BY SILAS NKALA
THE late former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s son, Sibangilizwe and dethroned Ntabazinduna chief Nhlanhlayamange Ndiweni have criticised President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “piece-meal” approach to resolving the Gukurahundi issue, which they said was meant to hoodwink the victims.
This followed Mnangagwa’s meeting with chiefs from the Matabeleland and Midlands regions on Saturday where plans were announced to compensate families taking into account the degree of affliction.
Mnangagwa advised the chiefs to engage their communities on the emotive issue.
Nkomo, who has indicated his intention to run for the presidency of the opposition Zapu party, said he was convinced that government was not sincere about resolving the issue.
“I strongly feel the process is fundamentally flawed in that Mnangagwa sometime met with Matabeleland-based Civic Society organisations called Matabeleland Collective (MC).
“The public must know the exact identities of the so-called MC and what their interest is in Gukurahundi,” Nkomo said.
“There is also a need to clarify where this group gets its mandate from. We cannot have a situation where the perpetrator has monologues and makes resolutions for the people.”
Nkomo said Gukurahundi was an ethnic cleansing of the people of Matabeleland and Midlands for their allegiance to Zapu.
He said as a result, any engagement without the involvement of Zapu, the primary victim, must not be taken seriously.
Nkomo said chiefs should be part of stakeholders in resolving the issue especially, those from the affected areas while those from outside should stay away.
On eight key issues raised by the National Council of Chiefs, Nkomo said they excluded basic ones such as accountability and justice, rendering the entire process flawed.
“The resolution of Gukurahundi must not be about birth and death certificates or reburials, but the quest for justice and accountability first,” Nkomo said.
“Also missing in the key issues is acknowledgement and apology. There is no way people can be expected to move on in the absence of an apology from the perpetrator.”
He said chiefs should avoid helping a murderer to cover his tracks and escape justice.
“Chiefs must not betray our people both dead and alive. Mnangagwa lacks political will to resolve the Gukurahundi issue. All these meetings are sideshows to hoodwink people into believing something is being done,” he said.
Ex-Chief Ndiweni said Gukurahundi was a crime that did not need social services.
“The government once again is playing on words. They say this “issue” was tribalistic but must not be resolved in a tribalistic way,” Ndiweni said.
“People must not allow the perpetrators to say the perpetrators were the shonas. The rest of the shonas were not involved. ED and his government are trying to implicate people who had nothing to do with committing this genocide.”
Ndiweni said chiefs could not preside over murder cases.