Tall Tale of Crimes Against humanity : Who masterminded the Massacre ?
A description of the factual facts regarding some of these atrocities and abuses based on the CCJP report have been highlighted in the Electronic Mail and Guardian to include the following in the Tsholotsho and Nyamandlovu districts:
* "Neshango line. February 3 1983. Mass beatings of villagers and shooting of two young pregnant girls, followed by their being bayonetted open to reveal the still moving foetuses.
* "Kumbula School, Pumula village. February 13 1983. Whole village beaten and seven shot dead, including a teacher, after digging their own graves. Witnesses refer to a fountain of blood from the pit.
* "Tangahukwe. February 1983. All the villagers were rounded up and severely beaten. Twelve were selected and shot after being forced into mass graves. One of the chosen managed to run away so his younger brother was killed instead.
* "Korodziba. February 1983. Five Brigade came to the school and took about 60 pupils aged 14 years. They were beaten and asked about dissidents. Twenty to 30 girls were raped and then ordered to have sex with some of the boys while the soldiers watched.
* "Solobhoni. February 23 1983. Five Brigade rounded up the entire village to the borehole. Six people were chosen at random and were bayoneted to death and buried in one grave. Everyone was then beaten. Five people were beaten to death...one man who wept to see his brother killed was severely beaten and died a few weeks later from his injuries. One old lady who was found in her hut was raped and Five Brigade then set fire to a plastic bag and burned the old lady with it, setting fire to her blanket. She died three weeks later from the burns.
* "Emgagwini. March 1983. One young man was taken by Five Brigade, badly beaten, returned and while his parents were washing his wounds, the Five Brigade came back and shot him.
* "Mkhonyeni. January 1983. The first woman to die in this area was accused of feeding dissidents. She was pregnant and was bayoneted open to kill the baby. She died later. In the same area in February 1983. All the villagers were forced to witness the burning to death of 26 villagers, in the three huts of Dhlamini.
* "Bonkwe/Nyanganyoni. A young woman from Bonkwe going to buy mealie-meal was beaten for wearing her husband's watch. Her husband was summoned to Nyanganyoni and beaten to death. Every bone in his body was broken - he is referred to as being "like a cloth"
* "Tshomwina and Dzokotze. January/February 1983. All the villagers of Tshomwina were force-marched to Dzokotze nearby. They were beaten and five were killed. One man died after terrible mutilations which included having his jaw broken and his tongue cut out. This man ran away and was found by his family in a neighbouring village. He took eight days to die, without medical care.
* "Mpungayile. 1983. Five Brigade shot dead a mentally retarded boy and then shot three other men. Because the women wept they were shot too, four of them.
* "Nkwalini. February 1983. A man from here, trying to take his wife away to Bulawayo, was shot dead at Mlagisa siding and so was his wife when she cried when she saw him shot.
* "Sipepa Area. February 1983. Whole village forced to dig roots, some were then beaten and two school boys who looked too old for their class were shot dead".
The following few horrible atrocities that have been noted by the Electronic Mail and Guardian from the CCJP report occurred in the Matobo district in Matabeleland South:
* "A four-month old infant was axed three times and the mother forced to eat the flesh of her dead child. An 18-year-old girl was raped by six soldiers and then killed. An 11-year-old child had her vagina burnt with plastics and was later shot. Twin infants were buried alive.
* "Dry Paddock area. February 1984, A young woman and her father-in-law were asked about dissidents and beaten. They were then stripped naked and told to have sex with each other. The father-in-law said he would die first. A shot was fired, missing them, and the two were severely beaten and left for dead.
* "Donkwe Donkwe. February 1984. Five Brigade rounded everyone in the area to a local school. There were about 200 men, women and children. Everyone was beaten and kicked from sunrise to 10 am. Then some were made to dig two graves, while others were made to fight each other. Six men were chosen at random and placed in two groups of three. They were then shot dead. Everyone else was told to sing songs praising Mugabe and condemning Nkomo... While some sang and danced, others were beaten. Some of the villagers were made to bury the six dead and then had to join in the singing while being beaten. At 4 pm about 19 young men were taken away and another man was shot as they departed.
