ZIMBABWE – Tendai Biti’s PDP says national unity day celebrations remain meaningless for as long as Zanu PF’s Gukurahundi ideology remained alive and as long as President Robert Mugabe did not own up to the mass slaughter of an estimated 20,000 civilians in Matebeleland and Midlands provinces.
December 22 this year marks 28 years since President Mugabe and once bitter rival and Vice President, Joshua Nkomo (now late) signed the agreement which ended hostilities the wanton killings in the predominantly Ndebele western provinces.
But in a strongly worded statement on Monday, PDP secretary general Gorden Moyo chastised the veteran leader for keeping details of the Gukurahundi atrocities as a closely guarded secret.
Without official admission, full disclosure, and reparations, the annual ritual of commemorating the Unity Accord has become more and more meaningless to the generality of Zimbabweans and infuriating to the survivors of the Robert Mugabe inspired ideology of Gukurahundism, said the PDP.
The PDP said it never made sense for Mugabe’s regime to deploy a North Korean trained army unit to kill 20,000 civilians while reacting to the 1982 killing of six Western tourists. Mugabe’s government claims that the tourists were killed by dissidents but has never been able to prove the claim.
Unity Accord remains a questionable project, said the PDP.
Evidently, it is a very important date in the calendar of Zanu PF since it signifies its victory over PF Zapu as a nationalist opposition party and the appropriation of the most revered nationalist icon Joshua Nkomo.
Both PF Zapu and Joshua Nkomo represented a socio-political reality that did not derive its ontological density from Mugabe’s patronage or his patriotic historical narrative.
The PDP is adamant, despite pretentions to the contrary, the Zanu PF Gukurahundi ideology was still alive up to date and has often spewed calamities like the demolition of people’s houses.
The party feels Matebeleland provinces have suffered under the Mugabe rule for rejecting the ruling party in national elections.
PDP insists national unity remained a misnomer in a country which has failed to get answers on the whereabouts of one of its own, Itai Dzamara some 200 days since he was seized near his Harare home for demanding good governance.
The nation needs closure to this dark chapter of its history,” said the PDP.
“Silence on the Gukurahundi issue has encouraged the perpetrators to continue to violate human rights in Zimbabwe with impunity.
“The sooner we make peace with that episode of our history the better for our national stability, reconciliation, unity and democracy. PDP believes that for true unity to prevail in Zimbabwe there must be a truth process and reparations of victims of Gukurahundi ideology of 1980s and the victims of the 3rd Chimurenga policy of the 2000s.
To this date, the culprits in the 1980s mass killings have yet to be brought to justice. In 2010, Genocide Watch recognised the killings as genocide and named VP Emmerson Mnangagwa, defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Mugabe and Air Marshal Perence Shiri as the chief architects of the killings.