“I Asked Mugabe & Nkomo To Jointly & Publicly Address Gukurahundi” – Father Mukonori

Father Fidelis Mukonori who was the spiritual adviser to the late founding leader of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has said that he advised both Mugabe and former vice president, Joshua Nkomo to address the Gukurahundi massacres in the public. Mukonori was speaking to Blessed Mhlanga, a senior reporter at The Standard in an exclusive interview. Below are excerpts from the interview.

BM: Some would say he will be remembered more for his role in the Gukurahundi massacres, which were exposed by the Catholic Church? He never apologised for the killings. Do you think such things ever bothered him?

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FM: The exposition was not a new thing to those who were fighting. The Patriotic Front was made of PF Zapu and Zanu PF, Zipra forces and Zanla forces.

If you remember the statement where he said “it was a moment of madness”, I don’t know what you want to call that whether it was an apology or not.

It’s an issue that I discussed with him in person and I discussed the same issue with his vice-president Joshua Nkomo.

It’s an issue, which some people in Zimbabwe would not be in a position to understand and the matrix pertaining to that issue.

People will not know what happened, why it happened.

One death is too many after 70 000 lives were lost in the liberation war. We did not need more bloodshed, not even a drop. I said to both of them, I believed it was essential for the two one day to address the people of Zimbabwe regarding the Gukurahundi issue.

BM: And that never happened.

FM: I left the two of them to discuss and come to an agreement to say should they do it, because I believe the two knew what happened and why it happened and what made that moment of madness to occur.

More: The Standard

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2 comments on ““I Asked Mugabe & Nkomo To Jointly & Publicly Address Gukurahundi” – Father Mukonori

  1. I agree with Father Mukonori’s analysis that the Gukurahundi is an issue which some people in Zimbabwe would never be in a position to understand and the matrix pertaining to that issue. The period was really an era of madness. My experience working in Matebeleland and Midlands provinces was one of depression – tit for tat killings were the order of the day. The 5th Brigade was just like the dissident menace. The two sides would kill anyone accused or suspected of supporting the adversary. Buses were torched and government infrastructure was destroyed by dissidents. The 5th Brigade would retaliate by destroying homesteads from where the dissidents would have been allegedly harboured. Indeed, both the late Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe should have openly spoken about what really caused the disturbances, and taken responsibility, where applicable. People who were in the Support Unit have a better understanding of the situation as they were a more professional unit, as compared to the clearly political 5th Brigade and dissidents. The dissident menace was real, and these armed people claimed to be fighting under ZAPU. Of course the government’s response was rather heavy-handed! Father Mukonori is a dignified person, and I really understand what he is saying, because I experienced the dissident menace, and my close friends and associates suffered at the hands of the 5th Brigade. Lots of Shona and those regarded as moderate Ndebeles were killed by dissidents; and on the other hand lots of Ndebeles and moderate Shonas were also killed by the 5th Brigade. I know of a Team of then ZINTEC Lecturers on Teaching Practice tour in the Nkayi area who had their limbs broken and left for dead for being Ndebele and using a government vehicle. My colleagues and I escaped death by a whisker as we had been targeted for retaliatory killings by dissidents because we were Shona- speaking student teachers in the bi-lingual Silobela area! I also remember of an incident at Fatima Mission where school girls and lady teachers were raped by dissidents, and later asked to line up and each pull their naked school principal’s private parts! It was just madness! I think it’s high time someone tells exactly what went wrong!

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