Mugabe official : Massacre of 80's wrong

2011-08-14 23:35

Harare - A top official of President Robert Mugabe's party has issued an unprecedented condemnation of the massacres of up to 20 000 civilians of Zimbabwe's minority Ndebele people three decades ago.

Jonathan Moyo, a member of the powerful politburo of the ZanuPF party that came to power in 1980, was quoted in the party-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper saying that the massacres were "a dark point in our history".

The comment was seen as a sign of deepening strife within the formerly monolithic ruling party

The killings were carried out by Mugabe's security forces during a low-level insurgency during the early 1980s in the western province of Matabeleland, home of the Ndebele-speaking tribe.

The government's reaction was "outrageously disproportionate" to the threat, Moyo said, although he stopped short of calling for an investigation.

There have been no reparations made to families of the victims and no apologies.

Mugabe, 87, once said the atrocities were "a moment of madness" but buried a government report on the affair.

Moyo is a controversial figure, a former academic and articulate critic of Mugabe who later joined ZanuPF, defected and then changed sides again.

Direct challenge

Commentators say he stirred anger among Mugabe's old guard last week by calling for "change" in the party.

His remarks about the massacres were seen as a direct challenge to long-term Mugabe loyalist and powerful defence minister Emmerson Munangagwa, who is seen as the most likely successor to Mugabe.

Munangagwa last week declared that the Matabeleland killings were "a closed chapter".

Opposition politicians have recently been arrested for pressing for open debate on the issue.

After three decades of running Zimbabwe as a virtual one-party state, ZanuPF is said to be deeply divided, particularly over elections expected in the next two years.

Mugabe loyalists demand he should be "president for life," but a large younger group - with Moyo as apparent spokesperson - insist that he will be too frail to undertake an election campaign.

Mugabe was forced by neighbouring states led by South Africa into a coalition in 2008 with pro-democracy leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is thought likely to beat Mugabe in elections.

He won more votes than Mugabe in the last election earlier that year, but Mugabe effectively seized power after a national campaign of murder and torture targeting Tsvangirai's supporters.

  • slg - 2011-08-14 23:45

    Here we go. Let's change Zim too. Geez these are interesting times.

      Francois - 2011-08-15 08:11

      I think we must also congratulate Mbeki and Mtafelki for coming with an African solution for an African problem!

      embargo - 2011-08-15 09:57

      According to a source closer to the mine face who has business interests in Zim which are now effectively dormant, the figure he quotes is more like one suiting the date. I.e. x 4 as reported. Note how long it has taken to surface? Still shocking and yet the support from it's bordering country... All of them, sickening.

      The_Realist - 2011-08-15 10:10

      as far as i am aware, this is the 1st time anyone in the zimboobwe goverment has officially admitted that robber mugarbage committed genocide on a huge scale!

  • Mybra - 2011-08-15 00:01

    The blood of the victims is crying out from the earth.

      croix - 2011-08-15 12:30

      The genocide of the past is NEVER a "closed chapter" and should see Mugape and cronies in The Hague soon!

  • Mybra - 2011-08-15 00:03

    The blood of the victims is crying out from the earth.

  • Realist72 - 2011-08-15 00:22

    20 000 people dead at the hands of that psycho ! And who cares ?? No-one... Our ANC still worships him (Ne Juliass)

      p123 - 2011-08-15 07:43

      Correct, but he was possibly killed more than 20 000 in all the election violence over the years - there is blood on ANC hands for supporting this Dictator and his evil regime!!! And remember Malema idolises Mugabe!!!

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-15 08:27

      The morally corrupt Brits and Americans showered him with Knighthoods and Doctorates at the time. When he started taking land from white farmers, they withdrew these. What a joke.

  • IBI - 2011-08-15 00:48

    Always convenient to apologise 30 years after the fact. He is accountable to no-one and knows it. Probably thinks by doing it the sanctions will be lifted.

  • Ampers - 2011-08-15 01:09

    Not quite sure what to say here. I feel sick in the stomach and am totally unable to comprehend. Not the fact that this has happened, but by the lack of condemnation by the adjoining states. In a horrific case such as this, not to condemn can only mean condone! There can be no other explanation.

      Atholl - 2011-08-15 02:13

      'not to condemn can only mean condone' is a very accurate interpretation. The militaristic manner that the killing took place - and the victims being forced to dig their own graves - even dogs survived the slaughter! ....... why ? .... to condone Power, Control and Money not to condemn

      fraserm - 2011-08-15 05:23

      Ampers - I know exactly what to say. This was a WAR CRIME carried out by Mugabe and his regime which is common knowledge to the world and the U.N. yet, as you say it has been condoned. We must ask ourselves WHY ? Do you think the world would have condoned this attricity under Ian Smith and if not , why under Mugabe. Political correctness at the expense of 20000 lives. Makes me sick in the stomach !!!

  • FFS - 2011-08-15 01:20

    Nobody was blacks killing blacks....big deal. Now had it been whites killing poor innocent, churchgoing blacks, Bono would have had an album about it, there would be an internationL day of mourning each year on the anniversary, and the world might even have stopped spinning on it's axis. But hey...blacks massacring blacks? Meh...

      Rupesh - 2011-08-15 02:47

      the world stopped for zimbabwe when black killed whites too. It is only when black kills black that no one seems to care.

      The_Realist - 2011-08-15 10:37

      FFS, if the world had to have an international day for EVERY atrocity where blacks killed eachother on the darkest continent, there would be no days left on the calendar! Bozo already has LOTS to sing about, if he actually cared.

  • slg - 2011-08-15 01:58

    Worse than Apartheid, far worse. Not to diminish the negative impact of Apartheid, just that this is worse. Twenty thousand people slaughtered "in a moment of madness" as he puts it.

