Zimbabwe: Gukurahundi Victims to Be Remembered On Mugabe's Birthday

17 February 2020

A Matabeleland based human rights pressure group, Ibhetshu Likazulu will, on Robert Mugabe National Youth Day, hold a memorial service at Bhalagwe mass graves in Maphisa, Matabeleland South in honour of victims of the Gukurahundi atrocities.

There was a State-run detention centre in Bhalagwe where an unknown number of detainees were killed and buried in the early 1980s.

The Robert Mugabe National Youth Day is held on February 21 to celebrate the birthday of the former President who died in September last year.

However, Mugabe and President Emmerson Mnangagwa have been fingered as key Gukurahundi architects, a genocide, which saw over 20 000 people murdered in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

"Mugabe National Youth Day is an insult to the people of the Midlands and Matabeleland," said Ibhetshu Likazulu coordinator, Mbuso Fuzwayo.

"We cannot celebrate Mugabe who ordered his Fifth Brigade to kill innocent people. Till to his death, Mugabe had not publicly apologised on his actions so why should we celebrate the life of an unrepentant person?"

Fuzwayo said instead of celebrating Mugabe's life, the pressure group would hold a memorial service at the shrine in remembrance of the killed innocent civilians.

"We have lined up several activities on this day to honour our people who were killed. Our programme will start by touring the graves and maintain them. After that, we will have a memorial service and solidarity messages from different stakeholders," said Fuzwayo.

Ibhetshu Likazulu has also been responsible for the erection of memorial plagues for the victims at the site.

At one point, the plagues were, however, destroyed by unknown people suspected to be State security agents.

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