PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe can brace for more protests against his beleaguered regime after a South African-based Zimbabwean organisation representing the interests of Matabeleland said it was planning protests across the region against the 92 year-old leader over the Gukurahundi genocide.
In a statement Tuesday, Siphesakhe Youth Organisation said it would soon embark on a regional offensive starting in South Africa to demand justice against those who killed over 20 000 civilians during the early 1980s holocaust.
“The demonstration will demand freedom, truth, justice and reparations for the people of Matabeleland for the genocide committed against them,” reads part of the statement.
“...the demonstration will be a call on the South African government to give the people of Matabeleland a ‘Special Immigration Protection Status’ in South Africa as they are an endangered people who are hounded out of their Homeland by the Genocidal State of Zimbabwe.”
The Gukurahundi period, by far the darkest since independence, saw then Prime Minister Mugabe dispatch his North Korean trained army unit to Matabeleland and Midlands provinces ostensibly to hunt down armed insurgents loyal to once bitter rival Joshua Nkomo.
Since the siege ended with the signing of the unity accord between Mugabe’s Zanu and Nkomo’s PF Zapu in 1987, no action has been taken to both punish the perpetrators or compensate the victims.
Said the group, “As young South Africans and with close links with the people of Matabeleland and Midlands, it will be unbecoming of us to sit on our laurels and fold our arms and watch this diabolic situation hurting our kith and kin.
“Matabeleland needs freedom. Our brothers need truth, justice and reparations about genocide in Zimbabwe. Our Matabele brothers and sisters residing in the Republic of South Africa need our protection. They needed it yesterday; they need it today and tomorrow.”
The organisation said South Africans should not forget easily that uMkhonto weSizwe then led by the late anti-apartheid stalwart, Chris Hani and others operated in Matabeleland with the support of Nkomo's Zipra forces while waging their own struggles in South Africa.
“Many Africans are not aware of this genocide committed against the people of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe. It is therefore our wish to shine a light on it and put it on the international radar of injustices committed against humanity and demand freedom, truth, justice and reparations for the people of Matabeleland,” the group said.
According to the organisation, the Gukurahundi genocide was planned and consolidated with a 1979 Grand Plan document against the Matabele and the white community in Zimbabwe before the country got independence.
“Its sole aim has always been black domination of other nations. The revised 1979 Grand Plan seeks to extend is tentacles in South Africa and the rest of Southern Africa and exercise Shona hegemony in key Institutions of all countries,” they said.
“We appeal to all Matabeleland people and friends of Matabeleland to join us in large numbers in this demonstration once the date has been announced.”