Peter Matika and Mthabisi Tshuma, Sunday News Reporters
FORMER President Mr Robert Mugabe was solely responsible for the post-independence civil disturbances commonly known as Gukurahundi and his properties should be seized and sold to compensate victims of that period, a senior war veteran leader has said.
Addressing war veterans, ex-detainees, war collaborators, widowers, widows and children of war veterans at Stanley Square in Makokoba, Bulawayo yesterday, war veterans Secretary-General and Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Victor Matemadanda said Mr Mugabe made an individual decision during the disturbances as he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
“As the Commander-in-Chief, these issues that are coming up now about (Gukurahundi) are all a political gimmick. These are just political games, the person answerable before death is Robert Mugabe. Even the commanders that were deployed were working under his instruction, as the Commander-in-Chief. Why is the President called the Commander-in-Chief, because he is the one who instigates and authorises any instructions to do with the welfare of the nation,” said Cde Matemadanda.
Gukurahundi is a term used to refer to disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands in the 1980s. Cde Matemadanda whose address was both in SiNdebele and ChiShona said Mr Mugabe should compensate the victims of the disturbances using his personal resources.
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“We need to engage and finish it off while Mugabe is still alive, Gushungo Holdings ine mombe dzakawanda (has many cattle). Traditionally when compensating in our culture, we use cattle. I want to be in the committee which will make Mugabe pay. His kids dance on top of cars so the former First Family members must pay,” he said.
He said the nation should not be swayed into believing that there were some people other than Mr Mugabe who had the final say during the disturbances.
“If anyone wants to deal with the author of Gukurahundi, that person is Robert Mugabe. But I want to make it clear that when Robert Mugabe did it he did not do it on behalf of the Shona people or the Zezurus. Mugabe did it all on his own convictions and beliefs.
“This was all laid bare when he married his wife (Mrs Grace Mugabe) so that she could later on rule the country. If at all he was doing it for the sake of any ethnic group, for example the Shona people, he would not have fired Emmerson Mnangagwa, but because he was bent on creating a Mugabe dynasty, some of us did not see it coming nor did we know. It is something he had been planning all along,” said Cde Matemadanda.
He said whenever the issue was raised at any platform, Mr Mugabe would fake an illness in order to avoid being questioned.
“Mugabe is still talking too much from his home but if ever you ask him about Gukurahundi, he fakes an illness, as if he is on a deathbed.
“It is now time as Zimbabweans to rise up and say Robert noma kuthiwa izinto ziyafana tell us about the motive behind Gukurahundi. Because if he dies before he answers there would be a problem, this issue should be spoken about and should not raise emotions, even though it is sensitive between the Ndebeles and the Shonas because Mugabe did not consult any ethnic group, he just wanted to massacre the Ndebele people. He did all on his own accord. We should ask him why he did it.
He has sympathisers using this issue as a gimmick just to gain political mileage but we will not allow that,” said Cde Matemadanda.
Mr Mugabe has described the era as a moment of madness. During the meeting, Cde Matemadanda also said Zimbabweans should not take MDC Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa seriously as he was bent on dividing the nation through tribal based issues.