HomeLocal NewsMliswa in ugly Gukurahundi row

Mliswa in ugly Gukurahundi row

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NORTON legislator, Temba Mliswa, was this week involved in an ugly social media spat with his group Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy’s (Yard) Matabeleland leaders over his bid to exonerate Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa from Gukurahundi culpability.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Temba Mliswa
Temba Mliswa

Gukurahundi is the name given to government-sponsored atrocities in the 1980s when President Robert Mugabe’s administration send a crack military unit to clamp down on perceived dissent resulting in an estimated 20 000 civilian deaths.

Mnangagwa, then State Security minister, recently denied culpability saying he could not be an enforcer, as he was he was neither President nor Defence minister and Mliswa, seems to have joined the fray in defending the Vice President, claiming the Zanu PF deputy leader’s hands are clean.

But, Mliswa’s utterances did not go down well with Yard members, particularly from Matabeleland South province, who labelled him a “Mnangangwa propagandist disguised as a political analyst” in a Whatsapp row seen by Southern Eye.

“No amount of propaganda can exonerate Mnangagwa from the atrocities. People like Hon Mliswa cannot rewrite history. We know Mliswa as a politician, not a historian.

“His newly assumed duty of serving as Mnangagwa’s propagandist disguised as an analyst won’t serve its intended purpose,” Ronald Moyo, Yard’s Matabeleland South leader said.

“Gukurahundi was not a football match. We are talking about people who lost lives. People like Mliswa are the reason why we have a polarised society. They try all means to hide the truth. We are not kids! I have nothing to withdraw.”

Mliswa, hit back at the accusations, demanding that Moyo withdraw his utterances.

“So you invite people to your house and they now want to take over the main bedroom. Food for thought!” he charged, adding Yard could do without the likes of Moyo.

Yesterday Mliswa confirmed the spat, but described it as a debate.

“It’s not a fight, but a debate. We discussed the Gukurahundi issue and I spoke my mind. He (Moyo) said that I am a Mnangagwa propagandist and I asked him to prove that, but he failed. I always encourage them to debate maturely and factually,” he said.

Moyo, however, stuck to his guns.

“I stand by my words and I repeat! I am not a kid. I also see your game plan Honourable MP. He (Mnangagwa) was equally a key player. We all know individuals behind Gukurahundi.

“I think you are the one to withdraw after painting the whole Zezuru group with the same brush, yet you clearly know that it’s not the whole tribe responsible for that. Your utterances have the potential to cause civil unrest,” he shot back.

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