The analysts’ comments come in the wake of increased levels of hatred exhibited to all Shonas especially at online news sites and social networks.
One comment on an online newspaper read: ”But today, whilst we had countless Shonas condemning the burning of the Gukurahundist flag of Zimbabwe, today they are heaping praise on Gukurahundist policemen and women for such a barbaric act. God will punish all of you Shona animals one day, you wait. In the meantime, let’s burn the Gukurahundi flag of Zimbabwe.”
Analysts said Mugabe must unconditionally apologise for the genocide that saw an estimated 20 000 innocent people from Matabeleland and Midlands killed.
Historian Pathisa Nyathi said it was wrong for all Shonas to be accused of being responsible for the genocide as many had no clue as to what was happening.
“What is happening now is the same as during Gukurahundi where all Ndebeles were being accused of being dissidents,” said Nyathi. “It’s wrong to paint all Shonas with one brush and one wrong can’t correct another wrong.”
He said arresting those who dared talk about Gukurahundi will not solve any problem but rather continue raising emotions.
“When people are quiet it does not mean they are satisfied,” said Nyathi. “When people start talking, those responsible become jittery because the culprits are alive and are known.”
Nyathi said the old wounds are still festering, people are boiling within; there is that bitterness even when they zip up their mouths, the heart speaks.
He added, “You can arrest people but you can’t wish it away. They need to be very simple, humble, and honest and accept responsibility for the good of Zimbabwe, for us to have meaningful unity, for us to have genuine reconciliation.”
Political Science lecturer John Makumbe concurred with Nyathi reiterating the need for an apology, pay compensation to victims of surviving families as well as identifying and reburying those killed.
“That way they may appease families that lost their loved ones. The unity government should also take it upon itself to go and talk to those who were affected by Gukurahundi on what they want done,” said Makumbe. “If they want secession then the issue should be brought up for national debate with its pros and cons discussed.”
Executive Director for the Bulawayo Agenda Anastacia Moyo said it was wrong to blame the whole tribe for a sin committed by a few individuals.
“It will be wrong also to put a blanket that all Ndebeles have a blanket of hatred for Shonas,” said Moyo. “There are Ndebeles related to Shonas, who stay with Shonas and those people do not hate Shonas and vice versa.”
Zanu PF politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said he did not want to comment on the matter because it would open old wounds especially after the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987. He accused The Standard of having a hidden agenda.
“What is the purpose of you writing this story?” asked Ndlovu. “Are we building the nation or you want us to live in the past? When the Unity Accord was signed you were not there, this issue ended there. I was involved in negotiations to end the atrocities. I can’t go back into history when that part was concluded.”
Mbuso Khuzwayo secretary for Ibhetshu likaZulu said while Shonas might have indirectly benefitted from the atrocities of Gukurahundi, it was wrong to blame all of them for the genocide.
He said there are many Shonas that are as much victims as the Ndebeles.