Zapu has warned Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party to “stop provoking” people of Matabeleland and Zipra cadres by saying Gukurahundi is a closed chapter.
The party’s national security chief and former Zipra cadre Ekam Nkala on Saturday said people in the region were still grieving the loss of relatives, hence the matter was still fresh in their minds.
Nkala was speaking at a meeting at Entumbane, the former battleground between Zanla and Zipra forces soon after independence.
The former Zipra cadre said: “Even though we did not go to school that much because we were deprived of our privileges, we do not want to be provoked. I believe they know what we are capable of doing if we are provoked beyond resistance. So, we ask not to be provoked.”
Nkala’s remarks follow recent reports in which Mnangagwa was quoted as saying Gukurahundi was “a closed chapter”.
Mnangagwa said the Gukurahundi issue was resolved when Zanu PF and PF Zapu signed the Unity Accord in 1987, largely regarded by political analysts as a gentlemen’s agreement signed by President Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, the late Vice-President.
But, an emotionally-charged Nkala said: “Zapu did not have dissidents, but those that were reportedly terrorising our region were formed by someone as a disguise so that they could unleash Gukurahundi on us. We know all this and they must not think we are lazy.”
The emotive Gukurahundi issue has intensified over the months with people from the Matabeleland region clamouring for compensation or an official apology, although President Robert Mugabe has since said the period was “a moment of madness”.