Hoe moes die burgers van Zimbabwe nie gevoel het nie? Erg getraumatiseerd omdat hul eie geliefdes voor hul vermink, vermoor en soms met ‘n mes oopgeslag is soos wat ‘n bok of bees afgeslag word. Hul babas uitgeslag is en so gelaat om te sterf. Hulle is gemartel en aan die brand gesteek of opgekap en in massagrafte gegooi. Dat mense wat soos hulle lyk en praat, hul eie mense uitwis. Ons is ook daar al sedert HF Verwoerd se dood, waar blankes agter jou staan, nie skroom om ‘n mens in jou rug te steek nie, hulle lyk soos ons en praat ook soos ons in Afrikaans. Wie was hoofsaaklik by en in Dakar om in die geheim saam die kommuniste te konkel, daarna was dit Kodesa. Al hierdie verrigtinge sowel as die skrywe en selfs skrywers, was en is deur Kommuniste, soos o.a. George Soros – Ford Foundation en ander gefinansier. Hulle beheer almal in Suid-Afrika. Sogenaamd Demokraties? En wat het nie in Zimbabwe afgespeel nie – ook “demokrasie”
Skerp veiligheid op. In en rondom jou huis en gaan maar vir ekstra opleidings. Sluit aan by Burgerlike beskerming.
READ MORE ABOUT GUKURAHUNDI AND THE FIFTH BRIGADE
Following Zimbabwe’s independence of 1980, the Zimbabwe Government led by Robert G. Mugabe began an ethnic cleansing genocide aimed specifically at killing all isiNdebele speaking persons of Zimbabwe or in the least case scenario striking such terrifying fear amongst the population of abaThwakazi, through despicable methods of brutal abductions and torture.
Rape, torture, dismemberment of body organs such as ears, lips, sexual organs, arms and legs etc., burning people alive, burying large groups of civilians alive in mass graves, throwing large numbers of civilians in deep open old mine shafts and opening up bellies of pregnant women with knifes to kill both mother and child at the same time, causing disappearances of civilians identified as government threats were some but a few of the gruesome methods that were executed to purge an entire ethnic population of abaThwakazi and particularly persons identified as speaking isiNdebele. Along with the isiNdebele speaking population, anyone belonging to Mthwakazi nation became victim of the atrocities.It was and it is only one’s ability to speak the Shona language of Zimbabwe that one could and can be saved the wrath of such brutal death or abuse by the tribalist government of Zimbabwe which carried out the Gukurahundi atrocities using its special British and North Korean trained 5th Brigade forces ( a special army that was trained only to carry out the genocide to cleanse or purge the newly independent Zimbabwe, of abaThwakazi).
Reports and witnesses have proven and confirmed that the atrocities and systematic cleansing of the abaThwakazi nation which carried on from the British government and Monarch in 1980 by the Zimbabwe government was infact the results of a carefully planned and drafted program which was authored by a special committee of Zanu PF politburo headed by Nathan Shamuyarira and Zimbabwe’s current Vice President, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. This carefully authored program later leaked into the public domain and is popularly known by its title “1979 Zanu PF. Grand Plan” This documented plan was and is a masterminded program drafted against the targeted tribes of abaThwakazi and it appears to have been written during the period of war of liberation dating back to 1963. Evidence clearly shows that the 1979 Grand Plan was carefully and expertly written by Zanu PF’s elite structure and its purpose was to come up with a plan that would exterminate the existence of the abaThwakazi nation from Zimbabwe. isiNdebele was used as the identifying language for the targeted victims of abaThwakazi and as such even today that systematic abuse of anyone caught speaking isiNdebele in Zimbabwe is highly prevalent in all structures of government and the private sectors that the government monitors and controls.
If you read The 1979 Grand Plan together with its follow up supporting documents, you will have no doubt that Zimbabwe’s independence of 1980 had been celebrated to benefit Mashonaland and deprive or eliminate Mthwakazi (Matebeleland) as a people and as a nation.
