- Mpofu claimed in his book ‘On the Shoulders of The Struggle Memoirs of a Political Insider’ launched in Harare on Thursday evening that Gukurahundi gives “opposition parties an opportunity to retain relevance in Zimbabwe’s political arena by manipulating this narrative.”
ZANU-PF Secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu, has angered Matebeleland-based pressure groups and political parties by suggesting that anti-Gukurahundi activists were using the 1980s massacres to gain political mileage.
Mpofu claimed in his book ‘On the Shoulders of The Struggle Memoirs of a Political Insider’ launched in Harare on Thursday evening that Gukurahundi gives “opposition parties an opportunity to retain relevance in Zimbabwe’s political arena by manipulating this narrative.”
“Where people have decided to be the spokespersons of that sad development, you see my constituency (Umguza, Matabeleland North) is one that was affected by those disturbances,” Mpofu said while officially launching his book.
“I know the people who have been affected, I live with them, but we have people in towns, people in Harare and people in Bulawayo who have never been to rural area trying to convince me that they know Gukurahundi better than I do.”
Responding to Mpofu’s remarks, prominent anti-Gukurahundi activist and Ibhetshu Likazulu coordinator, Mbuso Fuzwayo, Zimbabwe Economic Freedom Fighters (ZEFF), Zapu, and Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) criticised the former Mines minister.
The organisations said Mpofu and ZANU PF at large, were “in denial” of the truth, therefore, the issue will remain a stumbling block to peace and nation-building.
ZEFF president Ndibali said: “Mpofu knows that Gukurahundi victims are seeking justice and not revenge but he is selfish because he is saying what he wants his master to hear.
“He is a coward who has sold out his soul and Ubuntu for pieces of silver.
“It is shameful that he disrespects victims of a violent death in this manner.
“We call upon him to withdraw his statement and to apologise to the victims of Gukurahundi and to the nation as a whole and in particular Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.”
Zapu spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa implicated Mpofu in the atrocities saying his “role in Gukurahundi is well documented and every survivor is well aware of it.”
“It does not surprise to hear such remarks from the sell-out because he is covering his stink.
“He has so much blood of Gukurahundi victims who fell victim to his collaborative antics with Zanu PF, especially those who were in Zapu leadership at that time.”
The Zapu spokesperson also accused Mpofu of joining Zanu PF from Zapu after allegedly stealing money from the then Customs and Exercise duty department.
“Not only did he (Mpofu) cross the floor in 1982 to avoid arrest over public funds he allegedly embezzled at Customs Department, but also to get protection after selling out the mother party to Gukurahundists.
“He is known to have identified Zapu and ZIPRA properties for Zanu PF to grab and afterwards benefitted immensely from the loot.”
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) also had unkind words for the former mines minister.
“The utterances by the Obert Mpofu on his book shows how dangerous and ill-informed he is.
“He needs to tell us what role he played during the Gukurahundi as some of us feel that directly or indirectly he participated in the atrocities.
“Actually, his statement in trying to exonerate Zanu PF particularly (President) Mnangagwa is a reflection that he is still trying to gain favours as we are aware that he sold out on Mnangagwa and Jonathan Moyo on Tsholotsho Dinyane Declaration.
“He is actually the one who spilled the beans to Robert Mugabe and hence his name calling himself an obedient son to prove to Mugabe he gave him the most valuable information and served him,” said MRP president Mqondisi Moyo.
Moyo was referring to the infamous foiled secret meeting of Zanu PF chairpersons at Dinyane Secondary school in Tsholotsho 2004 to strategise on the succession of then President Mugabe by the then justice minister Mnangagwa. ■