BULAWAYO – ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa is maintaining his onslaught on the new government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa saying the new political dispensation was no different from the old order under Robert Mugabe.
The former Cabinet minister who was a guest at an event organised by pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu to mark Gukurahundi on Unity Day here said there was nothing new about the new government as it was just the same old “gang” that led the post-independence atrocities.
“We continue to suffer silently, we continue to live in fear and the same crocodiles that devoured our people are still in power, they recently changed faces and names, the system and the attitudes simply mutated yet remain the same,” Dabengwa told the gathering.
“We have continued to suffer in silence simply because those who butchered our people, maimed our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, raped our sisters and mothers destroyed our property are in charge of State power and they continue to frustrate every effort that we make to express the pain and grief that we are harbouring within ourselves,” he said.
The former chief of intelligence in the Zapu military wing said Gukurahundi was never put to an end by the signing of the Unity Accord.
“Gukurahundi did not only leave permanent scars nor did it end by the signing of the Unity Accord, it simply mutated from being direct violence into structural and systematic violence underpinned by grossly centralised system of governance that is grotesquely corrupt and self-serving, characterised by gross marginalisation of the same communities that were affected by Gukurahundi,” he said.
Dabengwa added: “Thousands of our people were never accounted for, they lie in mass graves scattered around the country and their families have lived in trauma for the past 35 years, seeking closure but being denied every opportunity for truth recovery and transitional justice.”
This, he said, was the reason why they have called the establishment of a National Peace and Reconciliation Commission in terms of the Constitution and for its operationalisation if “Zimbabwe is to move forward and we begin an inclusive nation building project.”
But above all, the former Home Affairs minister said he has never respected the Unity Accord, since it was meant to serve Mugabe’s interests.
“The Accord was in actual sense not a fair arrangement but a zero sum that benefited Mugabe in person and Zanu more than the people of Zimbabwe.
“It created the sad era our history that of a one party state whose agenda was to further the interests of Mugabe and Zanu at the expense of democracy and the people of Zimbabwe, contrary to what we had spent our lives in the bush fighting for,” he said.
“The Accord was not only a zero sum agreement but it was a culmination of the very reason why we don’t celebrate the day but mourn the loss of our loved ones who were mercilessly massacred by the Fifth Brigade, their crime being supporters of Zapu and of belonging to a certain tribe.”
This also comes at a time Dabengwa set August 2018 as a date for the reburials of Gukurahundi victims.
“…let’s agree that soon after the rain season around August to October we go and collect all the bones on the mass graves and give them a decent burial,” he said adding that they no longer needed any government approval.
“We already have pathologists on standby to help with identification. We have many of them who have been highly trained to do that and are willing to assist. We know by law we should ask for permission from government through the ministry of Home Affairs but that will not do, for they were given 30 years to do the right thing but they ignored. So this time around we are doing it our way. No one will block us,” Dabengwa declared. – Daily News