To this day the 1979 Grand Plan of Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF is still ploughing its vicious tribalist terror system to the masses of Mthwakazi. Reports have indicated that the Gukurahundi genocide, torture, mass killings and disappearances of civilians during the period of 1983 to 1987 may have left about 20 000 civilians dead in the region. We find these reports to be greatly deflated and inaccurate, owing to the account of methods of mass killings that happened daily and by the hour in all regions of Mthwakazi during that period.
We are also direct victims that experienced first had, the torture and abuse and also were witness to the killings, some of which we were made to dig the mass graves ourselves and then after people were ordered to lie in those graves we were then orded by the government army of Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF to then bury the many civilians lying underground alive. No reporters or news agencies or international observers where there to witness 90% of the killings in the region of Matebeleland and Midlands (Mthwakazi) and as such to pull a figure of 20 000 from a hat and decide to claim that it is what number of people could have been killed or disappeared or buried alive etc is very unreasonable.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians were never accounted for by the quoted reports such as the CCJP (Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace) report. Investigators of this report could not have been allowed to exhume all the mass graves and account for the dead fetuses of pregnant women who had still-born babies or had their children cut out of their mothers bellies with a knife.
A more reasonable figure of the murdered cannot be any less than 500 000 unarmed civilians coupled with tens of thousands of civilians that lost limbs and were dismembered by the special government army.
Also over 2 million civilians fled to neighboring South Africa and Botswana and even to date many abaThwakazi are still in exile from the continuing tribalist systematic abuses by the Zimbabwe Zanu PF government. Victims that have never been accounted for include fetuses and still born babies who died due to the forced stress labor by their mothers. Pregnant women had their stomachs cut open to kill them and release unborn babies so that the Mthwakazi population would not expand.
Large groups of villages were ordered to dig mass graves and ordered to get in them and either would then be buried alive or shot dead before being buried. villagers were thrown into old dysfunctional mines to die in agony below the earth. Large populations of abaThwakazi were dismembered and mutilated to instil fear on survivors. Schools were burnt down with principals, teachers and students in them so that education would not be possible in Mthwakazi. Speaking local languages, especially isiNdebele was not allowed as every Mthwakazi person was forced to learn and speak Shona and not doing so got thousands of civilians killed just for speaking isiNdebele. Even today in Zimbabwe, opportunities in the workforce, education in schools, colleges and universities and business dealings will only be a success to a Mthwakazi person if you are able to show ability to speak Shona.
Thousands of abaThwakazi civilians were forced to change their last names to Shona last names just so as to try and open up opportunities to persue education, get employed or promoted at work, etc. All the above witnesses and facts of the mass killings and abuses perpertrated against abaThwakazi could not have accounted for only 20 000 victims.
This 20 000 figure is a figure that Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF murderers appear to be confortable with as it does not sound alarm bells such as would do, the real estimates of the murdered and disappeared and maimed. Zimbabwe’s officials trust that a figure of 20 000 victims is going to keep potential arrest at bay to them. They are dependent on the fact that victims of such gross violations, genocide, crimes against humanity and ethinic cleansing may not find the courage and motivation to approach such courts as The Hague and the ICC (International Criminal Court).
THIS is the fifth in a series of articles of a detailed research paper by British academic Hazel Cameron on the state-sponsored killings of civilians by Zimbabwean security forces between 1982 and 1987 under the pretext of suppressing dissidents in the atrocities now widely referred to as the Gukurahundi massacres.
Hazel Cameron,British academic
The following day, March 5, US Secretary of State George Shultz informed the American embassies in Maputo, Mozambique, and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), that the “Fifth Brigade’s activities have been lightly covered in the British press; however, a detailed report by Nick Worrall datelined Bulawayo appeared in today’s Guardian. Worral wrote in part:
‘At one church refugee centre in a Bulawayo suburb last night, 209 people slept the night on a bare stone ﬂoor surrounded by their bundles of possessions. Most were either old men or women with small children. One woman said she had ﬂed from her village north of Bulawayo after she and all the other people from the village had been made to lie face down on the ground while soldiers walked along beating them with sticks. She said two men who had tried to get up had been shot dead by soldiers … an old man from a village 30 miles east of the city said two of his young male relatives were shot dead by soldiers last week. He had left home and was afraid to return’.”
