Bulawayo-based pressure group, Ibhetshu LikaZulu, has appealed for the memorialisation of Gukurahundi to acknowledge the impact of the 1980s mass killings, and promote healing.
Speaking during the Gukurahundi victims commemorations held in Bulawayo on Tuesday, Ibhetshu LikaZulu co-ordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo said they had set December 22 for a memorial in remembrance of the day the massacres ended.
December 22 marks the day Zanu PF and PF Zapu signed the Unity Accord in 1987 to end the massacres that claimed more than 20 000 people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
Fuzwayo said there was need to come up with activities that would promote healing, reconciliation and truth-telling to ensure closure to the emotive issue.
“We, honestly, believe that December 2022 is a day that marks the end of the genocide and it’s a day that as a nation when we are doing nation building (sic),” he said.
“We should acknowledge the day when the Unity Accord was signed to stop the mass killings that were taking place and the victims and nation should be able to say it’s a day of mourning our fellow Zimbabweans who were killed by their own government.”
Ibhetshu LikaZulu previously erected plaques at Bhalagwe mass graves in Kezi, and at Silobela in the Midlands province, but they were vandalised by suspected State security agents.
“We have constructed three plaques in these areas, the first one took us nine months to finish and it was up for seven days before it was stolen.
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“The second one was up for hours before it was stolen and the third one was bombed after a few months, but there are so many sites that have been positively constructed,” Fuzwayo said.
More than 20 000 people were killed by the Fifth Brigade, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace report titled Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands, 1980 to 1988.