National Healing co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu has accused MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of patronising people of Matabeleland by speaking about the Gukurahundi atrocities when in the region instead of confronting President Robert Mugabe over the “massacres”.
Mzila-Ndlovu — who is also the deputy secretary-general of the smaller MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube — was addressing party supporters at a rally at Stanley Square in Bulawayo’s Makokoba Township.
He alleged Tsvangirai was not sincere on the emotive Gukurahundi killings which claimed over 20 000 lives in the 80s.
The period was described by President Mugabe as “a moment of madness” in which the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade was involved.
Mzila-Ndlovu accused the Premier of using Gukurahundi to whip up emotions in return for the Matabeleland region vote.
“When Tsvangirai was in Plumtree, he said the perpetrators of Gukurahundi must be punished, but he has never raised it with (President) Mugabe,” he said.
“Tsvangirai only talks about Gukurahundi when he is in Matabeleland.”
But MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said his party leader’s position on Gukurahundi was clear.
“Our young cousins have developed a tendency of fronting for Zanu PF in the war against Tsvangirai,” he said.
“They (MDC formation led by Ncube) are being deployed as the first regiment to attack Tsvangirai. Very rarely do they attack Mugabe.
Tsvangirai’s position on Gukurahundi is very clear, and it is public knowledge that he said the issue cannot be resolved by pretending it never happened.”
Mzila-Ndlovu fired a salvo at President Mugabe and the former ruling Zanu PF.
“At independence (President) Mugabe and his Zanu PF started using the divide-and-rule strategy dividing people on tribal lines,” he added.
“When we were fighting the whites, they were copying the white man’s divide-and-rule tactics.”
However, Zanu PF deputy secretary for information and publicity Cain Mathema rubbished the allegations, saying Zanu PF was never a tribal party. Instead, Mathema claimed, Mzila-
Ndlovu and the smaller MDC were the ones who were tribalists.
“That (Zanu PF) is Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe’s party,” he said.
“Even when Zapu was formed from the National Democratic Party, it was not a tribal party, that is why President Mugabe was the secretary for information and publicity. Even when Zanu was formed it had the likes of Enos Nkala. Zanu PF has a reflection of all the tribes in the country.
They (MDC) are the ones who are tribalists.
“What does Mzila (Ndlovu) have to offer to the people? When the Ngunis arrived here in 1829, there were already Shona, Kalanga and Venda-speaking people here.”
But, Mzila-Ndlovu said Gukurahundi was not an “accident”. “We want that person who signed that paper for the people of Matabeleland to be killed to own up,” he said.
“We want unity and peace, but it should never be at the expense of the people of Matabeleland. Even if the perpetrators die today, they will burn in hell. Some say the killing of the people was a moment of madness, but we know that when you go mad, you should not rule this country.”
He said in the 17 years of the liberation struggle, not more than 15 000 people died, but in less than two years Zanu PF reportedly killed almost double that number during Gukurahundi.