The offensive by the Zimbabwean government continued, with Minister of State for Security, Emmerson Mnangagwa, making a public statement on March 4, at a rally held not far from Lupane. His statement was reported in the Chronicle, March 5 1983.
“He told his audience that (the) government had ‘an option’ of ‘burning down … all the villages infected with dissidents’.
“He warned ‘the campaign against dissidents can only succeed if the infrastructure which nurtures them is destroyed’. In a supercilious manner, he chillingly described dissidents as “cockroaches” and the Fifth Brigade as “DDT” brought in to eradicate them.”
The very next day, the largest recorded massacre occurred at Cewale in Northern Lupane with the death of 55 people.
“Mnangagwa, in these statements and in others he made later, made clear plainly that the action against the civilian population of Matabeleland was part of a deliberate state policy.”
In an effort to develop a working strategy to deal with the Zimbabwe problem, Chester Crocker, the US Assistant Secretary of State, Africa, wrote to a US delegation visiting Zimbabwe to explain that: “The reasons for the (Prime Minister Robert) Mugabe’s government’s actions are several and interrelated. Like African leaders since the wave of independence began in 1957, he wants to consolidate his power. In practice, this means suppression of the rival, minority, Ndebele tribe by the Shona. This comes against a background of centuries of tribal rivalry …
“Another core reason for the Zimbabwe government’s action — with important US domestic political ramiﬁcations — is the need which Mugabe recognises, to maintain a climate of law and order in Zimbabwe that encourages the still economically necessary white minority to stay.”
It is of note that in this same document, Crocker described Mugabe’s policy in Matabeleland as “turning the Fifth Brigade loose on the Ndebele”, while on the very same day (March 4 1983) British High Commissioner Robin Byatt met with Minister of Defence Sydney Sekeramayi and told him that “we sympathise with the difﬁculties his government face in handling the dissident problem. We did not wish to add to these”.
Byatt continued, saying he “thought that Zimbabwe’s image and international reputation would suffer badly if the kind of reports which had been appearing recently were to continue over any protracted period of time … I urged him strongly to ensure that excesses were curbed and that, while military force was needed, no more was used than was essential to the requirement of the moment … I said, again speaking personally, that in addition to our concern for Zimbabwe’s security and for her international reputation … we had to be particularly careful of the reputation of our army”. Byatt ended by advising London “I am sure that our best tactic is to continue to try to proffer sympathetic and constructive, rather than simply critical advice if we wish to inﬂuence Zimbabwean decisions”.
The rationale for such decision-making is undoubtedly multi-stranded. However, it is quite clear that one of the major concerns for the British is “the reputation of (their) army” and British public opinion as opposed to the ongoing atrocities and human violations.
Such was the increasing concern among Western diplomats in Harare over the unbridled atrocities taking place, that a meeting was organised at the Canadian High Commission on March 11 1983 to share data on conditions in Matabeleland among the chiefs of mission. Representatives from the major involved Western countries — Canada, West Germany, Sweden, Australia and the United States — all attended. Strikingly, Byatt failed to attend, with no apology proffered.
After the meeting, the Americans concluded “that conditions are about as bad as they have been reported in the press, if not worse, though there may have been an improvement following the initial Fifth Brigade rampage in late January and early February”.
Intelligence collated from “Zapu people” by the West German ambassador indicated “that the terror (in Matabeleland) has been directed mainly against women and children. Fifth Brigade has had little contact with actual dissidents, they say, and in two cases where there was contact, ﬁve brigade soldiers ﬂed the scene. Zapu people insist there was no intention to restore law and order. Rather the operation was purely political — to crush Zapu and establish a one-party state”.
