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.
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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
Ndebele is a language spoken by the Ndebele/Matebele people who occupy the Matabeleland province in south western Zimbabwe. It is the second popular language after Shona. Read More About Ndebele
Midlands Province is one of the ten provinces in Zimbabwe. It has an area of 49,166 square kilometres (18,983 sq mi) and a population of 1,614,941 according to the 2012 census.It is home to various peoples. The province also has a blend of Shona, Ndebele,... Read More About Midlands Province