Skeletons to the rescue

OPINION – Desperate to shore up some political support from the people of this country, Zanu (PF) has now resorted to the exhumation of the skeletons of some of the victims of the liberation struggle in the Shamva area.

It is sad to think that the alleged atrocities were committed more than 30 years ago, but the exhumations are only being undertaken today, as if the powers that be did not know of the existence of these mine shafts and their gory contents 

Was it not Robert Mugabe who, on the day Zimbabwe attained national Independence, said, “If yesterday you were my enemy, today you are my friend…?” For 30 years as chief executive of this country, Mugabe deliberately turned a blind eye to virtually all the violent atrocities that were committed by the Smith regime during the liberation struggle.

Why? Well, because he knows that he has perhaps just as many of his own skeletons to hide from the nation. We wait to see whether the group that is actively appealing for money to enable them to exhume these skeletons will proceed to Matabeleland as well and do the same gory work.

What is even more amazing is the manner in which the skeletons are being hauled from the mine shaft, stuffed into plastic bags and supposedly handed over to “relatives” for decent reburial. There are no scientific methods of accurate identification of most of these victims. Some of the skeletons are literally just gathered by hand and lumped together as belonging to someone without any proof whatsoever of who that someone was.

In the end, some families are going to be forced to bury skeletons of people they had no relationship with. This could easily open Pandora’s Box as some spirits may visit these families with a vengeance. Some opportunistic traditional leaders have suddenly come alive with all manner of tall tales about how some of these skeletons met their fate. The question we ask them is, “Where were you all these 30 years?” Why did you not challenge the Mugabe government to give these victims of the struggle a decent burial?

The truth of the matter is that not all of these skeletons are from the atrocities committed by the Smith regime. There is a strong possibility that the Mugabe government may have also used the same “burial” place to dumb some of its own skeletons. We know that there are many people who have disappeared from the face of the earth as a result of the brutal work of the Mugabe regime.

Perhaps Rashiwe Guzha’s skeleton is among those that are being exhumed today. How convenient it would be for such a skeleton to be found among the hundreds that may have died at the hands of the Smith regime. Like all others, the skeleton would not be identified, and so the desperate regime would not need to answer any awkward questions.

How many victims of the work of the CIO are among the skeletons being exhumed today? When will the group that is doing this work visit Domboshawa to exhume the bodies of several soldiers that were “buried” there by night only a few years ago?
The people of Matabeleland should organize themselves and safeguard the sacred sites where their loved ones were unceremoniously dumped by the Fifth Brigade during the Gukurahundi “madness.”

Those sites should not be interfered with by Zanu (PF) sponsored groups masquerading as people that are concerned about giving the victims of the Smith regime a decent burial. These people have the critical agenda of messing up the evidence as well as marshalling political support for the ailing Zanu (PF) party.