VICE-President Phelekezela Mphoko continues to hog the limelight for the wrong reasons since his recent appointment as the third most powerful politician in the republic.
A few weeks ago he angered vendors after accusing them for being lazy, dabbling in hawking activities instead of seeking formal employment.
He appears to fancy steering controversy every time he opens his mouth. On Sunday he claimed that the early 1980s political disturbances in Matabeleland and some parts of the Midlands were a conspiracy by the West to destabilise Zimbabwe after gaining independence from colonial Britain in 1980.
“Gukurahundi (genocide) after the war had nothing to do with Mugabe – nothing! That is a fact that it was a Western conspiracy,” Mphoko said.
But with due respect to VP Mphoko, victims of the Gukurahundi atrocities in the two provinces are not amused and view his utterances given prominence in the State media as sheer hogwash designed to curry favour with President Robert Mugabe who plucked him from political obscurity to the presidium.
We have said it before and we say it again: The issue of Gukurahundi is a painful one for some of the people whose mothers and fathers were victims of the ill-advised moment of madness.
A reader narrated to this newspaper yesterday how for three years his dad hid in the mountains. The reader advised the VP to get real and shut up, saying the VP did not know what he was talking about.
Even today people are living in pain and yet we have a full VP trying to mislead the citizenry on this very sad, embarrassing and painful history of this nation. No amount of wishful thinking will ever wipe it clean.
Bodies down mine shafts in Bhalagwe and Antelope in Matabeleland South and stories from the people of Matabeleland are all made up? We think not.
More than 20 000 innocent citizens were reportedly killed during this period the VP wants the nation to air-brush.
If the VP was not a businessman of repute we would say he is probably singing too much for his supper. But to say Mugabe had nothing to do with it when he has himself said it was a moment of (his) madness is being economic with the truth.
Was it not Mugabe himself who said on the eve of unleashing Gukurahundi that to deal with a snake in the house you need to cut off its head? The VP is trying too hard to be politically relevant.