THE late Vice-President John Nkomo was deeply hurt by the Gukurahundi massacres that left thousands dead in Matabeleland and Midlands, his younger brother has said.
REPORT BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Sam Nkomo, aged 71, said what angered his brother the most was that he was powerless to stop the Gukurahundi massacres that swept through Tsholotsho where he was born.
Nkomo was a Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade and later a Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office during the Gukurahundi operation.
“He was deeply affected by the Gukurahundi massacres,” his brother said in an interview in Tsholotsho last Friday.
“He could not hide his anger and hurt about the massacres.
“He could not hide that what angered him more was that he could not stop the Gukurahundi that affected Matabeleland, especially in view of the fact that he came from the region.”
About 20 000 innocent civilians in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces were massacred in cold blood by the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade in an operation that President Robert Mugabe claimed was an assault on dissidents.
The operation started in 1982 and was only halted five years later after the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 by Mugabe and the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo.