Pressure Group Leads Weekend Gukurahundi Victims Commemorations

In an interview, the pressure group Ibhetshu LikaZulu’s spokesperson Mqondisi Moyo, said they hoped to map the way forward on the “genocide” at the service.

“We will have the commemorations at a venue yet to be announced, but it will be around Bulawayo. If we are to do it at a hall, we will have to seek for police clearance and if it’s in a church, we will not seek for police clearance because it would be classified as a church service,” he said.

The Gukurahundi operation by the government of Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe between 1983 and 1987 is estimated by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) to have killed over 20 000 people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

The gukurahundi massacres only ended after the late Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu and Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party signed a unity agreement on 22 December 1987.

Two weeks ago Zimbabwean police dismissed an Anglican clergy retreat labelling it a political gathering without clearance.

Moyo said the theme for this year is “Towards Restorative Justice”.

“We will be bringing lawyers to the event with the hope that they will explain how the issue of victims and perpetrators in light of the continued plight of the victims. We have invited political parties, civic organisations, the general public and the churches to the event.

“We are currently sending out invitations,” he said.

Moyo said the organisation would on 28 January this year join the rest of the world in commemorating Genocide Day.