Govt Turns Down Application For Gukurahundi Monument

The Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust (ZIVOVT) had sought authority from the Homes Affairs Ministry to erect a memorial monument at Bhalagwe ‘as a remembrance of all those who lost their lives during their detention at the concentration camp during the 1980’s.’

“They (Home Affairs Ministry) have turned down our application and the reasons are not cited,” Percy Mcijo, the ZIVOVT spokesperson told Radio VOP in an interview.

“The guilty are always afraid that is why it looks like the authorities are not prepared to have a Gukurahundi memorial moment at Bhalagwe where thousands of people were thrown at a disused mine.

“We knew the Government does not have money that is why we did not ask for funding but only for permission and we are therefore surprised why they refused.”

According to activists and survivors of the Matabeleland disturbances, about 20 000 civilians lost their lives when President Robert Mugabe sent a North Korean trained 5th Brigade in the early 1980’s  to Matabeleland disturbances to crack against dissent to his rule.

In September last year, a Washington based group that campaigns against mass murders, Genocide Watch called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a full investigation of Gukurahundi with the aim of establishing a mixed UN Zimbabwean Tribunal to bring Mugabe and the perpetrators to trial.

Genocide Watch said a mixed UN-Zimbabwean Criminal Tribunal — like the one established in Cambodia to probe the Khmer Rouge killings – could also be created to try Mugabe and other leaders of the genocide