an interdict against the police so that they stop interfering with our programme,” he said.

“I will be checking with our lawyers to see how far they have gone with the court papers. If everything goes according to plan, we will file the papers before weekend.”

Police have routinely barred any commemoration of the 1980s genocide in which an estimated 20 000 people are reported to have been killed in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

Fuzwayo said they were determined to hold the commemorations despite being blocked by the police.

The event, which has been foiled for the third time, is meant to take place annually.

Last year, former Roman Catholic Church’s Bulawayo arch-diocese bishop Pius Ncube challenged the police who blocked the January memorial service for failing to respect freedom of expression.

“The commemorations are held every year on January 20 as we believe Gukurahundi started around that time of the year,” Fuzwayo said.

“This year’s event will be running under the theme ‘29 years of Gukurahundi National Discourse’.”

President Robert Mugabe’s successive governments have ignored demands for compensation of Gukuruhandi victims and the reburial of those whose remains were dumped at mass graves across the provinces.

Mugabe has described the massacres as a moment of madness, while a columnist in The Herald, believed to be the president’s spokesperson, George Charamba, has contemptuously referred to the killings as a myth.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t really know what is wrong with dictators they never learn from one another. They all do the same knowing exactly what the results will be.You can never suppress the expression of humans to a success especially when they are wright. The wrong will always lose. Look at the Nazi – there has been a commemoration and they will always be. Don’t fool yourselves you dictators. If that commemoration reminds you of how murderous and how much of a criminal you are – the medicine is admitting it publicly and seeking help and don’t let it take you to the grave because when things change you may find that you are too late and you will then live to regret it. Block them, arrest them but they will end up winning the just cause. Go hang yourself for we won’t quit.

  2. I entirely agree with the sentiments that clement moyo expresses in his comment. All RG’s dictatorial friends with a few exceptions have met humiliating ends to their tyranny. Notably, Saddam Hussein was hanged like the common criminal that he was after being pulled out of a sewer where he was hiding. Libya’s Qaddafi was shot like a dog in the street after being dragged from a drainage tunnel. To say that this can never happen in Zimbabwe is being naive. The turn of events are not in the control of leaders no matter what measures they take to preserve their rule or business interests. The people pf Matebeleland are a resilient people and their silence should not be interpreted as weakness. The leadership will never be able to delete the genocide of the 1980s from the minds of all Zimbabweans.

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