THE Zanu PF regime led by President Robert Mugabe “planned and ruthlessly executed the Gukurahundi genocide with devastating and chilling brutality”, the opposition MDC-T party said Monday.\r\n

GUTU\r\n

Obert Gutu

\r\n

\r\nThe party said Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s insensitivity towards victims of the “genocide” showed that he was not suitable for public office and should, therefore, resign with immediate effect.\r\n\r\n“Mphoko is a complete and utter disgrace to all right-thinking, democratic and peace-loving Zimbabweans,” said MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu in a statement.\r\n\r\nHe added: “Whilst we appreciate that he (Mphoko) is singing for his supper and he is desperate to please his political master, he cannot be allowed to get away with such irresponsible and highly inappropriate and provocative remarks.\r\n\r\n“As the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe, the MDC hereby calls for the immediate resignation of Phelekezela Mphoko as the Republic of Zimbabwe’s second Vice President.”\r\nThe MDC-T was reacting to an attempt by the vice president to clear Mugabe of any blame for the 1980s conflict which rights groups say killed 20,000 civilians in the Midlands and Matebeleland regions.\r\n\r\nMphoko, recently appointed vice president by Mugabe, sparked outrage by claiming that the conflict was a conspiracy of the West and insisting that “Gukurahundi after the war had nothing to do with Mugabe – nothing! That is a fact.”\r\nGutu said the vice president’s remarks were “extremely in bad taste, insensitive and grossly offensive to both the victims and survivors of this genocide”.\r\n\r\n“Indeed, all peace-loving and patriotic Zimbabweans have been offended and insulted by Mphoko’s insensitive and irresponsible remarks,” he said.\r\n\r\n“It is a notorious fact that from the early to the mid-1980s, more than 20,000 civilians were massacred in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces by the North Korean – trained Fifth brigade.\r\n\r\n“Pregnant women were bayoneted and thrown into open graves whilst men and women were buried alive in a gruesome manner that would make the savagery and brutality of ISIL, Boko Haram and Al Shabab look like child’s play.”\r\nGutu said Mphoko’s reckless remarks flew in the face of attempts to facilitate national healing, a process that, ironically, is part of his remit as vice president.\r\n\r\nHe warned that any attempts by the Zanu PF regime to wish Gukurahundi away would not succeed adding there was need to bring closure over the sensitive subject.\r\n\r\n“As the MDC, we have always advocated for the need to bring closure to the sad story of Gukurahundi,” said Gutu.\r\n\r\n“Put simply, the Gukurahundi genocide cannot and indeed, shouldn’t be wished away. It has to be addressed holistically and conclusively in order to bring and foster lasting peace and tranquillity in Zimbabwe.\r\n\r\n“Victims and survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide should be clearly identified and compensated.\r\n\r\n“In fact, there is a compelling need for a wholesale counselling programme to be instituted for both the survivors and the known perpetrators of the heinous Gukurahundi genocide.”