Is Robert Mugabe planning Gukurahundi-style extermination of Karanga people

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who now leads the opposition National People’s Party (NPP), has warned that President Robert Mugabe could unleash genocide on the Karanga population for opposing his grand plan of a dynasty.

The NPP leader, who served as Mugabe’s deputy for a decade, said his erstwhile ally-cum-foe’s recent utterances at a presidential youth interface rally in Bindura that the provinces of Midlands and Masvingo were scuttling his plan were dangerous.

Mugabe’s Zanu PF is now deeply-divided along two factions, the Team Lacoste that is behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is popular in Masvingo and Midlands provinces, and the Generation 40 (G40) that is opposed to the vice president’s alleged presidential aspirations and is coalescing around First Lady Grace Mugabe.

“NPP is not shocked by Mugabe’s utterances in Bindura labelling Masvingo and Midlands people as factionalists. The people of Zimbabwe know that Mugabe is a dangerous tribalist.

“When Mugabe makes such tribal utterances, Zimbabweans must not take him lightly as history has taught us that he can kill as he did during Gukurahundi,” said Mujuru, speaking through her spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro.

The so-called Gukurahundi massacres, carried out by a crack military unit trained by North Korean military advisers, resulted in the killings of 20 000 people, according to an estimate by the rights group Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe.

Most of those killed were Ndebele.

In Bindura, Mugabe told his supporters that he is worried about the conduct of Masvingo and Midlands provinces, which are reportedly the power-base of his deputy Mnangagwa.

“If Mugabe has a score to settle with his vice president (Mnangagwa), he could have done it in a closed meeting but taking it to a public rally was all to show the seriousness that he is after the Karangas; in both Midlands and Masvingo.

“Before the Gukurahundi genocide, Mugabe made similar statements at rallies, although he could have discussed the issue of the unrest in Matabeleland and Midlands with the late Joshua Nkomo in a Cabinet meeting,” Mujuru’s spokesperson said.

During the Bindura rally, Grace also warned ominously that Mnangagwa could go the Mujuru way.

And Mujuru said Mugabe is now going for the VP using the same modus operandi he used to purge her.

“It is known that when a leopard wants to eat its young ones, it claims that they smell like goats. Mugabe has found an issue to deal with Karangas. When Mugabe had all the support from Masvingo and Midlands, he used to proudly declare that ‘Masvingo was a one-party province.’ What has gone wrong?

“Tribalism, regionalism or racism was never an issue ever debated during the early stages of the liberation struggle but was only a debatable agenda issue when Mugabe arrived in Mozambique. Rugare Gumbo, Dzinashe Machingura and many other Karangas were incarcerated for nothing but being Karangas.

“Mugabe forgot to mention that the liberation struggle was delayed by James Chikerema and Nathan Shamhuyarira who broke away from the main revolutionary party to form their Super Zanu called Frolizi (Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe).

“Can Mugabe mention any member from Masvingo or Midlands who were members of this Frolizi splinter group?

“Why then does he want to say every factional fight starts from Masvingo? This is only Mugabe’s divisionist Jezebel spirit — a divide and rule policy,” Mujuru’s spokesperson added.

Mujuru said during Zanu’s first congress in 1964 that was held in Gweru, “Mugabe was not elected secretary-general but was only awarded the post after he raised the tribal balance card.

“Mugabe was unknown, untrusted and unpredictable to the point that he lost all posts he contested until his cunning tribalism card saved him to land the post of secretary-general.” – Daily News