Mnangagwa denies Gukurahundi role

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has denied accusations he played an active role in the Gukurahundi massacres, which reportedly claimed over 20 000 lives in Matabeleland and Midlands regions in the 1980s.


Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Speaking in a recent interview with United Kingdom-based magazine New States Man, Mnangagwa said reports linking him to the atrocities were being peddled by his political foes to soil his image.

Mnangagwa, who at the time was State Security minister, seemed to pass the buck to President Robert Mugabe, then Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and army commanders for the massacres, which were perpetrated by a North Korean-trained army unit, the Fifth Brigade.

“How do I become the enforcer during Gukurahundi? We had the President, the Minister of Defence, commander of the army and I was none of that. My own enemies attack me left and right and that is what you are buying,” he is quoted as having said.

The late General Solomon Mujuru was army commander, while current Airforce of Zimbabwe Commander, Perrance Shiri was Fifth Brigade commander.

Mnangagwa was the State Security minister then and is often regarded as the face of the massacres.

A recent book by former Education minister, David Coltart also reveals the extent of Mnangagwa’s involvement and alleged hate speech utterances.

In the interview, Mnangagwa also denied leading the Team Lacoste faction or harbouring ambitions to succeed Mugabe.

“I don’t see myself doing that … I was not serving to be President. I was serving my country,” he said.

Mnangagwa scoffed at those praying for Mugabe’s death, as the only leader Zimbabwe has known since independence turns 93 next February.

“Under British constitutional law, you don’t conceive or desire the demise of Your Majesty. Why would you want to conceive or desire the demise of my President,” he reportedly said.

War veterans’ leader, Chistopher Mutsvangwa has insisted that Mugabe should step down and pave way for a new leader.

“We need to have a new look at the management of the economy … since he (Mugabe) is the elected President, he has to either deliver on that or make it possible for someone else to deliver on it. We would hope it’s the latter,” he told the magazine.

Coltart also seemed to endorse a Mnangagwa presidency, saying the Vice-President is business savvy and understands what needs to be done to save the ailing Zimbabwean economy suffering from a blistering liquidity crisis.

“For all his historical problems, he understands the running of the economy better than Mugabe, better than most Zanu PF politicians,” he said.


  1. The newspapers recorded you addressing people in Matebeleland during the time and you cant run away from that Mr VP.

    1. Marufu Chihwandire

      Does addressing a rally have anything to do with giving orders? Remember when a politician stands in front of people he/she talks politics and the last time I checked, Mnangagwa was already a politician by then. Enos Nkala is on record as saying “If there was a river where I could go and deep myself and come out as a Shona I would go there?” Was this not inflammatory? Why do you want to blame Mnangagwa leaving out Nkala and others?

  2. Hate him or like him but that’s the truth.He does not have power over State operations as it is only cabinet chaired by the “Not to be named God father”. Coltart you are also spot on because Munangagwa’s cluster of Ministries is performing while the other side is busy thinking about succession.

  3. Anyone serving in a genocidal government can never claim not to be responsible. For one to say my part of the government is working well when generally the economy is in decline is again a poor form of self-redeeming excuses. If one wants to extricate themselves from a toxic government, one must resign and state the reasons clearly for posterity. The number of officials ducking and diving when performance and accountability are queried is a tad too high.

  4. Resign? kkkkkkk. That’s your dream anyway because most people are not blind to what is causing economic problems. It is Mugabe who is clinging to power despite being in advanced age iwe “Sagitarr”. We lack meaningful investment because there is nobody who may invest their money in an autocratic State, “One Centre of Power”.

    Mugabe is not consistent when it comes to policy issues. He is just too old my friend and you cannot say because Munangagwa was part of the Government then he was in complicit. Waida kuti atsikwe nePuma iko kuma 80s kwakapera vamwe.

    In 2014 vaida kumuuraya neAmbulance yefake. Viva Lacoste viva.

