VICE-PRESIDENT Kembo Mohadi (pictured) has come under fire over his recent alleged unsavoury remarks over Gukurahundi, where he was quoted as saying that activists from Matabeleland region should not make a lot of noise over the 1980s massacres as other ethnic groups from other regions had also endured pre-colonial era Ndebele cattle raids.
BY SILAS NKALA
Addressing a poorly-attended Zanu PF campaign rally at Tshovani Stadium in Chiredzi last week, Mohadi who is also the National Peace and Reconciliation minister said Shona people, for example, still had fresh memories of pre-colonial raids led by Ndebele fighters.
“We came a long way back. Shona people are complaining that the Ndebeles took our beautiful women and fat cattle. Huh? The Ndebeles are also crying that the Shonas swept us during the Gukurahundi massacres, isn’t it? That’s what we all say, but we have to forgive each other and unite as a nation,” Mohadi said.
“We need national reconciliation and healing as Zimbabweans. I know there were a lot of atrocities which happened even before Ian Smith’s era. Taitorerana minda, tichitorerana mombe (We would seize each other’s land, cattle) and other things.”
But Mohadi’s remarks have sparked anger among political activists and civic society groups, who accused him of singing for his supper at the expense of his fellow tribesmen from the region.
Edwin Ndlovu, spokesperson of the Tendai Biti-led faction of the PDP said: “We cannot expect logical reasoning from Zanu PF functionaries. No sane person can equate Gukurahundi to what happened in 1850s, it defies logic. This nonsense is obviously a Gukurahundist party’s way of reasoning.”
MDC-T Matabeleland North spokesperson, Themba Munkombwe, said Mohadi had a retrogressive mind.
“Animals are different from people. An apology should be made to Ndebele people,” he said.
Post-Independence Survivors’ Trust (PIST) director and MDC Alliance provincial spokesperson, Felix Magalela Sibanda said Mohadi was “not in his right frame of mind” when he made the remarks.
“How can he cause apprehension and despondence to genocide victims in the name of a Zanu PF campaign? We, as the Bulawayo MDC Alliance feel it is a national disaster and mockery of Matabeleland and Midlands victims both deceased and living. We are, therefore, demanding unreservedly apology not to this region only but to the nation as a whole,” Sibanda said.
“It is most satanic indeed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa keeps him as his VP. Mohadi’s former (his) colleagues who were with him like the Edward Ndlovu are turning in their graves because of the treacherous pronouncements by Mohadi.
“We are dismayed by these satanic utterances and demand unequivocal National apology as to facilitate national healing. How can he surely lead reconciliation, healing and forgiveness with such mentality and uncaring attitude to his own kith and kin? Only the Devil knows better, why!”
Sibanda urged the citizens to punish Zanu PF by not voting for them in next month’s election on July 30.
Zapu spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa, said Mohadi was proving “he’s just another excuse of a human being,” because no sane human being in their right senses should be able to deny, ignore or trivialise atrocities of the Gukurahundi magnitude like he was doing.
“We need to establish if his faculties are still in order. And no human being in their right faculties can justify Gukurahundi, whatever lie they seek to present to the current generations,” he said.
Zpra Veterans’ Association secretary-general Petros Sibanda said: “His comment should be always against his kith and kin, we don’t expect such from his position also he is leading the Healing and Reconciliation committee.”
He called for unconditional forgiveness, saying the country could not afford to be held back by misdeeds of the past.