Ibhetshu LikaZulu replaces Gukurahundi plaque

Bulawayo pressure group, Ibhetshu LikaZulu, has replaced a Gukurahundi memorial in Silobela, Midlands province which was stolen by suspected state security agents.  

The memorial plaque was erected in memory of 11 men who were abducted by the Fifth Brigade Army during the height of Gukurahundi in 1985.

The new plaque was unveiled on Monday during the commemorations of the United Nations (UN) Day of the victim of enforced disappearances.

Former President Robert Mugabe unleashed a North Korean-trained military unit to crack against alleged dissent to his rule in Matabeleland and Midlands, resulting in the murder of over 20 000 people, according to a report compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and Legal Resources Foundation.

In an interview with CITE, Ibhetshu Likazulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said they received support from a lot of people who donated towards the cause.

He said the community in Silobela will be responsible to guard the plaque.

“There is one thing that is going to happen, the community has to protect the plaque, it’s a community thing, the community is the one that said it wants that, I have spoken with them and they said they said they will take turns to guard it,” said Fuzwayo.

“People must not victimise the dead, people must not victimise those who are mourning  their relatives, we want to urge those who have been doing that nonsense  to stop it because victims want closure, victims want healing.”

Fuzwayo said the people stealing the plaques are violating the rights of families who lost their relatives.

“It is not stealing from us, it has nothing to do with us as an organisation but it is the continuation of violating and forcing the victims to continuously be in perpetual mourning because of the way how they speak about it especially the Silobela people they will say the people were stolen and their names have been stolen,” he said.

Fuzwayo said the destruction of the plaques will not deter them from remembering the victims of the 1980s massacres.

“They stole our people and are now stealing their names inscribed on a plaque, so I think the state must desist from the nonsense that it is doing .”

Fuzwayo also said they are also working on replacing the Bhalagwe plaque and in other  districts as well.

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