HOME Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone yesterday said her ministry was not aware of plans to establish a district heroes’ acre at Bhalagwe Camp in Matobo, where scores of victims of Gukurahundi were buried.
Report by Richard Muponde Senior Reporter
Makone of MDC-T told NewsDay that although her ministry was the custodian of national monuments, Bhalagwe was not on the list.
“It’s true that we are responsible for establishing and maintaining heroes’ acres, but on the issue we are not aware of such a thing,” Makone said.
“It could be they identified it and want to make recommendations to us or Zanu PF could be making unilateral decisions.
“Let the villagers write a petition to us and we will take it up from there.”
Her sentiments came a week after National Healing, Integration and Reconciliation co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu described plans to convert Bhalagwe into a district heroes’ acre as an insult to the people of Matabeleland South.
Mzila-Ndlovu made the remarks amid calls by politicians and villagers in Matobo district for the government to “reverse” its decision to set up a district heroes’ acre at the place.
Villagers say the camp reminds them of Gukurahundi atrocities. At least 50 villagers were killed by government soldiers and buried in a mass grave at the site.
“The action is provocative, insensitive and vulgar,” Mzila-Ndlovu said recently.
“It is meant to cover up the evidence of the use of Bhalagwe during Gukurahundi.”
Matobo South MP Gabriel Ndebele (MDC-T) recently said he was once tortured and left for dead at the site during the Gukurahundi era in the 1980s.
Ndebele urged the government to look for an alternative place to establish a heroes’ acre.