  5. People just running in circles we all know that ED was never involved in the recruiting, training and commanding these killer soldiers, everybody knows that except those who just want to peddle lies. Yes in zanupf their is one center of power so why point at other centers when that one center of power is there?

  6. ItIs Mugabe who was behind all tht, wasibulalela abazali bethu namuhla siyahlupeka ukuthula akutsho ukuthi sakholwa.

  7. You are spot on “bondnotes”

  8. i feel sorry for poor mugabe hez so foolish. solely killed he must admit.

  9. Chaporomoka Chamulkwenjere

    Though Lacoste may have played a part, What has always baffled me all this time was why the defence minister then was exonerated as well as the commander of the fifth brigade and the the President who is the commander in chief. Since when has the army taken orders from a state security minister???Thank you Lacoste for also saying what has always been on my mind, though your alleged hate speeches may not exonerate you as well

  10. Why has it taken Mnangagwa 36 years to deny these atrocities? He knew everyone was nailing him on Gukurahundi. So he was waiting for President Mugabe to get OLD? Why today? Handiti its a CLOSED CHAPTER? Dzimwe zvinhu its better to be quiet and don’t comment than to say its a CLOSED CHAPTER whilst some children don’t have birth certificates and are orphans coz of gukurahundi 5th brigade. Some pregnant women had their stomachs slit open zvichinzi vakatakura ma terrorists. Imwi ka. By mentioning Mugabe, Mujuru and Perence Shiri, now clearly says THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ENGINEERED GUKURAHUNDI. Thanks for that information. You are now free Mnangagwa. Why were you quiet all along zita renu richiswipiswa? Chokwadi chichabuda.

  11. The Minister of State Security was then, as now, responsible for evaluating internal and external “threats” to the government (for which read Zanu PF) and advising the then Prime Minister on possible options. This has continued to happen in activities against the opposition parties and civic organizations. The MOD and Fifth Brigade in particular were enforcers but of a policy determined by the PM under advice, from selected cabinet Ministers, particularly from Min of State Security.. The military operations of the Fifth Brigade were in pursuit of a calculated political objective and agenda.

    Shiri yese ine muimbiro wayo. Look to 2008 after the first round of elections and those responsible – for some of them, a repeat performance.

  12. I think lets not hide by the finger Garwe is somehow saying the truth most people have got a wrong conception abt who commanded that genocide bt frankly speaking the army commander by then and the leader have blood in their hands.

  13. State security minister ndokuti President’s Office zve. NdoCPU yeparty vaMnangagwa. Iye zvino President’s office ingori pose pose zve kureva kuti even regular army kana general havana pwe navo nekuti ndiyo first arm yapresident. Actully ndiyo itori Commander wacho Saka ndimizve vaMnangagwa. Sorry maningi stereki. CIO even pakugovera chibage. Stupid.

  14. ndivovatinoda Ngwena Shuman Chikara. hee Toda kuvhotera vp hee mai chino hee zimbabwe haitongwi nemukaranga this and that. vhunzai Tsvangirai kuti popular vote inebasa kana mukadzi wa Clinton. kumusha kwe democray yacho kuzoti kuno? Shumba haitereri zvichemo zvemhara nembavha.

  15. It’s sad that some people would regard the article about this painful era of our history as a means of furthering their personal hatreds. We should be fighting against inequalities, while advocating for the establishment of the rule of law and resuscitating our defunct economy. However Mnangagwa’s infamous role in the 1980s genocide is well documented. It is a thing that he cannot escape; and instead of making denials to far away publications; it would be better for him to apologise and work towards making genuine efforts at reparation for victims of the pogrom.

  16. Gukurahundi was Mugabes Child period.
    He is responsible for everything.

  17. Commander in Chief of the ZDF during Gukurahundi was one Canaan Sodindo Banana. Bob became commander in chief at the end of 1987.

    1. If we sorely base our analysis on technicalities, then it’s true that the then President Banana was in charge of the army.

