THE Welshman Ncube-led opposition MDC says government’s decision to declare December 22 a public holiday in commemoration of the Unity Accord serves as an admission that it was responsible for the Gukurahundi massacres, which claimed over 20 000 lives in rural Matabeleland and Midlands regions in the 1980s.
by SILAS NKALA
The Unity Accord sealed on December 22 1987 marked the end of hostilities between PF Zapu led by the late Joshua Nkomo and President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu.
MDC Matabeleland South chairperson Pilate Ndebele told Southern Eye yesterday that the date evoked sad memories of the atrocities carried out by the army unit, Fifth Brigade, under Mugabe’s orders.
“People in Matabeleland must at least thank President Mugabe for declaring this day a holiday,” he said.
“This shows that he accepted that people were killed in Matabeleland. This accord would not have been signed if Mugabe and Nkomo did not recognise that people were killed. They could not have signed it if there was no loss of life.”
Ndebele also concurred with First Lady Grace Mugabe’s recent remarks while addressing people in Maphisa, that Matabeleland South has become a begging province, where donors took advantage of the situation to preach the regime change agenda.
“I agree with the First Lady that Matabeleland South has become a begging province and this did not start today, but since independence the province has been marginalised,” Ndebele said.
“The situation was further worsened by Gukurahundi.”
Ndebele said if the government failed to feed starving people, then it must not blame them for getting food from donors who were ready to assist them.
Grace, who is also the Zanu PF Secretary for Women Affairs, recently slammed non-governmental organisations (NGOs), for giving people food.
She claimed that NGOs supported the opposition.