A decision was made during this meeting that individual démarches should be undertaken “mainly directed at acting foreign minister Nathan Shamuyarira”.
Later that same day, US Ambassador Robert Keeley made “a fairly strong démarche” with acting Prime Minister Simon Muzenda, while the Swedish and West German ambassadors met separately with Shamuyarira to make their démarche. In the meantime the Canadian ambassador “had received very broad and soft instructions about a démarche” while the Australian ambassador planned to make a démarche at the earliest opportunity, but had “not seen any one high-level yet”.
It is notable that the British did not participate in a démarche. As has been noted, Byatt failed to attend the chiefs of mission meeting and Keeley reporting back to Washington that the “UK was conspicuously absent, for reasons I don’t know”.
Upon learning of Byatt’s failure to appear at the meeting in the Canadian High Commission, Washington wrote to the American ambassadors in both London and Gaborone advising them that “off the record, I want you to know that we don’t entirely share the (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) FCO’s conﬁdence about how much of a lead their representatives are willing and eager to take. The UK High Commission has always, since independence, cared more about the UK’s bilateral relations with the GOZ (Government of Zimbabwe) and has not been inclined to participate in démarches that might cause them damage, though clearly supportive of the overall Western interest in this country. One example is that we and the West Germans have worked hard on trying to get the Zimbabwe media to bring more balance to their coverage of east-west issues, but our British colleagues have not joined us in this endeavour.”
Washington continued: “Still off the record, the British High Commissioner leaves here on transfer to London in two weeks’ time after nearly a three-year tour and a decade of involvement with the Rhodesian problem. He seems somewhat distressed at having to leave at a time when things are going sour. He doesn’t want to go out on a low note, that is, a GOZ-UK confrontation over the GOZ’s strategy for (Joshua) Nkomo, Zapu, the Ndebele and Matabeleland …
“I had an hour-long conversation with General Shortis 10 days ago before he had received his instructions on what to say about Matabeleland and found him excessively defensive about what has been going on in Matabeleland and almost an apologist for the GOZ, as well as naive about the political consequences in the longer term. He obviously has a vested interest in the success of BMATT (British Military Advisory and Training Team)’s armed forces integration exercise and tends to downplay the dangers of a blow-up which would scuttle that long and arduous effort.”
As previously noted, a ﬁlm crew had arrived in Zimbabwe to make a documentary on events in Matabeland. David McMillan of the British High Commission in Harare, invited the ﬁlm presenter, Jeremy Paxman, to dinner on March 16 1983. After the meeting, McMillan reported back to London that Paxman “took an unreservedly gloomy and sensational view of recent events in Matabeleland where he has recently spent some 10 days. He (Paxman) claimed tha tthe situation was worse than any other he had covered in his years with the BBC. He did not think that the Zimbabwean government would much care for the programme he intended to produce, which was due to broadcast on 21 March (1983)”.
In his report, McMillan noted that he “tried to get Paxman to see events in Matabeleland in their true perspective and put it to him that it was difﬁcult to believe that he had seen nothing worse … I would expect next Monday’s Panorama to be hard-hitting and likely to displease the Zimbabweans”.
One of the more notable parts of the subsequent ﬁlm was Paxman interviewed BMATT chief of staff, Colonel Chuck Ivey. Ivey was excessively defensive and dismissive regarding events in Matabeleland, claiming, when questioned, “there are stories out of Matabeleland and stories out of Northern Ireland. Which stories are you going to believe?”
At Easter 1983, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference prepared a pastoral statement noting: “Violent reaction against dissident activity has, to our certain knowledge brought about the maiming and death of hundreds and hundreds of innocent people who are neither dissidents nor collaborators. We are convinced by incontrovertible evidence that many wanton atrocities and brutalities have been and are still being perpetrated.”