* "Mloyi area. February 1984. Approximately 100 adults and school children were rounded up... they were told they were in for a treat... People were then beaten, including a 12-year-old girl and her sister and their father. The two girls were so badly beaten they were later hospitalised. Their father was then shot in front of everyone and his children were made to search his pockets to see if they could find any evidence that he was a dissident.
* "Mbembeswana area. February 1984. An ex-Zipra soldier was taken from his home in nearby Silonkwe to Mbembeswana. He was badly beaten and then his family were summoned to fetch him. He had both arms broken and no teeth. He refused to leave, saying he was dead already. He was then shot dead".
By any conceivable human standards these few factual examples of brutality represent a systematic and deliberate strategy of annihilating a people from the face of the earth. Not since the time of Hitler (and his fascist cronies) had a regime in Africa put into practice its extermination designs against a people that it claims to be its own defenceless innocent citizens (infants, children, pregnant women, the mentally retarded, the disabled and the old), for no other reason than for belonging to a particular ethnic group.
To kill in the manner in which they did vividly illustrates the fact that there never were in existence any so-called "dissidents". Rather, this slaughter had been intended to drive out all the Ndebele people from Zimbabwe, as well as to create conducive conditions for the establishment of a one (ZANU-PF) party state in the country.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his murderous cronies were fully (and still) aware that had the so-called armed "dissidents" (former Zimbabwe Peoples’ Revolutionary Army - ZIPRA forces) ever been in involved and operational, they would without any difficulties whatsoever had halted this slaughter. The notorious Fifth Brigade would have suffered the consequences in fact they would have been routed and given no chance to retreat. Thus the Gukurahundi would have been severely punished for these inspired ZANU-PF crimes against the Ndebele people.
It is virtually inconceivable that former ZIPRA forces (probably the best ever liberation war fighters in the whole of Southern Africa this century) who had fought so gallantly against the former Rhodesian forces (RF) during the liberation struggle against colonialism could have been a mere walk-over for Mugabe's Fifth Brigade (a Brigade that was trained to exterminate foetuses and infants), without any kind of resistance whatsoever.
History has recorded that whenever there had been hostilities during the liberation war against colonialism in what was Rhodesia between Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), the military wing of ZANU-PF, and ZIPRA the military wing of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), the ZIPRA forces had always defeated ZANLA forces in battle. This was also clearly demonstrated in 1981 when the ZANU-PF regime of Prime Minister Robert Gabriel Mugabe instructed ZANLA forces to destroy ZIPRA forces while awaiting integration into the Zimbabwe National Army. ZANLA forces were heavily defeated and driven out of Bulawayo by ZIPRA. At the same time, open conflict and skirmishes between ZANLA forces and ZIPRA forces had also broken out in various integration camps throughout the country with ZIPRA forces emerging victorious.
In February 1981, Prime Minister Robert Gabriel Mugabe having recognised the defeat of his ZANLA forces but still determined to destroy ZIPRA forces, sought air power assistance from Ian Smith, the former Rhodesian Prime Minister, and deployed the Rhodesian air force supported by the Rhodesian African Rifles against ZIPRA forces based at Entumbane township in Bulawayo. Several bombing raids were carried out by the Rhodesian air force against ZIPRA forces resulting in scores of people being killed. The Rhodesian forces also suffered heavy casualties.
The cessation of these hostilities only came to fruition after Prime Minister Robert Gabriel Mugabe (having started the war and suffered defeat) persuaded the ZAPU leader, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, to intervene by ordering his ZIPRA forces to cease fire and return to their camps to await integration into the newly established Zimbabwe National Army.
When Prime Minister Robert Gabriel Mugabe's inspired strategy of destroying ZIPRA forces in 1981 had resulted in the defeat of his ZANLA forces in Bulawayo, he had simultaneously requested assistance from apartheid South Africa, alongside that of the Rhodesian air force and the Rhodesian African Rifles. The apartheid regime had positively responded to Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's request by deploying South African troops (supported by tank divisions, armoured personnel carriers, air power and other heavy military equipment) along the Zimbabwe Beit bridge border (on the South African side) ready to intervene in support of Mugabe's regime.
Source: International Political Archives, Geneva