HomeEditorial CommentGukurahundi worse than mall killings

Gukurahundi worse than mall killings


THE whole peace-loving world is united in offering condolences to the relatives and friends of all those who lost their lives during the Westgate mall raid in Nairobi, Kenya, by the al-Shabab, a Somali affiliate of the al-Qaeda.

– Masola wa Dabudabu

We wish a speedy recovery to those who sustained injuries. May the mending of sore hearts and the curing of troubled minds begin.

During a parliamentary debate recently, Gorden Moyo (MDC-T) likened the said nefarious al-Shabab raid to the Gukurahundi expedition in Matabeleland and the Midlands. Gukurahundi merchants waged a war of attrition against unarmed people just because they opposed Zanu PF politically.

The difference between the operations of the two is that in the Westgate mall the al-Shabab terrorists were surrounded by a huge armed reaction force while the Gukurahundi had no armed challenges.

For those who experienced the torment of Gukurahundi, the Westgate mall would be a fraction of one of the several Gukurahundi raids in remote villages in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands provinces.

There were many incidents that made the Westgate mall killings appear like a picnic.

Zimbabwe’s Gukurahundigate scandal was matched with a death toll that could only be compared to the death levels in some Nazi concentration camps.

Unlike the Nairobi Westgate mall incident, the sadistic and brutal actions of the Gukurahundi were not captured on camera. There was no Twitter or Facebook for poor village souls to update the outside world on their collective ordeal.

The value of people’s lives in the affected areas was reduced to that of cockroaches. They could bludgeon them with heavy logs (imigoqo yesibaya) at will.

There is no similarity in terms of brutality dished by al-Shabab on their raid on Westgate mall and the Gukurahundi operations. In Westgate mall, al-Shabab operatives gave some people an opportunity to escape from the inferno.

In the case of the Gukurahundi, the perception was that everyone they encountered in Matabeleland or the Midlands was an enemy.

Old men and women were eliminated and boys and girls were dethroned of their innocence before they were killed.

Even unborn babies were considered enemies of the Zanu PF State and had to be removed from their mothers’ wombs by way of cruel bayonet surgery.

Gukurahundi was State-sponsored terrorism at its worst.

A State that sponsors terrorists against its own people is most unwholesome and undeserving to be referred to as a State.

Surely the only closest comparison Gukurahundi deserves is the Selous Scouts and the Nazi Waffen-Schutzstaffel.

Gukurahundi was planned by the Zanu PF government with intensions to install the party as the sole supreme political party in Zimbabwe.

Probably on the day President Robert Mugabe addressed the passout parade for the Gukurahundi men, he already had a big operational plan for them. No wonder the men were hurriedly unleashed to cause mayhem.

There is no other way to describe the ruthlessness of the Gukurahundi without being boringly repetitive.

Civilians were just shot, killed and buried in insultingly shallow graves.

Even to this day, their whereabouts remain unknown, whereas al-Shabab would like to publicise their operational undertakings, the Gukurahundi successes and failures were held in secret.

It was only when a lot had been said about their ruthless operations that Mugabe took to his devious nature and profusely professed ignorance on the nature of the operations.

At the end, Mugabe managed to describe the operations as having been inspired by “a moment of madness”.

On his part, Mugabe has sought to absolve himself from any blame.

He has taken to hoping that by now most people who experienced firsthand ill-treatment by the Gukurahundi would either all be dead or too old to remember exactly what happened.

He thinks that time has healed the wounds!

Surely Mugabe was given regular updates by his commanders in operational areas.

It is disheartening to note, however, that Mugabe has assumed a cavalier approach on the Gukurahundi issue since day one. He has displayed and continues to display a level of arrogance and “ignorance” on this grave issue.

This leaves the people with so many questions.

Maybe he is not the real power in Zimbabwe. There could be some person or group of persons that are pulling the strings.

Sadly the cruel facts about Gukurahundi are indelible.

The truth about Gukurahundi massacres point an accusing finger at Mugabe’s wicked ambition.

He had a declared rivalry. He feared Joshua Nkomo. He had to do everything humanly possible to cripple Nkomo’s support base. He had to resort to barbarism and callousness.

Maybe Moyo was right to compare the Westgate mall raid by al-Shabab to the Gukurahundi killings after all. The two events seem to share one thing in common; the death of innocent people.

Gukurahundi, al-Shabab, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and Joseph Kony’s organisation all constitute an unparalleled axis of evil.

The international community is busy attempting to flush out most of the organisations except for Gukurahundi. The evil men sleep soundly while the bruised people nurse sad memories.

 Masola wa Dabudabu is a social commentator

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