Dr Cameron teaches International Relations at the University of St Andrews in Britain. Her main research interests include state crime; external institutional bystanders and international criminal law; state and corporate complicity in genocide, war crime and crimes against humanity; intersection of criminality and the extractive industries in the DRC; and Rwandan state violence.
She has written a monograph of her doctoral research titled Britain’s Hidden Role in the Rwandan Genocide.
MUCH MORE THAN 20000 WERE KILLED
The Gukurahundi was a series of massacres of Ndebele civilians carried out by the Zimbabwe … In early 1983, the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade began a crackdown on … of Genocide Scholars is that more than 20,000 people were killed
AN ex-ZIPRA official has broken the silence on the 1982 discovered arms caches that led to the Gukurahundi massacres, saying the weapons belonged to South Africa’s ruling party African National Congress (ANC) military wing, Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK).
Former Zipra cadre Cetshwayo Sithole told Zapu youths at the party’s regional offices in Bulawayo, that Zapu couldn’t reveal that the arms belonged to MK because it would be “improper.”
“It’s true that we were keeping arms but they belonged to Umkhonto Wesizwe’s arms. When we surrendered our arms at Brady barracks, we couldn’t surrender MK’s arms as well. The truth must be known. We had kept the arms. Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku just kept quiet about it in court,” he said.
MOORDE IN ZIMBABWE
Robert Mugabe (Shona) gee in Januarie 1983 opdragte aan sy eie opgeleide 5de Brigade van “noord-korea” om Ndebele’s uit te wis.
In January of 1983 Robert Mugabe, a member of the ethnic Shona majority, ordered his North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade to carry out what he called a gukurahundi against the Ndebele people.
From January 1983, a campaign of terror was waged against the Ndebele people in Matabeleland in western Zimbabwe. The so-called Gukurahundi massacres remain the darkest period in the country’s post-independence history, when more than 20,000 civilians were killed by Robert Mugabe’s feared Fifth Brigade.
This article examines the role of diplomatic relations during the first stages of the 1983 Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe. Based on a preliminary reading of South African Department of Foreign Affairs files for 1983, the article suggests that Cold War relations
between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom helped to provide cover for the Zimbabwean National Army’s Fifth Brigade’s campaign of terror. Similarly, American support for Mugabe’s claims to be a pro-Western leader committed to non-racialism helped provide international cover for the atrocities. At the same time, evidence shows high-ranking ZANU-PF officials negotiated with the South African Defense Forces in 1983 to cooperate in their efforts to keep ZAPU from supporting South African ANC operations in Zimbabwe.
The 5th Brigade’s campaign therefore served the purposes of South Africa, even as ZANU-PF officials rationalized the Gukurahundi violence in international and anti-apartheid circles as a campaign against South African destabilization. The article suggests that the diplomatic history of the Gukurahundi can provide a useful lens for understanding the tragedy in both regional and international Cold War contexts.
Mugabe received extensive support from the UK and US governments, while simultaneously portraying his government as a leading Frontline state in the anti-apartheid struggle. However, the anti-apartheid efforts of ZANU-PF were constrained by the realities of regional power.
Faced with a much more powerful South African military and economy, Mugabe found it more convenient to cooperate with the South African Defence Forces against Nkomo’s ZAPU given the historic ties between ZAPU and the African National Congress (ANC). Cold War realities meant that Mugabe could benefit from his rivals’ longstanding support from the Soviets and the links between Soviet support for ZAPU and the ANC. Mugabe and others in Zimbabwe’s new government therefore worked with South Africa to keep ZAPU from providing bases for the ANC’s Umkhonto we Sizwe (The Spear of the Nation) (MK) in Zimbabwe.
South Africa’s Involvement in the Gukurahundi
Historian Sue Onslow has investigated South Africa’s role in trying to make sure Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF did not come to power in 1980. Onslow sums up South Africa’s strategy after Mugabe’s electoral victory and its impact on the conflict between ZANU and ZAPU. ‘Mugabe’s victory shocked Pretoria.
