Home » Governance » Phelekezela Mphoko Offside On Gukurahundi [press release]

Genocide is defined as the systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group. According to public international law , genocide is a crime against humanity. It is a notorious fact that from the early to the mid – 1980s, more than 20 000 civilians were massacred in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces by the North Korean – trained Fifth brigade. Pregnant women were bayoneted and thrown into open graves whilst men and women were buried alive in a gruesome manner that would make the savagery and brutality of ISIL, Boko Haram and Al Shabab look like child’s play.

Recent remarks by Phelekezela Mphoko to the effect that the Gukurahundi massacres were a conspiracy by the West are therefore in extreme bad taste, insensitive and grossly offensive to both the victims and survivors of this genocide.

Indeed, all peace – loving and patriotic Zimbabweans have been offended and insulted by Mphoko’s insensitive and irresponsible remarks. The Gukurahundi genocide is a very sad chapter of Zimbabwe’s post – independence history and we expect senior political leaders in the mould of Phelekezela Mphoko to be extremely cautious whenever they find it necessary to make a comment on this dark phase of our country’s history. The fact of the matter is that the ZanuPF regime led by Robert Mugabe planned and ruthlessly executed the Gukurahundi genocide with devastating and chilling brutality. Indeed, Mugabe is on public record as having referred to Gukurahundi as ” a moment of madness.”

As the MDC, we have always aocated for the need to bring closure to be sad story of Gukurahundi. Put simply, the Gukurahundi genocide cannot and indeed, shouldn’t be wished away.It has to be addressed holistically and conclusively in order to bring and foster lasting peace and tranquillity in Zimbabwe.

Victims and survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide should be clearly identified and compensated. In fact, there is a compelling need for a wholesale counselling programme to be instituted for both the survivors and the known perpetrators of the heinous Gukurahundi genocide. It is against this background that the remarks by Phelekezela Mphoko should be seen as flying in the face of the national healing process that he is , ironically, supposed to be heading. Mphoko is a complete and utter disgrace to all right – thinking, democratic and peace – loving Zimbabweans.

Whilst we appreciate that he is singing for his supper and he is desperate to please his political master, he cannot be allowed to get away with such irresponsible and highly inappropriate and provocative remarks. As the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe, the MDC hereby calls for the immediate resignation of Phelekezela Mphoko as the Republic of Zimbabwe’s second Vice President. This man is completely unsuitable to hold any position of responsibility in any government anywhere in the civilised world. Mphoko should also proceed to specifically proffer an unconditional apology to all the victims and survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide. The apology should also be extended to all the people of Zimbabwe.


Obert Chaurura Gutu

MDC National Spokesperson

Source : Movement for Democratic Change