The Movement for Matabeleland Genocide, which is based in Bulawayo, on Friday said they would never allow Zanu PF and government leaders to say the Gukurahundi issue was a closed chapter because the issue was never resolved.
Chairman of the movement, which was formed in 1997, Zwangendaba Reason Sibanda, told NewsDay his movement comprised of children, parents, relatives and tribe mates of those who were massacred during the Gukurahundi era, which President Robert Mugabe has described as a “moment of madness”.
During the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament, legislators engaged in ferocious debate on a motion on national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of post-independence political conflicts, which was introduced by Hurungwe West MP Tall Severino Chambati (MDC-T).
Zanu PF MP for Mwenezi East Kudakwashe Bhasikiti told the House of Assembly there was no need to continue discussing the Gukurahundi issue because the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo had put an end to the matter when he signed the Unity Accord in 1987.
But, Sibanda said they were still devastated and wanted redress to integrate and heal the victims.
“The Zanu PF government compensated those who killed our parents, relatives and tribe mates with the War Veterans Compensation Fund.
“Why them only? The compensation for war veterans was not considered water under the bridge, so why should our own compensation be dismissed as water under the bridge?” Sibanda queried.
“The Matabeleland cause shall never die and we will continue to seek justice for the voiceless people whose relatives were brutally massacred for no reason and the barbaric war which left the whole of Matabeleland and Midlands provinces devastated and economically, socially and politically marginalised,” he said.
Sibanda said although they supported the concept of the signing of the Unity Accord by the late former Zapu president Nkomo and Zanu PF, which is now cited as the event that closed the whole Gukurahundi chapter, the victims would never forget the suffering and would continue pushing for redress from government.
“The Matabeleland genocide issue has been on the table for a long time, but nothing tangible was done by the perpetrators.
“The authorities overlooked the suffering victims and never consulted the affected people. The victims need financial assistance in the form of free education and health care, as well as shelter,” he said.
Sibanda warned politicians trying to make political capital out of the Gukurahundi issue and said what was shameful was that some people involved in the genocide had been accorded hero status.