This drove South Africa back onto violence and subversion in neighbouring countries, rather than trying to manipulate the political process.’ Onslow argues that the involvement of South Africa in supplying a small amount of weapons to ZIPRA dissidents ‘rebounded on ZAPU/ ZIPRA forces’ in the Gukurahundi ‘as the Mugabe government … was able to stigmatise the disaffected ZIPRA combatants as stooges of the apartheid state, manipulated by a malevolent and oppressive foreign power.’16 South Africa did more to destabilize Zimbabwe in these years, but the support for ‘super-ZAPU’ dissidents proved to be the most important factor in helping the ZANU-PF government rationalize the Gukurahundi.
When Robert Mugabe assumed office as the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980, he was faced with the task of uniting a country which had been subjected to 90 years of increasingly repressive, racist rule.
The Government agencies which were engaged in this second conflict were primarily 5 Brigade, the CIO, PISI and the ZANU-PF Youth Brigades, as shown in this report. These units committed many human rights violations, which compounded the plight of civilians who were once more caught in the middle of a problem not of their own making.
MUCH CONFLICT BETWEEN TRIBES
There is no denying the political nature of events as they unfolded in the 1980s, as the Shona-speaking, ZANU-PF-supporting 5 Brigade ruthlessly persecuted the Ndebele-speaking, ZAPU supporting residents of Matabeleland.
Many ex-members of the Rhodesian army, police and CIO became integrated into the South African armed forces.
Some remained in the country after Independence and actively recruited people for sabotage duties or to act as double agents. Some became trusted Government informers, ideally placed to exacerbate tensions between ZAPU and ZANU-PF by the use of misinformation.
The political and military violence of the 1980s resulted in huge losses for the citizens of Zimbabwe, in terms of human life, property, and economic development in affected areas. The dissidents themselves became answerable for this in no small measure, and are certainly known to have committed deeds of heinous cruelty against their fellow Zimbabweans during these years.
Civilians who lived in the rural areas and came into contact with them describe them as “cruel, uncontrollable, leaderless”. Their activities led to the abandonment of around 200 000 hectares of commercial farmland in Matabeleland, the murders of scores of civilians, the destruction of many homesteads, and scores of robberies.
At the end of 1980 only 15 000 out of 65 000 ex-combatants had been integrated into the Army, and the decision was made to remove some of the remaining ex-combatants into housing schemes near the major centres.
ZAPU Cabinet Ministers Nkomo, Chinamano, Muchachi and Msika were dismissed from the Government and ZIPRA’s former military leaders Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku were arrested with four others, and subsequently tried for treason.
The High Court later acquitted all the men on the treason charges, and referred to Dabengwa as “the most impressive witness this court has seen in a long time” and “the antithesis of [a person] scheming to overthrow the government”.
Super ZAPU consisted of probably fewer than 100 members who were actually actively deployed in Zimbabwe. They were largely recruited from refugee camps and led by ex-ZIPRA members, who had been retrained in South Africa, in the covert operation known as Operation Drama.
A Zimbabwean Government briefing paper on the situation in 1983 conceded “the recent efforts of the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland have offered the South Africans another highly motivated dissident movement on a plate”.
Some sources claim that it was once again Matt Calloway, an ex-member of the Rhodesian CIO who acted as a double agent for the South Africans, who was a key player in the campaign to recruit from Dukwe Refugee camp in Botswana.
While they operated, South Africa provided ammunition for Super ZAPU, and some of this found its way to other dissident groups in the country: arms and ammunition used by dissidents frequently indicated South Africa as the source of origin, particularly during 1983. Super ZAPU were also directly responsible for the deaths of white farmers in southern Matabeleland, during their time of operation.
Published on Oct 26, 2015
Documentary of the massacres in Matabeleland by the Zimbabwe Army 5th Brigade
GENOCIDE, RAPING : ZIMBABWE
Published on Oct 26, 2015
LEES ANDER INLIGTING