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Why Gukurahundi should not be forgotten

The history that has crept its way into the minds and hearts of many Zimbabweans and continues to shape present-day Zimbabwe while threatening the existence of Matabeleland as a separate socio-political entity must not be encouraged any longer; the past told in lounges and kitchens of Matabeleland is the pillar that should not only confront the Zimbabwean formalised fiction but also empower Matabeleland.

Independent Zimbabwean historical hogwash infused into formal educational institutions is driven by undue political motives; we all understand why the history is extremely kind to ZANU PF and the head of state; it is a by-product of an interpretation of the past as agreed upon by Harare authorities headed by ZANU PF agents; it is a figment that reduces the violation of international law in the form of Gukurahundi atrocities to ‘a moment of madness’. Unfortunately, that poor piece of creativity has both found traction and been naively embraced by some of the most learned yet less educated sons and daughters of Matabeleland.

Let us not be willing slaves to Zimbabwean historical bias; Gukurahundi was no accident but a planned socio-political process with a long-term focus. Once and for all, we have to put to rest the perception that Gukurahundi atrocities are in the past and revisiting them were somehow retrogressive. Where exactly is the progress in sweeping vindictive crimes against humanity under the carpet?

Matabele Gukurahundi victims
The Gukurahundi victims cruelly murdered by the Mugabe government

We are not naïve to the capacities of the ZANU PF propaganda machine, for only those swimming against the tide know its strength. Matabeleland must show a lot more commitment in its fight against ZANU PF control. Far from being quiet and polite about the atrocities, we must instead be more vociferous in our denunciation of any attempts at normalising those atrocities and presenting them as though they were part of a legitimate political process and intervention; we must be loud and clear in our calls for that human catastrophe to be investigated even if it leads to the front door of the head of Zimbabwe state.

With poor education comes dangerous complacency; if we allow ourselves the liberty to pack away our past, we condemn ourselves to repeating it. Unless this generation revisits our past and tells it as is, the next generation of Matabeles will never appreciate how much it has cost the present generation to preserve our socioeconomic, cultural and political infrastructure and they will never know how to defend their freedom and liberty.


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