As tension and mistrust continue to mount over the way the Gukurahundi issue is handled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, many Zimbabweans in the country and abroad have called for accountability and apologies from the powers that be.
Firebrand musician Dr Thomas Mapfumo who was in the country last month for his Homecoming show feels incumbent Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa should apologise for the Gukurahundi atrocity.
His call comes at a time when the Gukurahundi debacle is still ingrained in many Matebeleland people among them Cde Tshinga Dube who last week told Zimbabwe Independent that Mnangagwa needs to apologise for the Gukurahundi massacres.
“Even the current president (Mnangagwa) was also there, although I cannot say he was fully responsible. These are the people who should apologise to the victims on behalf of the government so that this chapter can be closed,” he was quoted as saying.
Echoing the same sentiment, Mapfumo who was on Canada based Zimbabwean DJ Slice’s Afrika Radio Show noted how it was important for Mnangagwa to apologise.
“He is doing fine. He hasn’t done much he still has a lot to do. He needs to show the people that he is a changed man. The other thing he has to do is to apologise about the Gukurahundi in Matabeleland. That’s a serious matter you understand?,” he said.
Dr Mapfumo added that Mugabe did not orchestrate these massacres alone but with Mnangagwa.
“Because he was one of them. He was one of them and he was working with the former president. He was working with the former president and people shouldn’t forget about that. He was the deputy of Robert Mugabe. He knew everything that Robert Mugabe did. And he was on the forefront. He has to do that. He has to do that. Because it was genocide and those people are not going to forget about that. There is a need for closure,” he said.
While in Davos, Switzerland in January this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa refused to account for the Gukurahundi massacres saying the measures he has put in place to deal with the emotive issue must be allowed to run their course.
Mnangagwa was taken to task during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos on how Zimbabwe was dealing with that part of history where about 20000 people were killed in Matabeleland and Midlands regions in the 1980s
The interviewer asked Mnangagwa, who was in charge of State security at the time if he would apologise.
“We are not saying the past must be thrown away from history, it has happened it is there. Just a week ago, I signed a Bill the National Healing and Reconciliation Bill into an Act and have assigned one of my vice presidents to deal with that one so that the communities that were affected can air their grievances and challenges with recommendations from that commission we should be able to address those issues,” he said.