Zimbabwe Justice Minister accuses opposition legislator of trying to smuggle in Gukurahundi issue every time he stands up in Parliament


HON. CHIKOMBO: My question is – what have you done as Government to make sure that you bring those perpetrators of violence to book because what happened last weekend in Matobo is reminiscent of Gukurahundi where women were subjected to torture and there is banditry and insurgence that is taking place in this country? Is it just an issue of talking through ZTV and other platforms or it is about walking the talk? The issue of violence is rearing its ugly face across and we cannot fold our hands and stand akimbo when such an increase continues unabated. What have you done as of now to make sure that you bring those culprits to book? I thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: The Hon Member is excitable and he believes in abusing the word ‘Gukurahundi’ in areas where things are not related – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]. He must withdraw the word ‘Gukurahundi’.

HON. GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, if I can have your indulgence. My point of order is that when the Hon Minister who is the Leader of Government Business is responding – I think we must be sensitive. We are dealing with a very critical issue and when certain things have happened, I do not believe that it is appropriate to refer to the Hon Member as being ‘excitable’ and when the Leader of Government Business is responding and he is making insinuations… 

THE HON. SPEAKER: What are you saying Hon. Gonese?

HON. GONESE:  I am talking of the language used by the Hon. Minister of Justice.  The Hon. Minister of Justice, in responding, indicated that Hon. Chikombo was excitable. This is why I am making this point of order.  That language is not appropriate.  So my submission is that the Hon. Minister of Justice must be brought to order in terms of the language; in terms of the sensitivity.  When we are looking at a situation where – he might not be privy to the images which Hon. Members on the left have seen, I have seen pictures of Hon. Toffa.  I have seen pictures – yes, it is important Mr. Speaker Sir.

When responding, the Hon. Minister should be sensitive.  The point I wish to emphasise is that when the Hon. Minister of Justice is responding, he must also appreciate that we are dealing with a very sensitive subject.  He may not be aware of some of the information.  As a result, he should not be dismissive because his first response was of a dismissive nature, that people are now playing victim when they would have been aggressors.

When Hon. Chikombo raised a supplementary question, he was emphasising a point based on the information that he is privy to.  At the end of the day, I believe that it is not appropriate for an Hon. Minister of this Government to actually refer to him as being excitable. Reference to Gukurahundi emanates due to the fact that when Gukurahundi occurred, you are very aware that initially it was just dismissed.  Later on, our late President acknowledged that mistakes had been made.  I want to say, in the case of Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto, we had a situation where the late Hon. Minister Moven Mahachi said that the two had scratched themselves when there was clear evidence that they had been tortured at the hands of officers in the army.

I believe in those circumstances, it is not proper if the police are being accused of being partisan, but it is because so many cases have been reported and no action has been taken. 

THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating.

Continued next page


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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