Mnangagwa Gukurahundi Victims Want Justice

Tsholotso, Zimbabwe – In a school yard in Zimbabwe‘s Matabeleland region, a group of children laugh as they throw themselves into the air on a rusty set of swings. It seems like a happy setting, but the children are playing in one of Zimbabwe’s killing fields. Thirty-four years ago, here in this yard in the Tsholotso district, soldiers shot dead seven teachers at point blank range and dumped them in a pit during the so-called Gukurahundi crackdown in the 1980s. An estimated 20,000 people were killed when former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe ordered a military campaign against the rival liberation movement, PF- ZAPU. The man who was the security minister at the time is now Zimbabwe’s president, while the armed forces were headed by men who currently have senior ministerial posts. Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as the “crocodile” for his political cunning, replaced 93-year-old Mugabe last month. Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, stepped down after a military takeover in the wake of an internal power struggle within the ruling ZANU-PF party. The downfall of Mugabe has now prompted many witness and victims of the atrocities to speak out for the first time. Speaking to Al Jazeera, residents in Matabeleland said the southern African nation could not move forward without acknowledging and atoning for past crimes.
Jane Malazi, from Tsholotso, said she was tortured and had to watch her 14-year-old sister being raped. An uncle was also killed, she said. “It’s very painful, as I speak it still hurts me,” she told Al Jazeera. “Those who did these things should come and apologise to us, otherwise nothing has changed, we can’t move on.” Mlomo Sibanda, a survivor of the “Gukurahundi” massacre, said he does not believe Mnangagwa will apologise. Pointing at the spot where the seven teachers had been buried in Tsholotso, the elderly man said, “They [soldiers]called everyone around this village to come here and dig new toilets. “But, really, we were digging a grave.” Witnesses later told him the soldiers made the teachers line up next to the pits before shooting them dead, said Sibanda. They were killed on suspicion of being part of a rebellion. An unknown number of civilians were among the dead in a series of massacres between 1983 and 1987, carried out by the North Korean-trained Fifth Army Brigade, which was under orders from Mugabe. The “Gukurahundi” crackdown ended with the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 between ZANU-PF and PF-ZAPU. Mnangagwa has denied any role in the killings. In March 1983, state-run Chronicle newspaper published a report about Mnangagwa defending the Fifth Army Brigade.
Zimbabwe offers amnesty for funds stashed abroad
“Likening the dissidents to cockroaches and bugs, the minister said the bandit menace had reached such epidemic proportion that the Government had to bring in “DDT” (the 5th brigade) to get rid of the bandits,” the report read. Meanwhile, Christopher Mutsuvangwa, a senior Mnangagwa adviser, said bringing up the past was “simply unhelpful” and “irresponsible”. “Zimbabwe needs a break,” he told Al Jazeera. “To continuously re-dig its past, to settle scores from the past, as if it cannot grasp the future … It diverts energy away from what should be done. “Every country followed a tortured history … You make mistakes. You make false starts.” Mnangagwa, speaking at his inauguration, said he wanted to help create jobs, reimburse farmers whose lands were seized and stamp out corruption. He has also promised presidential elections next year. Back in a village deep in the bush, Sibanda, the man from the Tsholotsho school, bowed his head in prayer before a stone plaque etched with the names of 23 people, mainly women, who were locked in a house and burned alive. He asked for help and comfort. His words, carrying the anger and pain of tens of thousands of people, shattered the stillness there.

Rampaging Zimbabwe Soldiers Damage Newly Acquired Electoral Commission Bio-metric Voter Registration Machines

A Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) machine was damaged after soldiers went on a rampage in Victoria Falls. In the last few days, videos have emerged of members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) abusing civilians and in at least two cases, the soldiers were assaulting civilians. Here is the police report from Victoria Falls:
MEMO   : 314/07/242/17
DATED   : 10/12/17 SUBJECT: INCIDENT INVOLVING ZNA MEMBERS AT VICTORIA FALLS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT POLICE BASE   The memorandum serves to put on record that: 1. On 10 December 2017 at around 0330 hours and at Victoria Falls Airport Police base, CORPORAL TSANA who is a member of the Zimbabwe National Army currently deployed at Victoria Falls International Airport military base came to the police base with his friend who is also a member of the Zimbabwe National Army whilst dressed in civilian attire. The two were drunk and by the time of arrival they were holding can beer drinks(sic). 2. Upon arrival at the charge office, they found number 075250S CST SHOKO manning the base whom they told to close the police base and proceed to the roadblock. CONSTABLE SHOKO tried to explain to the two that he can not leave the police base but they insisted that he should close and go to the roadblock. The two then went own to ask CONSTABLE SHOKO whether there were other police officers nearby and he led them to a room which is next to the police base where number 0716453 CST MAWERE, 072279N CST CHIBIKA and MISHECK CHADAMOY0 NR 26-070845-Z-26 who is a ZEC operator were charging their BVR kit. 3. Upon entering the room next to the charge office, the two ZNA members started harassing the police officers and they told them that one detail should remain behind and the other two details to proceed to the roadblock. The misunderstanding continued up to until the two ZNA members took a bucket full of water and poured water on the police details and they further went on to pour water on the BVR kit machine which was on the charger. The two ZNA members further went on to force MISHECK CHADAMOYO out of the police base. 4. During the altercation, two members of the ZNA a male and a female came and tried to refrain (sic) their two friends but they refused to leave. The two then left leaving behind their friends who then left after some time. 5. The condition of the ZEC material which has been poured water could not be ascertained as It further waits for experts to work on it. 6. A report was then made at Victoria Falls International Airport base. Victoria Falls report received book number 3165241 refers.


