Of chancers and Gukurahundi revisionism

Dr Joice Mujuru

Dr Joice Mujuru

Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
Their rejection in the 2013 polls is testimony enough that Zanu-PF is a party of choice in the area and when the people queued to cast their ballots in favour of the ruling party then what can prevent them from attending celebrations organised by the very party they elected into power?

MERCHANTS of chaos masquerading as pressure groups are at it again this time threatening to hold demonstrations against the holding of the 21st February Movement celebrations in Matobo which they claim ignites the memories of Gukurahundi.

This year’s 21st February Movement celebrations will be hosted by Matabeleland South province and held at the Rhodes Estate Preparatory School (Reps) in Matobo.

The MDCs were the first to raise dust over the holding of the celebrations in a futile revisionist attempt to gain political mileage from the emotive Gukurahundi issue.

Also harping on to the issue is the secessionist movement Mthwakazi Republic party in what is turning out to be frenzied attempts by the otherwise dead movements to breathe life into their organisation at the expense of the celebrations.

The shadowy Tajamuka group linked to the MDC-T was quoted in the private media threatening to hold demonstrations against the holding of the celebrations to mark President Mugabe’s birthday.

There are many reasons, however, why these machinations against the celebrations will not work and both the political parties and the so called pressure groups ignored by the people.

First, both the MDC parties contested in the 2013 harmonised elections where Zanu-PF swept all constituencies in Matabeleland South including Matobo North, the very constituency where the 21st February Movement celebrations will be held.

Their rejection in the 2013 polls is testimony enough that Zanu-PF is a party of choice in the area and when the people queued to cast their ballots in favour of the ruling party then what can prevent them from attending celebrations organised by the very party they elected into power?

Again, this is not the first time that opposition parties have tried to ride over the emotive Gukurahundi issue for their own selfish ends.

The united MDC of 1999 tried it but the ill-fated strategy never bore them any positive results. After the split of the party in 2005 and the continued fragmentation to many splinter parties, the Gukurahundi issue was used unashamedly by these opposition parties but the results were the same, the strategy yielded nothing.

Upon her entry into opposition politics, Zimbabwe people First leader, Dr Joice Mujuru, having a member of the government since Independence in 1980, also tried to use the Gukurahundi issue to sway the people to her party again that did not yield favourable results.

As for the riotous Tajamuka grouping, incidents of the past year where they embarked on violent protests in Harare that led to the destruction of property have confirmed their status as a mutinous group bent on disturbing peace in the country.

If there is anyone hurting the victims of Gukurahundi, it is the opposition parties and these shadowy groups that ruthlessly open the people’s healing wounds for their political gain.

They do not care about the victims of Gukurahundi or their relatives but want to whip up people’s emotions in the hope that they could sway them towards their direction.

However, the people have realised the hypocrisy of the opposition and these pressure groups and have over the years resisted their overtures at using the emotive Gukurahundi issue to sway them.

The ruling Zanu-PF party has dismissed the protests saying the celebrations rotated among the country’s ten provinces would continue as planned.

Party secretary for youth affairs Cde Kudzai Chipanga said the party would not be dictated to by opposition parties trying to seek relevance.

“President Mugabe and the late Vice President, Dr Joshua Nkomo resolved the issue around Gukurahundi. The people who want to talk about the issue must have a very short memory to forget that. It is ridiculous that the opposition want to arrogate itself a representative role for the people who rejected them in the 2013 elections,” said Cde Chipanga.

“Matabeleland South is a Zanu-PF stronghold with the party having won all seats in the province, Matobo included, where we have two Zanu-PF legislators. As a party, we will not be driven by the opposition but our members,” said Cde Chipanga.

“If our members are happy about the venue, then we will stick to the venue so that issue is final. We will be going on with our preparations, let the opposition oppose, it’s their role yet ours is to govern having derived our mandate from the people including those from Matobo who voted for Zanu-PF in the 2013 polls.”

Zanu-PF Matobo North legislator Cde Never Khanye, in whose constituency the celebrations will be held, weighed in saying the party would forge ahead with preparations for the event.

“We are going to ignore them, we will not be dictated to by the opposition because all they do is opposing just for the sake of it. We won’t be swayed by detractors,” said Cde Khanye.

“They were against irrigation at Antelope but look how much it has become a success and a key pillar in the implementation of the Zim-Asset government programme. The celebrations will bring business to the local community. The opposition are anti-development.”

The opposition parties and their shadowy surrogates want to act as if the Government has not made any initiatives towards reconciliation and proper burials of the victims.

However, just a few weeks back, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko revealed that the Government has started reburying victims of the war of liberation and those affected by the post-independence disturbances in the Midlands and Matabeleland region.

He said the programme, which is already being carried out in some parts of the country, was part of the national healing and reconciliation process.

VP Mphoko, who also doubles up as the Minister responsible for National Healing and Reconciliation, said it was important to deal with the scars of the post-independence disturbances to address their after-effects and to allow victims to move on with their   lives.

He said despite unwarranted criticism for the manner in which the Gukurahundi issue was being handled, Government was committed to exploring a non-confrontational way of dealing with the matter.

It is against this background that the rants by the opposition parties and its affiliate organisations should be ignored by all progressive Zimbabweans because their agenda is not to heal but divide Zimbabweans.

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