Kim Jong-il who was known as the “Supreme Leader” died on Saturday of a heart attack at age 69; he had ruled North Korea with an iron fist for the past 17 years, although he was in control of the country’s army since 1980.
“It is never Zapu’s culture to celebrate anyone’s death. However, in this case we have no option but to welcome the passing-on of the North Korean dictator. This is the man whose government trained Zanu-(PF’)s killing machine, the Fifth Brigade that went on to kill well over 20 000 innocent civilians in Matabeleland and the Midlands,” said Moyo.
Edwin Ndlovu spokesperson of the smaller faction of the MDC said:“We will not shed any crocodile tears for the trainer of Gukurahundi, the only problem about his death is that it was before he could account for his actions, we are not apologetic about that.”
In 1982, Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) sought help from North Korea to train the infamous Five Brigade unit, which was disbanded after killing almost 20 000 people, including children and pregnant women, according to the Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace.
The brigade was deployed in the Midlands and Matabeleland regions in an operation code named Gukurahundi.
For about five years, the Five Brigade massacred innocent civilians using the excuse that there had been insurgency in the Zapu strongholds.
Some of the people civilians butchered during this period were buried in mass graves while some were thrown in disused mines. President Robert Mugabe has refused to apologise for the killings although the Zimbabwean leader has called the crackdown a “moment of madness.”