THE opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has ruled out using the emotive Gukurahundi massacres as an election trump card ahead of the 2018 elections, arguing it would be inhuman for any political party to benchmark its manifesto on such a sensitive human rights matter.
BY Stephen Chadenga
PDP secretary-general Gorden Moyo made the remarks while addressing the party’s women assembly meeting in Gweru on Wednesday.
“Gukurahundi is not an election issue, it’s not a manifesto issue, it is a human rights issue. This issue can’t be our electoral strategy, we don’t want to gain mileage from the blood and pain of people. As a party we are bigger than that,” he said.
Moyo said his party would push for victims of Murambatsvina and the 2008 political violence to be compensated.
He also savaged Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko for saying that Gukurahundi massacres were a conspiracy by the West, adding that he was unfit to head the National Healing and Reconciliation portfolio.
“That man (Mphoko) is a sycophant and his first statement about Gukurahundi when he assumed office was to say that it was a production of the West.
“Gukurahundi has nothing to do with Western countries, people were killed by Zanu PF, President Robert Mugabe, his thugs and associates. For Mphoko to go around denying there was no Gukurahundi only shows that he is an accomplice in the whole issue,” Moyo said.
In 2014, Mphoko torched a storm when he claimed that Gukurahundi was a conspiracy of the West.
According to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, over 20 000 people mostly from Midlands and Matabeleland regions were killed by an army unit unleashed by Mugabe’s government in the 1980s under the guise of pursuing ex-Zipra dissidents.
The massacres attracted worldwide condemnation. Mugabe described Gukurahundi as a “moment of madness”, but has never publicly apologised for the atrocities.