Presidium of denialists

WHAT do the three-member Zanu PF and government presidium have in common? They are all Gukurahundi genocide denialists.

President Robert Mugabe denies there are mass graves in Matabeleland, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa claims to have never heard of any Gukurahundi act except only from the media and his counterpart Phelekezela Mphoko is convinced Gukurahundi was a conspiracy constructed by the West to protect South Africa’s apartheid regime.

Emmerson Mnangagwa

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

However, the Gukurahundi atrocities left over 20 000 people in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands province dead and maimed, and a lot more orphaned, displaced and homeless.

Mugabe has further denied any form of political violence widely perpetrated by Zanu PF militias and war veterans that left hundreds others dead, maimed, displaced and truamatised in the run-up to every election since 2000.

Mugabe, Mnangagwa and Mphoko need to be reminded that the denial of a crime constitutes direct continuation of that very crime. Only recognition and condemnation can prevent the repetition of such crimes in the future.

Mugabe has been offered many good opportunities to come clean on all atrocities committed under his watch to free his spirit from the heavy burden that has probably kept him a virtual prisoner of his fears.

He has, however, elected to be recklessly irresponsible by tarnishing the masses and dehumanising them in systematic assaults that constitute some form of eliminationist violence.

Phelekezela Mphoko

Phelekezela Mphoko

By refusing to acknowledge and apologise for Gukurahundi and other forms of atrocities, violence and intimidation visited on Zimbabweans, Mugabe has prevented ordinary people from establishing mutually humane attitudes towards one another.

Strangely though, Mugabe assigned Mphoko the ministerial portfolio of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation. What healing, peace and reconciliation is Mphoko meant to spearhead as a denialist when it failed during the four-year tenure of the Government of National Unity?

For someone hoping to achieve healing, peace and reconciliation, particularly after the culling in Zanu PF that created a safe passage for his appointment, Mphoko has certainly made his assignment even more difficult.

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