Police block march organised in memory of Gukurahundi victims
Police in Bulawayo broke a march organized Thursday by local pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu in memory of Operation Gukurahundi victims killed in the early 1980s.
According to media reports from Bulawayo, three activists were arrested during the foiled commemorations.
The three are:
i). Ibhetshu LikaZulu’s vice chairperson, Thamsanqa Ncube
ii). Ibhetshu LikaZulu member, Melusi ‘Coltart’ Nyathi, and
iii). Samukeliso Tshuma, leader of The Girls Table organization.
Narrating the incident Thursday, Ibhetshu Likazulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said some passers-by were also harassed by police during the incident. Fuzwayo said:
As an organization, we were intending to march in memory of those who survived and those who were killed, raped but the government of Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwe Republic Police stopped us, and sadly a lot of people who were passing by and those within the vicinity of the Joshua Nkomo statue were harassed.
The pressure group has, in the years, timed its Gukurahundi commemorations for Unity Day, celebrated every December 22.
Unity Day was declared when the late Nkomo and late President Robert Mugabe’s rival parties merged in what ended the Gukurahundi massacres waged by the country’s security forces against civilians who were presumed to be sympathetic to Nkomo’s PF Zapu.
Gukurahundi, as it is commonly known, was an operation that was allegedly carried out by Mugabe’s government to track down former ZIPRA combatants who deserted Zimbabwe’s integrated military with weapons in protest over lack of equal treatment with those who waged the war under Mugabe’s ZANLA.
It is estimated that 20 000 civilians died at the hands of the Zimbabwe military during the dark period.