By Itai Muzondo
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko on Thursday blasted the much criticised Kalanga denigration at a public lecture on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration which he presented at the Great Zimbabwe University’s Herbert Chitepo Law School in Masvingo.
This was despite the state media’s passionate defence of President Robert Mugabe’s unprecedented Kalanga jibe,
The 91 year old leader recently proffered that the “Zimbabwean Kalangas in South Africa are uneducated and commit to petty crimes” as he addressed the media at the close of a SADC summit in Harare, thus sparking off sharp criticism from most sections of society including his own Zanu (PF) party as confirmed by disgruntled war veterans at a recent press conference.
Mphoko, who took exception at being referred to as second vice president as he was being introduced by Senator Josaya Hungwe, directly contradicted Mugabe’s sentiments towards the minority group through a biblical allusion as he said, “Love has no boundary whether you are Kalanga, Tonga or whatever. God has no nephew; we are all God’s children. Hatred does not work in reconciliation”. Mphoko said he is not junior to his counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In his speech the former diplomat added that migration is a source of conflict which brings with it intolerance, which is the inability or unwillingness to accept each other. He further said intolerance manifests itself when parties to a conflict openly resist each other’s cultural norms, values, systems, beliefs and practices and regard these as foreign.
“Migration by its nature brings with it intolerance, which is the inability or unwillingness to accept each other. Intolerance itself is when parties to a conflict openly resist each other’s cultural norms, values, systems, beliefs and practices and regard these as foreign.
“One group then seeks to alienate the other and the result is disharmony,” said Mphoko.
Mphoko further ironically reminded the gathering of President Mugabe’s speech on 4 March 1980 which attacked racialism, tribalism and regionalism as recently presented in the previous Kalanga ridicules by the president.
Mphoko read, “I urge you to…trample upon racialism, tribalism and regionalism and work hard to reconstruct and rehabilitate our society. Let us deepen our sense of belonging and engage a common interest that knows no race, colour or creed”.
Meanwhile, Mphoko repeated his often criticised mantra that the controversial Gukurahundi attacks had nothing to do with President Mugabe and said there is a hand of Western conspiracy which was meant to divide and rule. He has often been heavily criticised about the unfortunate era which is often compared with the Tutsi and Hutu genocide in Rwanda. Over 20 000 people were killed in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in what President Mugabe later described as a moment of madness.
“The President has nothing to do with Gukurahundi massacres. It is a simple Western conspiracy which is meant to divide and rule,” said Mphoko.