MRP castigates Mujuru over Gukurahundi massacres

SECCESSIONIST Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) has dismissed as “cheap politicking” recent claims by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s People First (PF) project that it would compensate Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina victims.

BY NQOBILE BHEBHE

MRP said the PF had joined the bandwagon of other political formations that sought to gain traction from Matabeleland using Gukurahundi atrocities.

Early this month, Mujuru unveiled her party policy document, regarded by many as a political manifesto signalling her entry into opposition politics, pledging to advocate for national healing.

“There is going to be compassionate national and spiritual healing programmes throughout the country addressing trauma emanating from pre and post-independence conflicts in Zimbabwe,” Mujuru said.

However, MRP leader Mqondisi Moyo said Mujuru was not fit to talk of national healing, as she was part of the government that carried out the atrocities.

“We are deeply disturbed by Mujuru and her People First project manifesto, which speaks of a compassionate national healing. To us she is referring to Gukurahundi massacres. She is not the right candidate to talk of such issues. Why didn’t she raise the issue when she was in government holding influential posts since 1980?” Moyo said.

“Mujuru is simply using the atrocities to gain sympathy and portray herself as a concerned leader. She is simply politicking and we will resist that.”

Mujuru was last year booted out of both government and Zanu PF on allegations of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

 Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru

Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru

Moyo said the former Vice-President was following in the footsteps of MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, whom he said only spoke of the massacres when in the region “and quickly forgot about it when back in Harare”.

According to a report produced by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, an estimated 20 000 people, including children and pregnant women, were butchered by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade, who were ostensibly hunting armed dissidents.

Moyo also said his party was considering suing government in foreign lands for compensation over the Gukurahundi atrocities, after being encouraged by the recent auctioning of a government property in South Africa on Monday to pay white former commercial farmers.

“The ball has been set rolling especially considering that our people are not allowed to commemorate or mourn those killed during the atrocities. It is now three years running, with Ibhetshu LikaZulu, where we were barred from holding prayers in commemoration of those killed,” Moyo said.

“The matter has been to the High Court in Bulawayo, but no ruling has been made to allow the commemorations to go ahead. We are, however, encouraged by the South African move to launch an inventory of government properties outside Zimbabwe and sue for Gukurahundi compensation.”

Bulawayo-based pressure group Ibhetshu LikaZulu lodged a court application demanding the release of the (Enock Dumbutshena and (Simplicious) Chihambakwe Commission reports that contained findings of the Matabeleland disturbances during the 1980s, but nothing came out of the court challenge.

The two committees reported to the then Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe at the end of their deliberations, but the reports were never made public.

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