      Rupesh - 2011-08-15 02:47

      I don't think we should compare the two. comparing the two diminishes one or the other. Both really bad.

      Glenn - 2011-08-15 06:58

      @ Rupesh, so how many people were killed by the apartheid regime? We will be hearing about the apartheid "genocide" until the year 3000, while this act, at least 10 times worse, is forgotten. And this atrocity probably is the tip of the iceberg. The suppression of human rights in Zim is right up there with the worst apartheid could do

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-15 08:46

      You cannot compare the two. South African history vastly different to Zim. I know that it is all pie in the sky now, but had South Africa been run properly over the last 100 years, we could have been one of the most powerfull and prosperous nations in the world. Instead we had a smallminded/narrow/backward aproach, gave our power and our minerals away and are left with a population of devided people who are materially, culturally and socially poorer in many ways than we should have been.

      slg - 2011-08-15 09:05

      I hear you and agree. But you know what, violence was always there. Black South African males are violent. they always have been, even before Apartheid. I know this is a risky thing to say, but it's true. It's shockingly true and extremely bad for our country.

      daaivark - 2011-08-15 13:24

      Glenn, you miss Rupesh's excellent point.

  • Ian - 2011-08-15 07:19

    a dark point in your history the murdering barbarian says, how about throwing all the farmers off there land and plunging your country into stavation or dosent that apply, what a dumbass. Go tell it to the international criminal court you bastard, I feel f all for you, criminal swine

  • Bill - 2011-08-15 07:34

    Well it is simple...Now Mugabe he must be dragged off to the Hague and charged for genocide. The ANC must either condone or condemn it, and act decisively on their decision.

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-15 14:29

      It is not the place of the SA government to get involved in any way with Zimbabwe.

  • - 2011-08-15 07:36

    Could this be the final nail in Mugabe's coffin ? Are his supporters finally seeing the madness of an insane dictator ? Does it matter ? No, the space will just be filled with the next African dictator who believes he has the "God given" right to control the masses with fear and threats. Sick African politics.

      daaivark - 2011-08-15 13:25

      Moyo changes with the change of wind-direction. Not to be trusted.

  • Debonaire - 2011-08-15 07:47

    With Death getting closer for some in Rhodesia ( Zimbabwe Ruins in Zanu PF parlance) now they are trying to repent for past attrocities as a pre cursor to meeting the Redeemer in an erroniously conceived attempt to enter the Kingdom of Heaven

  • Ross - 2011-08-15 07:48

    He (Bob) received an honourary doctorate from a prominent British university in spite of this atrocity. On the other hand look at present British behaviour.

  • Just Someone - 2011-08-15 07:50

    HANG MUGABE!!!!!! Make an example of him in Africa to show people that when you murder, YOU PAY!!!!

  • Le Jer - 2011-08-15 07:53

    One of the points we are all missing here, is that the silence by both the west and Zimbabwes neighbours, led to other atrocities ( Rwanda / Burundi ) being allowed to happen, purely by virtue of the perception that they could get away with it. Apart from the lives that were lost as a direct result, the indirect results have been a degredation of our societal values ever since. These have been in all sectors of our society. The world and Africa need to understand that the longer they dawdle on having these crimes and perpetrators punished, the greater the propblems are going to be down the line. Welcome to the end game people, we have condoned the actions and subsequently deserve the repercussions. Very very sad !!!!

  • 1love - 2011-08-15 08:42

    Its good that people in ZANU PF are condemning this but it would have been better had it come from the people who were actually in the party when this madness happened.

  • Epicurius - 2011-08-15 08:48

    How big of uncle Bob and friends to say 'Oops, our bad..LOLZ ;-)'

  • Jim - 2011-08-15 08:59

    But there is no oil in ZIMBABWE so thats ok to carry on with these sort of actions.

  • Eric West - 2011-08-15 09:17

    REMINDER: Murgarbage is the hero of many black South Africans, especially that fat little boy with the big mouth!

  • Anton - 2011-08-15 09:17

    Unfortunaely the end of this tragedy, will only come when this tyrant drops dead. And although he is 87, the really scary part is; This other dictator North of Zimbabwe, Hastings Banda of Malawi, only died at age 99...... and stayed on as President untill the age of 96.........!!!!!! God forbid, another 10 years of this Mugabe thug!!!!

  • Anneck - 2011-08-15 09:21

    And how about the massacre of all farmers, and those NOT voting MUGABE?????

  • lollie sue - 2011-08-15 09:54

    "Munangagwa last week declared that the Matabeleland killings were "a closed chapter". How can a killing of a humanbeing be a closed chapter. These two are sick and should be Hanged.

  • GetReal - 2011-08-15 10:38

    Actually who cares about Zim anymore. So tired of them and the rest of the African pity stories. I am sorry, but I have no more tears left to shed. Much like Somalia and the rest of Africa! We are slowly regressing to the days of deepest darkest Africa ... a place where the rest of the world will put a great big mental wall around and wont ever go there and wont really care any more about. Much like a person might eventullay give up on a drug addicted child.. rehab, promises, drugs, rehab, promises, drugs .... eventually u give up and say get on with it on your own.

  • Kgwadi - 2011-08-15 11:34

    The West,after the massacare,bestowed all types of accolates to Mugabe,invitations by the queen,honorary doctorates etc, But, then he "chase" away 4000+ white farmers and he`s labelled a tyrant. Politics,is good when it suit your thinking.pathetic.

  • gregory.f.dean - 2011-08-15 11:45

    Mugabe and his henchmen deserve to be at the Hague for their horrific crimes against humanity.

  • Badballie - 2011-08-15 13:12


  • Vusi Zuma - 2015-08-28 22:02

    What about those killed by the farmers

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