Ibetshu lika Zulu divisive!

Rutendo Jiri

Ibhetshu lika Zulu, a Bulawayo based pressure group which focuses on documenting the reburial of Gukurahundi victims convened an online discussion titled “Enhancing Citizen Participation in Search for Truth and Justice on the Gukurahundi Genocide.

The protagonists sought to explore the role of the Church, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and citizens in resolving the Gukurahundi issue.

The discussion was conspicuous with the convergence of regime change protagonists and disgruntled CSOs, Church leaders and ex-Government officials such as the ZimRights National Director, Dzikamai Bere, Peace Building Practitioner and Dialogue and Mediation Specialist, Reverend Sikhalo Cele and self-exiled G40 member and de facto MDC-Alliance Advisor, Professor Jonathan Moyo.

Perhaps, knowing the looming criticism of participating in divisive politics, Prof Moyo did not participate in the discussion.

Ibetshu lika Zulu enjoys a love triangle with Mthwakazi Republic and the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE), whose Facebook page live-streamed the event and obviously regurgitated the tired narrative that Government had failed to confront Gukurahundi.

The trio is bent on pushing secession and devolution politics with Mthwakazi Republic being more militant and using protest as the modus operandi.

Panel members unanimously conspired to turn a blind eye on the New Dispensation’s efforts to confront Gukurahundi, likening it to the late President Robert Mugabe’s dispensation which failed to look at the elephant in the room, describing the dissident era as a “moment of madness!”

CSOs and regime change experts who converged on the online discussion seemed to have a common agenda- to downplay the sterling efforts  that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Second Republic is making in resolving the issue and to accuse Government of under developing Matabeleland region.

It is sad how during the discussion panelists all experienced a historical amnesia to the positive social, economic and political developments the country has witnessed under the new dispensation.

The emotionally charged panel members demanded that Government offer an official apology to the people of Midlands and Matabeleland for the atrocious past, to the extent that they all failed to recognize the many steps ahead Government, through the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, was in redressing the issue.

Obviously, Government has admitted that a wrong was done in the past, hence its efforts to resolve the issue, but also, this should not be used to hold Government hostage, as there were dissidents out there who sought to destabilize the newly independent country.

The discussants failed to appreciate the common Zimbabwean national identity and thriving national peace and unity that was forged through the signing of the 1987 Unity Accord and has been enjoyed since then.

Zimbabwe enjoys lasting peace hinged on the Unity Accord, which the protagonists seem to want to unsettle by exhibiting periodic outbursts of sponsored anger.

The above is true because the panelists blamed Government and the NPRC of being ineffective because of alleged state capture of the institution and instead called for regional and international community to intervene in the affairs of a sovereign state!

This is how sponsored agendas work, the call for the impossible to happen.

How does a foreign country like Britain and America intervene in a domestic matter of a sovereign state like Zimbabwe, when they too have hashtags over Black Lives Matter issues boiling in their pots!

What is disappointing is the deliberate attempt to mis-inform the public by painting the NPRC as ineffective when just before the Covid-19 induced lockdown last year, the NPRC had commenced issuing identification records and death certificates to facilitate reburials.

It is further disappointing how barely some few months before, President Mnangagwa had just met the Bulawayo Collective for a third time to discuss ways of resolving Gukurahundi and other developmental projects in the region.

Just last month President Mnangagwa was in Bulawayo to commission the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP) which includes the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline ground-breaking ceremony as well as the Epping Forest boreholes in Nyamandlovu.

When completed, the massive 650 million cubic meters Gwayi-Shangani Dam project would transform the lives of communities along the 260km water pipeline route from Gwayi-Shangani Dam to Bulawayo.

Last September, Treasury released $205 million for the rehabilitation of the boreholes which saw the drilling of at least 20 boreholes by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) at the Nyamandlovu Aquifer to augment water supply in Bulawayo by additional 10 megalitres a day.

Since the ushering in of the new dispensation, the country has experienced few hours of electricity load shedding and the foreign currency exchange rate has remained stable, among many other things which regime change protagonists remain adamant to admit.