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Mliswa kicked out of parliament for accusing Zanu-PF of carrying out Gukurahundi

The Zanu-PF regime is under-fire again for seemingly failing or not willing to resolve the Gukurahundi issue, more than 36 years after the massacres happened in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces.

In the early 1980s, Gukurahundi Massacres claimed an estimated 20 000 innocent lives in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was state security minister and enforcer for then-leader Robert Mugabe at the time and they were allegedly publicly supporting the campaign.

The killings only ended in 1987 when Joshua Nkomo, a leader in the war for independence and rival of Mugabe with strong support in the Matabeleland region, agreed to join the ruling party.

Victims of Gukurahundi are still demanding answers to what actually transpired including apologies from the perpetrators. But little initiatives have been done to ensure peace and reconciliation.

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Debating the controversial Patriotic Bill in Parliament, Norton legislator Temba Mliswa accused Zanu-PF of orchestrating the massacres. His sentiments caused pandemonium in the National Assembly resulting in the acting Speaker of Parliament Tatenda Mavetera chasing him away.

Mliswa said: “Madam Speaker, so you have got ZANLA and ZIPRA going to war for national interest to liberate the country. So, who is qualified to call the other one a nationalist and a patriot?

“Why did Zanu-PF believe it had deranged and they continue with that brutality bringing this law in this House? The only thing Zanu-PF is known for is massacre. Gukurahundi, it did it.

“This is an emotional issue. There must be a Commission of Inquiry to deal with Zanu-PF people who led Gukurahundi.”

The outspoken MP further claimed that, while Zanu-PF MPs were pushing for the Patriotic Bill, their party was in power when more than 20 000 people were killed during the Gukurahundi.

“You cannot kill other people in a country and you want to woo the people who kill other innocent people. This should be very clear. Did you not hear of Gukurahundi? Where are those people who spearheaded Gukurahundi? Are they nationalistic, are they patriotic?

“They went and killed the people who were patriotic and nationalists. Gukurahundi is a fact. Let it not pain you because you were probably not part of the struggle. This is emotional,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mavetera interjected him, accusing him of using offensive language against Zanu-PF. She ordered him to leave the house.

Mliswa, however, refused to be escorted out until the house was suspended for ten minutes.

Commenting on the issue, former Finance Minister Tendai Biti described the move by Mavetera as “political repression”.

“There was pandemonium in Parliament this afternoon during the debate of the fascist Patriotic Bill resulting in the refusal to divide the house on the terrible section 2(3) and the expulsion of Temba Mliswa for raising the issue of Gukurahundi.

“The Patriot Bill shows the extent of political repression in Zimbabwe. It shows beyond doubt that Zanu-PF is not credible nor ready for reforms. It embarrasses those that are naively pushing for debt restructuring in the absence of genuine political reform and an irreversible commitment to reform,” he said.