Victims of the Gukurahundi massacres
Ibhetshu Likazulu, a Matebeleland-based pressure group, was on 21 February denied access into Bhalagwe Gukurahundi Memorial site in Kezi, Matabeleland South, where it intended to hold a prayer meeting in remembrance of people who lost their lives during the massacres.
The group’s secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo told the Daily News that they intended to hold a memorial on the day Robert Mugabe was born since the late former president had presided over the Gukurahundi massacres which claimed an estimated 20 000 unarmed civilians in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces. He said:
As Ibhetshu Likazulu, we wanted to hold a memorial inside Bhalagwe Memorial Site on February 21. Kezi police prevented us from entering the site.
We ended up holding our prayer meeting outside at a plaque that was destroyed last year.
The group had reportedly mobilised residents from the local community to hold a prayer meeting inside the memorial site and had also written a letter to the police seeking permission to access Bhalagwe.
Gukurahundi has been a sacred topic in the country as it is said to be implicating top government officials including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and former army boss Perrance Shiri. Meanwhile, Mnangagwa is reportedly expediting the process of exhuming and reburying the victims.
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