THE Zanu PF-led government must first deal with the emotive Gukurahundi issue before they dangle empty promises at the Matabeleland region, analysts have said.
This comes after vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed Sunday that government would “bring back the glory days” to Bulawayo.
The country’s second largest city has seen its industrial based reduced to a virtual wasteland under Zanu PF rule.
Meanwhile, Gukurahundi remains an elephant in the room for the Zanu PF party which has not dealt with the effects of the atrocities carried out in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the 1980s.
The campaign claimed the lives of about 20,000 people who died at the hands of the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade army unit.
Zanu PF, which has been in power since independence, stands accused of stifling development in the Matabeleland region.
However, Vice President Emmerson Mngangagwa on Sunday told a gathering to witness the ground-breaking ceremony of a proposed $12 million shopping complex in the high-density suburb of Cowdray Park, that Zanu PF will “bring back the glory days” to Bulawayo.
“There is already a committee headed by my colleague Vice President Cde Mphoko on the resuscitation of the Cold Storage Company and another programme to resuscitate the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
“So, we see a vision for Bulawayo where the past glory will come back, not only the past glory but an enhanced glory will come back to Zimbabwe,” VP Mnangagwa, was quoted saying in state media.
The shopping complex is being developed by Sai Enterprises which is owned businessman Raj Modi, who is understood to have business links with Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
However, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) coordinator Rodrick Fayayo said Mnangagwa should “tell us about Gukurahundi first”.
“They are starting to flock to Bulawayo because of (the pending) elections. They should first deal with the developmental effects of Gukurahundi before,” charged Fayayo.
Social commentator, Mfundo Mlilo, said it was difficult to trust government intentions.
“It is difficult to say they can be sincere because their score card ranks very low on any development projects.
“Bulawayo needs much more than a shopping complex, it needs a comprehensive urban transformation program that is based on an in-depth analysis of the root causes and proposes changes,” said Mlilo