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A genocidal champion can’t be a unifier: Sikhala digs at Mnangagwa

Opposition MDC Alliance vice chairman Job Sikhala has taken a dig at President Emmerson Mnangagwa charging that a ‘genocidal champion’ cannot bring true unity to Zimbabwe.

Sikhala said this during the commemoration of National Unity Day on Wednesday. The holiday celebrates the merger of two political parties, Zanu PF and PF Zapu in December 1987 when the historic Unity Accord was signed.

Sikhala said: “The only party and the people who will bring TRUE UNITY to Zimbabwe is the MDC Alliance.

“A genocidal champion can’t be a unifier. No one would have expected Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party to unite the world.”

Police on Wednesday disrupted a Gukurahundi memorial in Makokoba, Bulawayo.

Observers said the move by the police violated Section 58 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that, “Every person has the right to freedom of assembly and association.”

The Gukurahundi was a series of massacres of mainly Ndebele civilians carried out by the Zimbabwe National Army, the Fifth Brigade from early 1983 to late 1984 in Matabeleland and Midlands Province.

It derives from a Shona language term which loosely translates to “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.

During the Rhodesian Bush War two rival nationalist parties, Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) and Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu), had emerged to challenge Rhodesia’s predominantly white government.

Following Mugabe’s ascension to power, his government remained threatened by “dissidents” mainly disgruntled former guerrillas and supporters of Zapu and its leader, late Vice President Joshua Nkomo.

Meanwhile, thousands of Ndebele were detained by government forces and either marched to reeducation camps or summarily executed. It is estimated that more than 20,000 people were killed.

Emmerson Mnangagwa who is now the President of Zimbabwe, was the State Security Minister during the genocide.

The fifth brigade was led by Perence Shiri, who succumbed to Covid-19 last year.

MDC Alliance Secretary General Chalton Hwende said: “Unity Day with a man @edmnangagwa who is reported in many investigations as being behind Gukurahundi is meaningless without adequate compensation and persecution of the perpetrators. The fact remains that in Matebeleland many people have no access to ID’s and any opportunities.”

Commemorating the Unity Day, Mnangagwa said: “The Unity Accord of 1987 today stands out as an accord enabling spatially balanced, inclusive, community-driven development. It is never an accord or concept frozen in time or history. Rather, it is a dynamic which interacts with time and circumstances as our nation evolves along its chosen trajectory.” Nehanda Radio

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