Ibhetshu LikaZulu, a Bulawayo-based pressure group, has hit back at the Chiefs Council deputy president, Chief Mtshane Khumalo for accusing the pressure group of allegedly stifling the resolution of the post-independence Gukurahundi atrocities.
This was after Mbuso Fuzwayo, the coordinator of Ibhetshu LikaZulu, had recently said that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was not genuine in his approach to solving the 1980s massacre during which about 20 000 people, mainly from Midlands and Matabeleland, died.
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Fuzwayo urged “all people” to reject the process.
Chief Mtshane was Sunday quoted in a local State-owned weekly describing the pressure group as “one organisation emerging to confuse the whole process”. Chief Mtshane is quoted as saying in the publication:
This is not the time for us to be fighting each other but the time for us to work together in resolving this matter. Let us give Chiefs and their headmen the opportunity to lead the process and ensure that finally this issue is resolved.
Fuzwayo said the Chief‘s remarks about his organization are not surprising because the traditional leader has no history of condemning the atrocities. He said:
What ubaba uMtshana has said is sad, but not surprising. He has been a Chief before his subjects were exterminated by the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade. He has been in parliament for over 20 years. I do not remember him whether in parliament or on the meetings of the Chiefs’ council speaking for his people and his brother who was killed by the genocidist.
Fuzwayo added that the traditional leader must not be used by the state to silence those who have been advocating for open discussion of Gukurahundi.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu has been erecting memorial plaques for Gukurahundi victims at various sites throughout the country some of which are being vandalised by suspected state security forces.
Last month, President Mnangagwa met the National Council of Chiefs at State House in Bulawayo, where among other things, each chief was tasked to resolve issues within their area of jurisdiction by consulting with local communities on their needs and expectations.