The Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu has responded to former president Robert Mugabe’s claims that his party is responsible for the Gukurahundi massacres. Gukurahundi started after Government discovered around 60 arms caches in Matabeleland, half of them at Gwayi, Zipra’s main base, and another 30 at a farm owned by a company connected to Zapu.
Speaking to NewsDay, Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said the arms that were recovered by Mugabe’s administration in the 1980s were planted by State security agents under the instruction of Emmerson Mnangagwa. Said Dabengwa:
Mugabe does not at all surprise us as Zapu. He remains the same unrepentant blood-dripping monster who hid behind a thin finger of ‘madness’ when he killed hundreds of thousands during Gukurahundi. He is trying by all means to justify himself on the genocidal atrocities. We, however, are alive to the events and conspiracies that surrounded the genocide. We would rather remind Mugabe that the arms caches in Zipra properties were a deliberate and covert operation by the State secret service under Emmerson Mnangagwa, who himself remarked that they had to create a story and reason to justify the atrocities that followed the discovery.
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Mugabe’s denial of the genocide is in sharp contradiction with his statement at [Vice-President Joshua] Nkomo’s burial where he admitted that it was a moment of madness. His denial of the 20 000 deaths shows he really is mindful and aware of the magnitude of this madness and he surely knows that the number is for deaths in only two districts of Matobo and Tsholotsho.
Mugabe is fully aware that these 20 000 are direct deaths at the hands of the Fifth Brigade, the number does not include curfew induced deaths of children, the elderly and the sick from malnutrition, hunger and disease.
Mugabe fully knows that Gukurahundi deaths run into hundreds of thousands, hence his refusal to acknowledge the mere 20 000 that was given by the CCJP, whose survey or investigations only cover Matobo and Tsholotsho.