Some traditional leaders have called for the resignation of Obert Gutu from the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) following his remarks about Gukurahundi early this week.
The former MDC-T vice president claimed that the Gukurahundi massacres were a “tiny fraction” of past atrocities that have been experienced in the country.
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20 000 people from Matabeleland and Midlands regions were massacred by a crack army unit deployed to the region by then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe to flush out perceived PF ZAPU dissidents in the 1980s.
On Friday, chiefs in Matabeleland joined human rights groups in condemning Gutu, describing his statements as retrogressive and malicious to the founding principles of the NPRC. Chief Mathema of Gwanda told NewsDay:
He (Gutu) lacks the calibre required for this emotive genocide. He is not a serious person and he lacks depth in approaching the Gukurahundi issue.
He should better excuse himself from this important commission that people hope will solve most of their problems that relate to Gukurahundi. He lacks insight into human nature.
Chief Jahana of Insiza said Gutu was clueless when it came to dealing with matters of conflict and could worsen the situation. He said:
He (Gutu) has no focus as a person coming from the region that never lost any relative in such genocide.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said Gutu’s remarks exposed the NPRC as a tool used by Government, the chief perpetrator, in buying time.
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) leader Mqondisi Moyo threatened to block Gutu from attending any of the commission’s future meetings in Matabeleland.