An article in The Standard written by Jonathan Maphenduka details horific stories of the late Rtd Air Marshall Perrance Shiri and how he executed the infamous Gukurahundi Massacre that killed over 20 000 Ndebele people from Matabeleland and Midlands. Shiri reportedly wore a black robe that was written Black Jesus and these are some of the executions that were carried out while he looked on or in his presence according to the publication:
- In the Gukurahundi terror campaign those who worked under him looked up to him, driven by fear. A young man who met him at Balagwe in Matobo district had an interesting story to tell. Balagwe became a notorious operational base for the district in April 1984 when units of 5 Brigade arrived in the district. The young man was accused of (like all people of Matabeleland) being a “dissident” who faced death for that reason. There were six pregnant women who faced death for the reason of carrying the blood of “dissident” husbands in their wombs. One of the women managed to pass her identity card to the young man unseen. She knew her fate had been decided and hoped against hope that the ID would somehow find its way to her relatives and the world would know how her life ended. This was a desperate and hopeless situation but fate has its own ways of revealing secrets. That in the realm of power in which Shiri presided was a mystery. The women’s arms were tied behind their backs. But there was a problem. An executioner must be found. Shooting them was wasteful and did not provide the pleasure to those who watched the horror of how the foetus of a “dissident” comes rolling out of its mother’s womb, like the entrails of a slaughtered animal in a butcher’s shop. The difference in this case was simply that the objects of this bloody horror were six innocent women. The mantle to do the job fell on the young “dissident”. Shiri was accompanied by a woman officer and it was decided that she had a role to play in the ritual. The young man was ordered to lie down on his back with his mouth open. The female officer ambled up, positioned herself above the face of the young man, pulled her pant down and peed into the young man’s open mouth. With the preliminary ritual done, he was ordered to get up and a razor sharp knife was thrown at him. “Do you want to save your own life? Rip them up”, he was told. Darkness was approaching and the spectators were ordered to throw the bodies, the foetuses and other entrails on to a waiting truck to be carried to a near-by disused mineshaft.
- Outside Donkwedonkwe High School Kezi Police Station, a huge crowd of villagers sat in the blazing April sun, denouncing Zapu dissidents and Joshua Nkomo. The rally was called to demonstrate that the operatives we were wilful killers. “Siyaburara” (we kill), they said as if the villagers didn’t know the fact. Perrance Shiri was there, watching the proceedings in silence. Then 10 men were ordered out of the gathering and stood waiting for the order to shoot. Among the 10 villagers was the local chief Pilisi Sithole of the Bakwayi clan, and a man I grew up with as a schoolmate and we spent time together as herd boys. When all was done he was among three men who miraculously escaped with their life in the melee that followed the massacre.
- From Siphoso School in Tsholotsho reports said six teachers had been forced to jump into a latrine full of human excreta and stood there for hours before they were shot dead. The female teachers had been gang-raped, Perrance Shiri taking the choicest among the victims. Male teachers had been flogged until they became a pulpy mess before they were dragged and pushed into the latrine and shot to make sure they did not crawl of the latrine. Villagers were then ordered to fill the latrine up. Reports said six teachers were buried alive in a school latrine at Siphoso School in Tsholotsho West. Three female teachers had been gang-raped while their male colleagues were beaten with sticks until their bodies became a bloody mess with broken limbs.
The article details many horror stories that occurred during the massacre. Though they are not directly linked to the late Agriculture Minister who succumbed to COVID-19 In July.
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