  18. Fuck off ed ed what he got the blood in his hand they are same all of them must go to hell

  19. This issue needs to be taken to an international court there is no use trying it locally because it will not work at all

  20. Spit it out then … “Butcher of Matebeleland”!

  21. Garwe, no one believes your crocodile tears. You can fool some people sometime but not all of us. State Security Minister means you were in charge of the President’s Office (read CIO), responsible for all assassinations, secret programs (like 5 Brigade, Murambatsvina, Operation mavhotera papi), you were responding to all internal security threats. Gukurahundi was not a war but a secret internal security matter that fell directly under your ministry. The 5th Brigade was not part of the army but auxiliary force with its own command structure, insignia and uniforms, they reported directly to the Prime Minister’s office (i.e. CIO Office- your office) not cabinet.

    What Mnangagwa is saying is the same as a murderer saying I did not make the decisions to kill I just carried it out. Both the planner and the executioner are culpable. You were Mugabe’s running dog and you are very guilty of massacring 20 000 plus ndebeles.

    Ngwena is a murderer, a tribalist, unelectable dictator, a Mugabelite with more venom.

    Pasi na Ngwena.

  22. Sana force you are indeed right gukurahundi as the name suggests wad very necessary. An African solution to an African problem. Ngatisiye tsika yekuda kuvhiringika nhema, mavaku tweeter makadekaraka because you enjoy peace forgetting the peace makers or rather blaming the peace makers for the very peace you take the for granted. Tirikuti vang on a kuchengetedza runyararo samudhara ndovachatonga kwete vamunofarira imi harisi bhora iri. Expirience is the best teacher and some of you will learn the hard way kukura kurerwa but imimatova madhara acho manje sakachasarachi kana matokura? kuchengetwaka idyai munyerere musada kuita bvepfe

  23. The fact he saved in an important security arm of government when all these atrocities were committed implicates Gwena as it does everybody else who served in that government. He, his boss, and their whole party must first show contrition for their actions by owning up and apologizing to the victims. Nothing else will suffice, certainly not self-promoting denials in foreign publications. This party must just step aside and allow the country to heal and recover free from the same people responsible for its ills.

  24. Stop arguing

    Gukurahundi video certainly revenge is on its way

  25. Apparently, its true that ED was not directly involved in the Gukurahundi, formation, recruitment, training, and direction. These fall squarely on Mugabe, Sekeramayi and Perence Shiri’s shoulders. The problem with ED, is that being the coward he is, he joined in hate speech to appease his boss. I wonder if what he said does not haunt him at times.

    It also appears as though the allegations that ED used to meet with the South Africans to plot against Zapu and the ANC may not be true. As Security Minister, he met with the South Africans on numerous occasions to present complaints about South Africa’s support for the Super Zapu boys.

    However, ED’s blame is that his CIO was as brutal as the 5 Brigade, if not worse, and he never reprimanded them.

    If anything, Gukurahundi was purely Mugabe’s baby, and he controlled and directed it through Perence Shiri.

    1. But Perence Shiri was not the commander of the army but of a battalion. So the people who are involved are certainly more than the names you have mentioned.

      1. Mugabe planned Gukurahundi in 1979. He already had these plans when he came into power. His red book that he penned in 1979 clearly spells out his intentions. The problem was, Nkomo and his Zapu lot were too naive and got too comfortable in believing that Zapu was infallible. Mugabe and Zanu PF started their tribal war as early as 1978. That is when their nickname of PASI, was born, because they went into eastern Matebeleland to terrorise the people by telling them PASI NANKOMO, PASI NEZAPU!!!!

        That had become the ZANLA war slogan from then. Not against the whites but against Nkomo and the Ndebeles. Mugabe is a murderous tribalist dictator to the core.

  26. Sekeramai was minister of health. Canaan Banana was a seremonial President (Prime Minister was in charge of the Army). Nkala Enos was minister of Defence, Peremce Shiri was taking orders from Mugabe through Solomon Mujuru. The Army has its own intelligence wing, more deadly than the civilians CIO. Read between the lines. Thank you.

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