A Gukurahundi memorial plaque has reportedly been stolen in Silobela, Midlands Province, barely a fortnight after unknown people removed a similar structure.
This is the second time a plaque in memory of Gukurahundi victims has been stolen in the Midlands. Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo has said “30 August is the International Day Against Forced Disappearances. As an organisation we went to Silobela to have commemorations with the families of relatives who were abducted by the government of Zimbabwe in 1985 during the Matebeleland genocide”
“We then went on to replace a plaque that was stolen. The plaque was, however, stolen Tuesday night and we have no doubt who stole it. It is clear it’s those who are trying to erase the memory of the Gukurahundi massacres. It’s those who are trying to close the space for the people of Midlands, to exclude the people of Midlands from the Gukurahundi genocide. It’s clear who did this.”
The group has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of closing the democratic space of Gukurahundi victims. Fuzwayo says his group will continue to erect more plaques despite the desecrations.
“The truth of the matter is that we erected a plaque in Silobela in Midlands. This is an area where nothing or very little has been done around issues of truth-telling amongst other issues,” he said.
“We are going to replace all the plaques that were stolen and erect additional plaques as memorials or a tool of memorisation.”
“Looking at the present political development after Mnangagwa assumed power and met chiefs from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, people from Midlands have never had an opportunity to discuss their issues so we felt we had to give people of Midlands especially Silobela an opportunity to talk about their issues,” he said.
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