No Christmas holiday for President Mnangagwa New Cabinet Ministers

CABINET ministers are putting in extra hours every day to meet targets set by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a new work ethic takes root in Government. Most ministers have cancelled 2017 festive season travel and have awakened their respective teams to the imperative of delivering key outcomes. President Mnangagwa is himself spending much time at work, and he spent the greater part of Saturday at Munhumutapa Building, the seat of Government. The approach is in keeping with his vision to turnaround Zimbabwe’s economy and improve livelihoods within the shortest possible time. President Mnangagwa has tasked every minister to come up with at least three target-driven economic projects with a 100-day turnaround period. The project proposals are due this week. Cabinet chief whip Mr Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who is Minister State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring of Government Programmes, will superintend project implementation. Ministers who spoke to our Harare Bureau confirmed shelving their annual vacation in favour of working towards economic transformation. Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said, “We have resolved that we are going to be working like we are on steroids in our ministry. We have a number of key projects that we believe we can push for implementation in line with the target. “Our quest, as a ministry, is to focus on projects that will change people’s lives for the better. Top of the priority list is the need to expand network coverage to enhance people’s communication. We are also looking at rapid implementation of tower construction projects and enhanced infrastructure-sharing.” Minister Mandiwanzira said his ministry wants to help deal with cash shortages via platforms for digital payments and mobile money transactions.
“You will understand that mobile money payments are the in-thing these days and it is the only plausible solution to cash shortages. Therefore, immediate network expansion will have a positive impact on digital payments and mobile money, particularly for people in rural areas. We are also looking at enhancing internet connectivity by deploying fibre optic cables in constituencies across the nation. Every household must have internet access through fibre optic cables that are connected to it. “Fibre does not only bring bandwidth for Internet, it also allows for many products to ride on the infrastructure that includes e-entertain, e-education and e-health that will lead to accessing of Government services directly from your home. In addition, we are looking at fast-tracking implementation of community information centres.” Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said his immediate priority was enhancing production, reopening mines and job-creation. “We are geared towards working hard, as a ministry, to achieve our goals in line with our vision. There is need to increase mining production for employment. Mining has to contribute to creation of jobs. There is also need for mining to increase its contribution to the national balance sheet through exports while also attracting capital. Mining production should increase so that the country gets additional foreign currency and the national fiscus gets increased revenue. The immediate priority is to enhance investor-confidence, with the objective of attracting capital. This will be done in order to increase capacity utilisation in current mining operations and secondly, for new production.” Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha added: “Our targets as a ministry have not changed, but now we are focusing on performance so that we deliver results in line with the President’s vision. We are also setting priorities so that we focus on achieving quick results for the identified priority areas.” Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said his ministry was prioritising the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway project. “We are making significant progress and I will advise Cabinet (this week) on what we have achieved,” he said.

How Mugabe Was Captured

Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu says former president Robert Mugabe was captured by people bent on destroying Zanu PF as he justified the military takeover of government last month By GIFT NJIRISI Mpofu told heads of departments and parastatals under his ministry that political cheats had infiltrated and divided Zanu PF. “The legacy of our former president Robert Mugabe, a revered statesman and one of the founding fathers of our nation was under attack,” he said. “Political clowns, charlatans and cheats had squirmed their way into higher echelons of the party.
“The ruling party had been infiltrated and was drifting at an alarming pace from the liberation struggle towards a slippery path of self-destruction.” Mpofu said purges in the ruling party forced the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to intervene. The purges saw a number of Zanu PF officials being expelled or suspended for supporting President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe after the army forced the 93-year-old ruler to step down. “There was founded fear among genuine cadres of the revolution that if the tide of purging that was targeting party members mainly with revolutionary credentials was to continue unabated, the demise of the party was almost assured,” he said. Mpofu, who used to sign off as Mugabe’s “obedient son”, applauded the intervention by the ZDF, saying that it was aimed at restoring the legacy of the former president and rid the party of criminal elements. “The Zimbabwe Defence Forces decided to intervene to protect the gains of our revolution,” he said. “Their intervention was also aimed at preserving the legacy of our former head of state and equally rid the ruling party of sinister elements bent on archiving selfish personal aggrandisement through maligning party faithfuls.” He commended Mnangagwa’s stance against corruption. “Similarly, he [Mnangagwa] took to decisively deal with matters of corruption…again tangible evidence of these efforts has been firmly laid bare for all to see,” he said. “Those with eyes to see, let them see, and those with ears to hear, let them hear.”