Do not tribalise Gukurahundi — Rev Cele

PEOPLE should avoid tribalising the issue of Gukurahundi as this was fuelling  conflict between Ndebeles and Shonas, an official from the Ecumenical Church Leaders’ Forum (ECLF) has said.
Report by Pamela Mhlanga

Programmes manager for the ECLF Reverend Sikhalo Cele made the remarks on the  sidelines of a peace workshop held in Bulawayo last Wednesday.

“The problem about the political conflict in Zimbabwe, particularly the Gukurahundi era, is that people tend to treat  the Gukurahundi conflict as something between Shonas and Ndebele,” he said.

Gukurahundi, a government operation where a crack army unit was deployed to suppress dissent in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the 1980s, left an estimated 20 000 people dead as the State ostensibly hunted down armed  dissidents.

President Robert Mugabe later described the era as a “moment of madness”.

There have been calls for the perpetrators of the atrocities to be brought to book.

Cele said the peace workshop, jointly organised by ECLF and the  Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, was part of efforts to sensitise people on how to manage conflict and promote nation-building in the country.

“Like-minded church leaders who want peace came together to give Zimbabwe a credible voice on peace building and reconciliation. We realised that peace without development is not durable and development without peace is not sustainable,” he said.

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26 Comments

  1. Before he starts making such silly comments, Rev Cele should start by understanding that the people who tibalised Gukurahundi are not those talking about it. He should blame Mugabe who sent Shona soldiers to kill Ndebeles and also understand that no matter how hard he prays, that will not remove the fact that Gukurahundi was done by Shonas on Ndebeles. To ask people to de-tribalise that is like saying white is black or vce-versa. Rev Cele, you will not bring peace by trying to shift our focus. Tribalism was at the core of Gukurahundi and it remains the core of our discrimination and marginalisation. period.

    1. i could not agree with you more with what you have said, however i fear that we will allow, one person to destroy what could be a better relationship between shonas and ndebeles. not all shonas are tribilast and not all ndebeles are seeking the destruction or maginalisation of Matebeleland and midlands. i thnk we need to find a way of forging ahead and leave a legacy for our children of cherishing one another as people from Zimbabwe. Mugabe does not want to admit that he was wrong on anything so the question is are we not going to move on and mend the wounds because he refuses?

    2. You stupid bugger, there was not even one Shona Chief on Mugabe’s cabinet organising Gukurahundi.How dare you point a finger on innocent people.Shona’s are not blaming Ndebele people for dissidents who were discriminating and killing them.infact Mugabe’s friends he relied on were Munangagwa and Nkala, all come from the very affected region.

  2. if it was a moment of madness, who was mad and are they better today?

  3. @Jabu Mathebula

    It is people like you and those self-appointed spokesmen of Gukurahundi Mugabe who love conflating Gukurahundi and the Shona people just to cause confusion. You fail to see that this suits Mugabe very well in is grand design to of avoiding responsibility.

    Reverend Cele is right – stop tribalising Gukurahundi. The fact that Gukurahundis were Shona speaking does not mean that the whole population of Shona speaking people in Zimbabwe were involved in Gukurahundi – how could it be when about 99% of them didn’t even know what was going on, due to the news blackout?

    As long as you keep tribalising this issue to will always be difficult to find a lasting solution and besides, you are causing unnecesary divisions and friction. By turning this issue into a Ndebele Shona conflict, thehe winners in all this confusion are the real Gukurahundis Enos Nkala, Robert Mugabe, Perence Shiri, Sydney Sekeramayi and Mnangagwa as they remain untouched.

    Why do you think they in one breath attribute Gukurahundi to dissidents and and in the next instance link it to the 1800s tribal wars? This is to confuse the issues so they can get away scot free – open your eyes wide mfowethu, we are dealing with crooks here!!

    1. ludaka olukhulumayo mbonisi most of your remarks are full of contradictions

      1. mugabe shud apologise if he needs this country to move forward in term of gukurahundi. im a full mazezuru but what mugabe did is very wrong

  4. there are some pple who see it as a Shona -Ndebele affair but it was Zanu against the Ndebele (under a false pretext of dissidents). Otherwise some Shonas (progressive ones) were sympathetic to their Ndebele counterparts.

    1. A president donating to his own country, none in the world other than moribund Bob, he admits he looted the nation’s resources at the expense of the povo, now is giving back crumps to the poor povo. His polices failed to empower anyone thats why the black new farmers will spend the rest of their lives singing Bob Muranda for seeds and agric chemicals… shame on you Bob, may you depart to the next realm. You are the stumbling block to the Glory and breadbusket of Africa status of Zimbabwe…

      ZANU YAWORA,
      BOBO WAORA,
      I only know its headed by BOB, and nothing else…
      Its Moribund – HEY ..Kuwora ka uku, kungoda kufira pazvigaro mhani zvomadhara zvemagirazi izvi, they lie that they are empowering the youths. They empower them to be unemployed, to steal, they dont have faith in their empowerment project thats why they doudbt their youths hence they want to die in office and thats why we still have 56 year old youths like Jabulani Sibanda.. kikiki Moribund…kikiki Moribund…kikiki Moribund.

  5. @mqhafi

    Please give examples of the contradictions?

  6. THis is no joke it was ethnic cleansing truly tribally motivated we lost friends it must be noted in our History annals that it occurred.

