Beginning in January , Mugabe waged a campaign of terror against the people in Matabeleland in the western part of the country. History of the Shona and Ndebele There have long been strong feelings between the majority Shona people of Zimbabwe and the Ndebele people in the south of the country. It dates back to the early s when the Ndebele were pushed from their traditional lands in what is now South Africa by the Zulu and Boer. The Ndebele arrived in what is now known as Matabeleland, and in turn pushed out or required tribute from the Shona living in the region. Both had emerged from the National Democratic Party in the early 60s. More than military experts arrived and began work with the Fifth Brigade.
|Published (Last):||28 December 2007|
|PDF File Size:||4.56 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||2.4 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
It is true that the Matabeleland crisis resulted in a number of people losing their lives while some remained with permanent psychological and physical injuries. True that maybe, perceptions and views about the impact of Gukurahundi have been more often than not susceptible to political manipulation and political grandstanding by many political parties, civil societies, student movements and trade unions.
Nevertheless, it is important to have these perceptions and views understood in order for one to be able to establish truth from what is said to be an existential truth. The following is a brief summary of the perceived impact of Gukurahundi. This has arguably contributed much to slow-paced trajectory towards nation building and economic development.
Furthermore, the intensity of the 5th Brigade created a great sense of fear and mistrust for Zanu-PF and the military among some people Cathamham House This paper however, proposes a different dimension in light of this view. What has remained contentious among many scholars is the fundamental question which asks if Zanu-PF is perceived to be a symbol of fear and violence yet it has continuously won more parliamentary seats during elections in those areas that were hit most by Gukurahundi.
Given the above fundamental questions this paper proposes two broad assumptions for this reality. More importantly they have healed and moved on and they are now focused on the future and not on the past. The scourges of white oppression probably are more deeper than the conflict that occurred in Matabeleland and Midlands.
These assumptions can nullify the popular discourse of Gukurahundi being a topical issue in this present day. Besides the proponents of Gukurahundi are mostly from areas which did not experience or witness the conflict. Economic and Social Hardships People from Matabeleland complain bitterly about economic marginalisation. They perceive that they are being deliberately discriminated against when it comes to the sharing of the national cake.
They see their region as lagging behind others in every aspect of development progress. People point out that there seems to be an unwritten law that people belonging to the Ndebele-speaking group have to be disadvantaged on all fronts. Some even believe that the marginalisation is an extension or continuation of Gukurahundi by other means. Possibly hundreds of victims who lost their lives have never been officially declared dead due to various reasons.
Ngwenya notes that the lack of death certificates has resulted in a multitude of practical problems for their children, who battle to receive birth certificates, and for their spouses who, for example, cannot legally inherit savings accounts. Others who fled their homes to protect themselves were considered to have deserted their employment without due notice, and had their benefits forfeited including pensions as a result.
Psychological and Physiological Injuries Many people, who were either victims of physical torture, or forced to witness it, continue to suffer psychological disorders indicative of Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder PTSD. Such disorders as unexplained anxieties, dizziness, insomnia, hypochondria and a permanent fear and distrust of senior government officials are evident in victims. Typically, such victims pass on their stress to their children and create a heavy extra burden on existing health care structures.
This eventually culminated in the signing of a peace accord between the two parties on 22 December The Unity Accord merged the two parties together into the new Zanu-PF and this brought an end to the crisis and brought peace. Furthermore, 66 civil society organisations coalescing under the banner of Matabeleland Collective were seen cautiously welcoming the moves.
Matabeleland Collective MC The MC convener and activist Jenny Williams in one of her speeches advised that the Civil Society Organisations CSOs in the region share and continue to feel the pain of feeling excluded due to spoken language, tribe, class or geographical location or colour.
Further she noted that the region continues to remember their loved ones buried and unaccounted for hence the move to engage the Government in the Gukurahundi issues. Following the meeting between President Mnangagwa and its members, Government announced a raft of measures to deal with issues arising from the Gukurahundi episode that include provision of birth and death certificates to affected communities, reburials and decriminalised discussion of the issue, provision of medical assistance to survivors, expediting the policy of devolution to priorities locals in awarding of tenders and employment opportunities and provision of social services through construction of schools and clinics among a cocktail of measures.
