‘Some Groups Are Over-Invested In Gukurahundi And Don’t Want It Resolved’, Says Government

Zimbabwe Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba has said that some Gukurahundi activists and embassies have invested too much into Gukurahundi and don’t want it to be resolved. He said these groups use Gukurahundi as a tool for other agendas against the government.

Charamba was speaking during an interview with Obey Manayiti of The Standard weekly. Manayiti asked:

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The government said the move to ensure that the victims get identity documents and access to medical treatment was motivated by presentations made by the Matabeleland
Collective. Does the government believe the groups have a mandate to speak on behalf of the victims?

And Charamba responded:

I don’t know whether the idea is to give those groups a voice, the idea is to reach all the affected persons.

I think we must draw a distinction between advocacy work and impact of conflict on families.

The priority of government is to access the families that were affected by that conflict.

This is one area where we have had a certain group of our citizens who are actually averse with the resolution of Gukurahundi. Why? Because they have over-invested in it.

They want it to be a serial grievance on the basis which to build politics present and the future.

Now that ED has moved to resolve the matter, the same groups which were agitating for resolution of the Gukurahundi issue are now moving goalposts.

First of all, they didn’t want ED to meet the civil society groups that he met in Bulawayo and I happen to know that all the NGOs that met with the president came under
tremendous pressure not just from the NGOs in Harare who had nothing to do with the problem in Matabeleland, but also from embassies, which were so bitter that they said: ‘Why
are you moving to resolve an issue about which we have invested so much?’

Even if you look at the age group of the people agitating — first of all, they are not related to people who were victimised and, secondly, they are not the age group of people who were affected by Gukurahundi, but they are political aspirants who believe that this is a good basis for harvesting sympathy and votes.

In March 2019 President Mnangagwa went to Bulawayo where he met with civil society organisations and activists. Amoung them was prominent WOZA activist Jenni Williams, who after the meeting, referred to Mnangagwa as a listening president.


More: The Standard

George CharambaGukurahundi

George Charamba is the Press Secretary in the Office of the President of Zimbabwe. He is therefore there official spokesperson of the president. He has been in this position since 2000 when he was appointed by President Robert Mugabe Charamba has been a columnist in... Read More About George Charamba

Gukurahundi is a term used to refer to disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands in the 1980s which resulted in the death of an estimated 20,000 Ndebele people. It was carried out by the North Korean trained 5th Brigade which was an elite regiment of the... Read More About Gukurahundi

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