Human rights activists in Matabeleland have challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga to openly address the Gukurahundi issue after they publicly claimed to have roots in the region.
During a visit to Bulawayo last week, Chiwenga claimed his great grandfather’s sister was a chief in Nkayi and married to Mzilikazi as one of his many wives.
Chiwenga also claimed that Mnangagwa’s grandfather, Mubengu was kept at the Mzilikazi royal kraal until he was conscripted into the Mbizo regiment.
But political commentator and human rights activist Effie Ncube said the victims of Gukurahundi are not interested in “disjointed self-serving historical narratives.” He said:
Instead, what matters to millions is truth and justice on the Gukurahundi genocide in which they were leading actors.
Therefore, now that both Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are speaking about their history in Matabeleland, let them focus on the most important and recent history, primarily the roles each of them played in the Gukurahundi genocide.
It is this truth and not the hazy precolonial history of their forefathers that people are interested in.
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) president Mqondisi Moyo said Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are insincere and should desist from playing with people’s emotions. Said Moyo:
Why would both Chiwenga and Mnangagwa as the nephews of Mthwakazi facilitate the killing of their uncles? Both of them are shedding crocodile tears on our people.
We are glad that MRP is giving them sleepless nights, no wonder why up to this day they are failing to sincerely own up to Gukurahundi.
We are expecting them to be fixing the ailing economy instead of playing with our emotions.
Both Mnangagwa and Chiwenga have been accused of having played a leading role in the killing of 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands in the first decade after independence.
Mnangagwa was the State security minister at the time and Chiwenga was in charge of the Bulawayo battalion that supported the North Korea-trained 5th Brigade that led the massacres.