According to their report the incident continues to have a lasting impact on the affected regions through two noticeable themes; a lack of acknowledgement and a lack of development. Lack of acknowledgement by the Government for its alleged atrocities has prevented the regions from moving forward emotionally. This has left the victims of the Gukurahundi in a state of suspension where they are prohibited from mourning their dead and thus have never been able to fully recover.
Ibhetshu Likazulu Pressure Groups led by Mbuso Fuzwayo A vocal pressure group which has been at the forefront of calling for justice against perpetrators of the Gukurahundi atrocities said the processes announced by President Mnangagwa needed careful consideration and handling.
They noted the reburials must be done by competent people and communities must also get education on how reburials are done, the steps to be followed before exhumation, and how the sites where the bones will be taken to among other things. Civic groups argue government must look for alternative land for a district Heroes Acre and leave Bhalagwe as a Gukurahundi memorial site. Why the Gukurahundi discussions at this point?
More than ever before the discussions on Gukurahundi have become louder and more talked about particularly in both formal and informal circles. There are two broad assumptions to this; a The New Dispensation has opened up a democratic space that was never experienced and probably people are freer to talk about it.
Moreover, dominant figures in the Government have been pointed out to be leading Gukurahundi architects. It may be noted that although Gukurahundi occurred the timing of this conversation points towards a deliberate attempt to; Discredit the legitimacy of the Government; discredit its sincerity towards inclusive development, criminalise the Government; seek the International Criminal Court ICC to prosecute these Government officials and finally opposition parties need this discourse so as to maintain their relevance in the political arena of Zimbabwe.
Moreover, Gukurahundi has become a strategy to spread propaganda into the young electorate which some would be eligible to vote for It is therefore prudent to note that, the sincerity of these discussions is questionable considering that the originators of these discussions are from foreign-funded opposition parties who entail to discredit the legitimacy of the Government.
On 18 April , the Government announced an amnesty for all dissidents, and further called on them to lay down their arms. A general ordinance was issued stating all those who surrendered before 31 May would be granted full pardon. If discussions on Gukurahundi are to happen, Zanu-PF as the custodians of the Unity Accord should define the agenda and own the process. Some of these things can never be fully restored, instead the Government can recognise these people as victims and try to establish centres where they can be assisted.
To receive news updates daily, enter your email address Enter your email address: Breaking News delivered to your mailbox Share.
Causes Of Gukurahundi According To Obert Mpofu, Part Two
It is true that the Matabeleland crisis resulted in a number of people losing their lives while some remained with permanent psychological and physical injuries. True that maybe, perceptions and views about the impact of Gukurahundi have been more often than not susceptible to political manipulation and political grandstanding by many political parties, civil societies, student movements and trade unions. Nevertheless, it is important to have these perceptions and views understood in order for one to be able to establish truth from what is said to be an existential truth. The following is a brief summary of the perceived impact of Gukurahundi. This has arguably contributed much to slow-paced trajectory towards nation building and economic development. Furthermore, the intensity of the 5th Brigade created a great sense of fear and mistrust for Zanu-PF and the military among some people Cathamham House This paper however, proposes a different dimension in light of this view.
What Was Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe?
Viber The United States government has said failure to address the Gukurahundi issue continues to fan divisions in the country and feeds into animosity between the Shona and the Ndebele ethnic groups. The report noted that historical tension between the Shona majority and the Ndebele minority resulted in the marginalisation of the Ndebele by the Shona-dominated government. However, the report said, while ethnicism was a major issue in Zimbabwe, in , senior political leaders refrained from attacking each other along ethnic lines to consolidate support ahead of the by-elections. An estimated 20 people from the Matabeleland provinces and parts of the Midlands were killed during a pogrom that spanned four years between and