BY NIZBERT MOYO
THE late Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa reportedly died a bitter man after his efforts to reclaim party properties seized by the ruling Zanu PF party during the Gukurahundi era hit a brick wall.
Dabengwa passed away on May 23, 2019 and was buried at his family home in Ntabazinduna although he had been declared a national hero.
On Sunday, Zapu members reflected on his failed efforts to recover confiscated party properties which include hotels, farms and commercial buildings which were seized by government at the height of Gukurahundi on allegations that they were harbouring ex-Zipra dissidents’ war materials.
Party spokesperson Patrick Ndlovu told Southern Eye that Dabengwa became emotional each time he spoke about Zapu war records which are still in the hands of the ruling Zanu PF government.
“We still continue to reflect on Dabengwa’s legacy, notwithstanding the fact that he died a bitter man after his wishes were not fulfilled by the Zanu PF government, which failed to return Zapu war records and properties,” Ndlovu said.
“This was one of the thorny issues where he always became very emotional about it. He wanted these records to be made public to the nation as they indicated who died, when and where and whether those people were buried or not, so as to bring closure to families of the fallen heroes and help them to get compensation from the government,’’ he said.
Dabengwa was described as a man who continued to fight for the resolution of the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, as he continued to demand answers and closure to the matter.
“There is the issue of mass graves which has not been resolved and that is the reason why Dabengwa refused to be buried at the national shrine. He argued that he could not be buried at the national shrine, while other fallen heroes’ remains were still scattered in the bush.
“The Zanu PF government needs to acknowledge and bring back the records for the benefit of the nation. We will be engaging government on the issue and we are happy that we are making progress on that,’’ he said.
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