MASVINGO – Bootlicking Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has repeated his widely criticised claim that President Robert Mugabe was not behind the Gukurahundi Massacres in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early 1980s, saying it was a Western conspiracy.
An estimated 20 000 innocent civilians were killed by Mugabe’s 5th Brigade army unit. Pregnant women were bayoneted and thrown into open graves whilst men and women were buried alive in a gruesome manner. The campaign was justified as a crack down on armed dissidents loyal to the opposition ZAPU.
But delivering a public lecture at the Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo, VP Mphoko, who is responsible for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation, said President Mugabe should not be blamed for the massacres because he “always preached peace and reconciliation.”
“I remember the then Prime Minister Cde Mugabe’s independence message on New Year’s eve in 1979. He proclaimed the time as the year of the people’s storm meaning gore regukurahundi. What happened in the post-independence era was something else,” said Mphoko.
Mphoko claimed Gukurahundi was a white man’s conspiracy and that Mugabe should absolved of any wrong doing. He said in line with his peace and reconciliation message, Mugabe even forgave people like Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith who were responsible for untold suffering.
“Following the disturbances of the early 1980s in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces which President Mugabe referred to as ‘a moment of madness,’ he and another revolutionary nationalist icon, the late Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo signed the December 22, 1987 Unity Accord. This was meant to achieve sustainable peace, tranquillity and stability which the country enjoys to date.”
“It’s important to understand how Gukurahundi came about. You should not write wrong information about it, but be straight to the point because some of you write to perpetuate conflict, making people fight over nothing,” added the VP.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail in February, VP Mphoko said Gukurahundi resulted from a plan by the West to stem the spread of communism in the region which saw the United States and Britain help establish and finance the rebel Renamo and Unita groups in Mozambique and Angola respectively.
He said when Zimbabwe became independent, Western interests in South Africa were clearly under threat and they devised means to destabilise the country.
VP Mphoko said there were two Gukurahundis, the first one carried in the President’s message before independence for the country to be liberated and the other one after independence which was a conspiracy of the West.
“I have always said the post-independence Gukurahundi was a conspiracy of the West. This I maintain …People can say what they want, but that was a Western conspiracy,” he said then.
Critics have reminded VP Mphoko that even Mugabe himself admitted that the Gukurahundi Massacres were a moment of madness. Recently appointed to the Vice Presidency many feel he is just singing for his supper.