MDC-T has called for the resignation of Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko describing his remarks on the Gukurahundi genocide as insensitive, in bad taste and grossly offensive to both victims and survivors.
Mphoko on Saturday told the State media that President Robert Mugabe had nothing to do with the post-independence disturbances, which saw about 20 000 people being killed in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands, saying this was a conspiracy of the West.
In a statement, the opposition party said Mphoko was completely unsuitable to hold any position of responsibility in any government anywhere in the civilised world.
“Mphoko should proceed to specifically proffer an unconditional apology to all the victims and survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide,” the MDC-T said.
“The apology should be extended to all the people of Zimbabwe.
“While we appreciate that he is singing for his supper and he is desperate to please his political master, he can’t be allowed to get away with such irresponsible and highly inappropriate and provocative remarks.”
MDC-T said the atrocities by the North Korean-trained 5 Brigade were worse than heinous genocide perpetrated by Islamic State, Boko Haram and al-Shabaab terrorist groups.
The party said all peace-loving and patriotic Zimbabweans have been offended and insulted by Mphoko’s insensitive and irresponsible remarks.
They went on to say the Gukurahundi genocide was a very sad chapter of Zimbabwe’s post-independence history and they expected senior political leaders in the mould of Mphoko to be extremely cautious whenever they found it necessary to comment on “this dark phase of the country’s history”.
“The fact of the matter is that the Zanu PF regime led by (President) Robert Mugabe planned and ruthlessly executed the Gukurahundi genocide with devastating and chilling brutality,” the MDC-T said.
“Indeed, Mugabe is on public record as having referred to Gukurahundi as ‘a moment of madness’.”
MDC-T said Gukurahundi could not be wished away, but should be holistically addressed to foster lasting peace and tranquillity in Zimbabwe.
The party said victims and survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide should be clearly identified and compensated.
“In fact, there is a compelling need for a wholesale counselling programme to be instituted for both survivors and known perpetrators of the heinous Gukurahundi genocide,” the party said.
“It is against this background that remarks by Phelekezela Mphoko should be seen as flying in the face of the national healing process
that he is, ironically, supposed to be heading.
“Mphoko is a complete and utter disgrace to all right-thinking, democratic and peace-loving Zimbabweans.”