FORMER President Robert Mugabe’s denial and blame game regarding the dark Gukurahundi episode is a clear manifestation not only of his senility, but his self-centeredness that was the hallmark of his brutal 37-year-rule.
For Mugabe of all people to turn around and blame the victims of his brutal massacre of more than 20 000 civilians in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces under the guise of hunting down a handful of dissidents is the height of impertinence.
Mugabe’s latest rant shows that his 1999 description of Gukurahundi as a “moment of madness” was never sincere and that is why he was always reluctant to push through with the establishment of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
No doubt that Mugabe’s successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has within months of taking power operationalised the NPRC should be applauded. Mugabe was and indeed remains an albatross on Zimbabwe’s prospects of moving forward.
Is it not, therefore, ironic that the former Zanu PF leader has been wailing hoarse demanding a meeting with Mnangagwa, claiming he wants to help “return the country to legitimacy”?
Mugabe needs to be reminded that the legitimacy of a government begins with building trust in a respectful social contract with its citizens. It is obvious that Mugabe does not care about the feelings of ordinary Zimbabweans.
It is also clear that what Mugabe wants from Mnangagwa is personal protection of his ill-gotten wealth including the many farms that have been reported on.
Mugabe and his wife, Grace, should be reminded that Zimbabweans have moved forward. How the Mnangagwa government came into being is immaterial at this juncture for the majority poor Zimbabweans, who immensely suffered under his hands.
In fact, the majority of Zimbabweans are thankful that Mugabe is no longer a factor in their future. Mugabe should, therefore, be thankful that he was confined to his house without loss of life. Coups the world over are characterised by blood-letting and what happened in Zimbabwe should be commendable.
In that case, Mnangagwa would be better advised to tread carefully when it comes to the emotive Gukurahundi issue. It has to be handled with the utmost care and consideration of the feelings of the millions of victims of this black spot on our country’s history. It would be folly for Mnangagwa to listen to Mugabe.
The issue of numbers that Mugabe also disputes and that to some extent Mnangagwa seems to also have disputed is an unnecessary distraction. Even if one person had been killed, it would have been one too many, especially, given Mugabe undertook Gukurahundi to annihilate the opposition and establish a loathed one party State.
After driving our country for 37 years into ruin, Mugabe at 94 wants to take the only place all 15 million of us call home to his grave. He must never be allowed.
Gukurahundi was a genocide of unmitigated proportions and Mugabe was its architect.
In Germany, denial of the World War II Holocaust is a criminal offence.
In honour of those who lost their lives, and those whose lives are still affected by this heinous act at the hands of a power monger, Zimbabwe could do better and follow this example.
Forget Mugabe, Zimbabweans must be allowed to live lives without this war monger and dictator.