MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has joined other opposition parties and civic groups in protesting against President Robert Mugabe’s plans to celebrate his 93rd birthday in Matobo, a few kilometres from Bhalagwe, where scores of victims of the Gukurahundi massacres lie in shallow graves.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
MDC-T provincial youth assembly chairperson, Lindiwe Maphosa and the Matobo business community condemned the choice of venue for Mugabe’s birthday, saying “how can they celebrate on top of our ancestors’ graves”.
“The insensitivity and indifference within the Zanu PF regime is very disturbing and is alien to our African values. The choice of venue for their annual absurd celebrations is extremely cruel and obscene.
“Villagers around Matobo have remained traumatised for years following the Gukurahundi massacres. This is the pinnacle level of mockery and insensitivity. For years now, we have waited for answers and justice,” she said.
The Welshman Ncube-led MDC has also protested against the move and threatened to mobilise villagers to protest against the decision.
The Gukurahundi massacres are an emotive issue in Matabeleland, with reports that up to 20 000 people were killed when the government sent a North Korean-trained militia to Matabeleland and Midlands to crack against Mugabe’s rule.
The government is yet to apologise for the killings, with Mugabe only describing the era as a “moment of madness”.
The Matobo Business Community called on opposition parties and civic society groups to institute measures to stop Zanu PF from holding the 93rd birthday celebrations in the area.
“We want to warn those behind the so-called celebrations that Matobo is home to over 2 500 historic sites, some of which are sacred sites including Njelele and Dula among others, hence, Matobo is a sacred area,” the grouping said.
“We have no powers to stop His Excellency from celebrating his birthday where ever he wants to, if we had, we would not want him to set foot in Matobo, but history will record that we are against it.”
The Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial executive has promised a historic bash for their party leader next month, despite calls for the venue to be changed.