  7. @ MQHAFI

    I am still waiting to read about the contradictions you claim about me – please give me examples of those contradictions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Gukurahundi was genocide, zanu against the ndebeles finish and klaar. It was so because they did not support zanu, like today anyone who does not support zanu is perceived as an enemy and must be killed, its their party policy and you can not remove zanu from killing its like removing fish from water.

  9. Rev Cele must reminded that the 5th brigade was made of syhona speaking soldiers targeting the ndebeles who were predominantly Ndebeles. yikusithethisa nxa ethi we must not tribalise it. Keep it up Mathebula

  10. Gullible people tend to believe whatever they hear or see at face value. Here we had a government, which in it’s endeavor to quell a rebellion took a wrong methodology of assuming that every resident of Matebeleland region was sympathetic to dissidents. Remember the dessidents themselves committed great atrocities to unarmed civilians, perhaps targeting the Shona. There was a coincidence that the soldiers were Shona-speaking and the dissidents were Ndeble speaking. The dissidents’ victims were Shona-speaking whilst the victims of soldiers were Ndebele-speaking. Going forward a truth and reconciliation commission would be established to allow victims to “let it out” and mechanisms for compensation would pursued. The terms of reference of the TRC shall be extended to earlier massacres, including other crimes against humanity against the Shona by Mzilikazi and Lobengula’s troops such that ALL VICTIMS of the moments of madness are compensated.

  11. @ Great Zimbabwe

    I really would welcome the terms of reference relating to so-called crimes by King Mzilikazi against the Shona. I hope you will be the first to give evidence – that will be very, very interesting indeed. Even more interesting would be the waking up of dead people from their graves to give evidence – or finding some 150 year old man or woman to give the evidence.

    We await this interesting development with bated breath!!

  12. Why can’t people locate this Gukurahundi issue where it belongs – in the ZANU PF camp? Why do you want to include everybody – why? I really would want to know?

  13. Most people who are talking about this Gukurahundi have a hidden agenda. Peace is not they are after no. Blood is what they want to see only. Some of us we lost our beloved ones in the Entumbane war, but do we talk about it? no. Why? It is really hard to talk about sorrowfull times if you really lost someone you really loved. People gave up their homes in most parts of Bulawayo because of these senseless wars. Forgiveness is the way forward lads to be brief. Lets build our ruined country together people.

    Mbonisi God bless you Brav.

  14. By CHAMINUKA: All these people dismissing the good Reverend Cele for their tribal egos should be reminded that Ndebeles started this whole game, killing innocent shonas in Masvingo, Chivi and surrounding districts of Shurugwi. To make mattes worse, they forcebly took away shona girls and women separating them from their husbands and parents, killing innocent men, children (boys) before taking with them cattle and goats. Do you think those people you killed and robbed of their livestock had no pain? Were they not human beings? There is nothing to regret here on behalf on Mugabe, 50-50. Worse still, ndebeles are not Zimbabweans, they are South Africans who ran away from Tshaka. The worst mistakes they made here was to try to divide Zimbabwe, our country, and create a Matabeleland country in our land. Mugabe acted fast, and shonas should remain vigilant in their dealings with Ndebeles. If you want Mugabe be brought to book, then bring first Mzilikazi and Lobengula, then Mugabe will be tried after these two blood mongers, others leave Mugabe alone.

  15. Actual what is the difference between a Shona and a gukurahundi in the first place secondly it is not Mugabe who denies this day and night but the Shona people who again even wish and prey that there should be a second gukurahundi secondly its the government or the powers to be who can practice and enforce tribalism to benefit who? The Shona people must be in the fore front to demand that those culprits to prosecuted rather simple Ndebeles must forgive and forget and move forward if they say so how what should the surviving victims think and say about such comments from people who claim they were not involve yes if brothers were then they were involve if they regret that the should show that rather than claim forgive and forget forgive who because no one sort forgiveness? Can then go around for giving trees? simple tehy apart of the crime

  16. Waht you saying now is simple rudeness and its not helpful and you are the kind of people who perpetuate this tribalism too

  17. General Gwabalanda

    Actual what is the difference between a Shona and a gukurahundi in the first place secondly it is not Mugabe who denies this day and night but the Shona people who again even wish and prey that there should be a second gukurahundi secondly its the government or the powers to be who can practice and enforce tribalism to benefit who? The Shona people must be in the fore front to demand that those culprits to be prosecuted rather simple say Ndebeles must forgive and forget and move forward if they say so how and what should the surviving victims think and say about such comments from a people who claim they were not involve yes if their brothers were in forefront as soldiers does that say they were involved, if they regret that then they should show that rather than claim forgive and forget, forgive for who because no one ever sort forgiveness? Can you then go around for giving trees?

  18. Gukurahundi is history, but a good lesson to those that wanted to divide our country on tribal lines…ndebeles for that. Zimbabwe is not your home, you ran away from Tshaka, so don’t come here with your stupid bullying tendencies.

  19. Gukurahundi was not all about killing the Ndebeles alone but anyone who was suspected of supporting ZAPU was killed whether that person was Shona Nyanja Sotho Ndebele etc.So the Rev is correct in saying DO NOT TRIBALIZE GUKURAHUNDI.People are using the Gukurahundi issue to siphon donor funds

  20. Re-Read Rev. Cele’s quoted words

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