Maseko,s exhibition was shot down by police hours after it opened at the art gallery in the city.The exhibition graphically detailed the atrocities committed by the soldiers in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
Now Maseko has been charged with insulting the president and the charges could see him jailed for 24 years.But he is optimistic and says his paintings have given people a voice. He is set to appear in court soon but legal experts doubt whether the charges will stick in court saying the state case is too weak.
“Those atrocities, you can’t talk openly about them in Zimbabwe, so my exhibition kind of made this issue come out and people began to talk about the exhibition,” he said.
“It’s difficult in Zimbabwe to separate what is politics and what isn’t politics because maybe people see Robert Mugabe in my paintings because it is what is on their minds and their faces and it is what is giving them quite a lot of stress at the moment.”
Bulawayo National Gallery curator Vote Thebe says he displayed the exhibition hoping it would help the healing process.
“Our whole aim was to start a debate on the massacres and let the people talk about what happened,” he said.
“And then that way, once you talk about the thing, you get healed as well.
“It wasn’t a way of pointing fingers but it was a way of making sure that people are aware that such things happened.”
While Mugabe, 87, admits the massacres were an act of madness, he has never acknowledged responsibility.
Zimbabweans are hoping to change their government, without the country descending into violence, when elections take place later this year.