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Activists blast govt’s reluctance to deal with Gukurahundi

...As VP Chiwenga attends Rwandan genocide 25th anniversary commemorations

It is hypocrisy for the Zanu PF led government to go and commemorate the Rwandan genocide while at home they refuse to acknowledge the Gukurahundi atrocities, human rights activists have said.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday travelled to Rwanda for commemorations to mark the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda.

In 1994, over 800 000 minority Tutsis were slaughtered by the Hutus in 100 days.

In an interview with CITE, Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said the perpetrators of Gukurahundi should learn something from the Rwandan government.

“It is a shame for the perpetrators of the genocide, to go and commemorate the Rwandan genocide without acknowledging what happened home 36 years back, hope they learnt something from the government of Rwanda.

“We hope they will learn to accept their wrong doings, take responsibility, decriminalise Gukurahundi and take a lead like the Rwandan government, create memorial sites and declare the 22 December as a day of mourning, marking the end of genocide,” said Fuzwayo.

He said the past should not be destroyed, Bhalagwe is a memorial site, not to make it a heroes acre.

Bhalagwe was used as a torture base by the Fifth Brigade during Gukurahundi and scores of villagers were allegedly murdered there.

Gukurahundi researcher Dumisani Mpofu said the move was hypocrisy at worst however it would give the victims to hold the perpetrators to account.

“The move gives the victims an opportunity to hold them (perpetrators) to account. It’s also an indication that there is a change in policy from government as they are beginning to associate with those who say never again must such things be allowed to happen,” said Mpofu.

“What is interesting is that it is Chiwenga who went there and l wonder what he is thinking when the Rwandese narrate similar stories of what he did in Matabeleland.

“l hope he will come back a changed man and influence his government bureaucracy to also change. Matabeleland and the whole nation need to heal and thus can only happen if government take a leading role,” said Mpofu.

Vice President Chiwenga is accused of having a hand in the Gukurahundi atrocities as he was in charge of One Brigade in Bulawayo.

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