Traditional leaders from Matabeleland Provinces have rejected accusations of tribalism following a meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Friday.
During the meeting, President Mnangagwa chided the traditional leaders from the Midlands province for tribalism. He said then:
I am now informed that chiefs from my province, Midlands, have been picked, selected on the basis of tribe. I don’t like that.
We, in the Midlands are united. We will not accept to be divided so the chiefs from Midlands will remain in this indaba but will not speak because of the basis of which they have been brought here.
However, in a statement written by the Matabeleland chiefs and dated July 1, the chiefs wrote:
As chiefs, we are deeply disappointed by statements by some that chiefs from the Midlands Province were invited to a meeting with the president last Friday on tribal grounds.
This cannot be any further from the truth. For the record, there is a simple reason why only some chiefs were invited and others not.
Only chiefs from areas where Gukurahundi atrocities were committed were invited.
If they happen to speak a particular language like their communities, it is because Gukurahundi targeted specific communities that spoke a particular language.
That is the reality we cannot try to alter at this late stage if we are serious. Blame Gukurahundi, not us.
… It is not a secret that Gukurahundi was not deployed throughout the Midlands Province.
Rather it was deployed in specific Ndebele-speaking areas …, in places such as Lower Gweru, Silobela, and Zhombe, among others. Gukurahundi was a genocidal act of tribalism.