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ED told ‘charity begins at home’ as he pays tribute to Rwanda genocide victims

The move by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday to pay tribute to victims of the genocide in Rwanda has earned him blunt criticism with many people reminding him that he should do the same for victims of the Gukurahundi Massacres in Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa is accused of playing a huge role when he was State Security Minister between 1983 and 1987 when the Fifth Brigade brutally crushed any resistance in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces where many atrocities were committed.

An estimated 20,000 civilians died and were buried in mass graves and to this day the issue has not been addressed.

Mnangagwa was in Kigali this week during the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2022 Summit where he met President Paul Kagame and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair among other African leaders.

After the summit, the Zanu-PF leader got a chance to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the Rwandan Civil War that occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994.

He then wrote a tributary letter pregnant with what appears to be emotions and praise for ‘peace maker’ Kagame.

“This day is the most sad and dark experience of my entire life where I have been exposed to the most cruel practice carried out by our own people against another section of the community.

“I pray that this sad and dark period of the history of this country should never be allowed to happen again, not only in this country but on our continent Africa and the human race,” Mnangagwa said.

“I congratulate my dear brother President Paul Kagame for fostering peace and harmony. May his legacy be carried forward by the next generation.

“Sad history never to happen again.”

This, however, prompted criticism from observers in Zimbabwe who accused the Zimbabwean leader of failing to honour victims of Gukurahundi and bring peace at home.

Former cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo urged Mnangagwa to do the same at home if he was honest.

“Itai mushe Emmerson Mnangagwa. At least victims of the Rwanda genocide, which came well after Gukurahundi, got the peace they deserved from truth and justice. If you are sincere about what your wrote in Kigali, justice must be done to give similar peace to the victims of Gukurahundi,” he said.

Top journalist and human rights activist Zenzele Ndebele said: “Those killed during Gukurahundi genocide are crying for such memorials. Pretence will not take us anywhere,” he said.

Mnangagwa’s government has recently been accused of frequently bombing a Gukurahundi memorial plaque at Bhalagwe in Maphisa, Matebeleland South.

The move was viewed by many as barbaric and a a testimony that Mnangagwa’s administration was reluctant to address the emotive Gukurahundi issue.

The United Nations experts in a report released after the August 17 and 18, 2022 periodic review meeting held in Geneva, the International Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), called on the government to allow Gukurahundi survivors hold memorial services without any disturbances as a means of finding closure.

“…the Committee is concerned by reports that the Gukurahundi atrocities remain a source of ethnic tension and that healing and closure for its victims is far from realised.

“The Committee recommends that the State party carry out effective measures aimed at achieving reconciliation and healing for victims of the Gukurahundi atrocities, with victims consulted and participating in decisions on such activities, and that it provide rehabilitative treatment and support to all victims who need it,” read the report.

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