Friday, October 20, 2006

Massacre causes old wound that still inflames political tensions

"...A government spokesman's remark that he has no regrets over the masscare of about 20,000 people by Zimbabwean security forces nearly 20 years ago is reopening old wounds and pitting the country's deputy president against President Robert Mugabe.

ZANU-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira made the comments during a recent workshop in Manicaland Province, bordering Mozambique, almost two decades after a five-year reign of terror in the southern provinces of Midlands and Matabeleland by Zimbabwean soldiers of Five Brigade, who were trained by North Korea....

Shamuyarira's recent statement that he had no regrets about the killings raised the ire of vice-president Joseph Msika, whose politics are rooted in Nkomo's PF-ZAPU....

A grouping of people affected by the 1980s genocide issued a statement condemning Shamuyarira for trying to inflame ethnic divisions among Zimbabweans.

"By claiming that Gukurahundi soldiers were protecting the people, when exactly the opposite happened, is not only false but very provocative. The people of Zimbabwe cannot be blackmailed any more by such tribally motivated chauvinism, meant to mask murder, rape and brutality. It is our sincere belief that the crimes and sins of Gukurahundi fall squarely on the perpetrators and their apologists, and are not transferable to all Shona-speaking people - as the cunning tribalists would want in order to create ethnic animosities," the statement said....

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