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Joseph Msika, a wolf in sheep’s clothing

I WAS talking to people who attended the funeral of the late Micah Mahamba Bhebhe, who was declared a provincial hero at Inyathi, on August 1.

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ians were there in their dozens led by Vice-President Joseph Msika, information minister Jonathan Moyo and Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu, and as usual it was an opportunity for them to posture, threaten and generally crow about Zanu PF being in charge despite evidence that things are falling apart.

Msika however went over the limit when he told mourners they should not persist with talk about Gukurahundi because Shonas experienced the same thing under the Ndebele. He argued Shonas would also want retaliation and compensation.

Here is a man who owes his political career to the people of Matabeleland, who at one time was so desperate for their vote that he declared that he was not Shona in the hope that they would vote for him. Now that he is vice-president, he must appease his master, or is he seeking cheap popularity from his Shona people? A classic case of burning bridges. The interesting thing is that he waited until Joshua Nkomo died before talking rubbish. I think that is disgraceful.

The way Msika is going on with his argument one cannot help thinking that he either was involved in Mugabe’s conspiracy to decimate the Ndebele or he knew of the plan from the outset. Otherwise what is the basis of his outbursts?

Msika knows the Ndebele are composed of people of Zulu, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Kalanga, Venda, Tonga and Shona origins, most of whom became part of Mzilikazi’s army, not by choice but after they had been captured. Mzilikazi established a ruling elite which cowed his subjects into submission in as much as Zanu PF has done to Zimbabweans today. The difference is that Mzilikazi was a warrior who defeated other tribes all the way from KwaZulu to Zimbabwe whereas Mugabe’s regime ordered the killing of innocent people under the guise of hunting down dissidents.

For Msika to try and defend or even justify Mugabe’s killing of 20 000 innocent Ndebele who had no clue as to the events of 100 years ago, who were not even able to articulate Mzilikazi or Lobengula’s cause, let alone understand history beyond bread and butter issues, shows the calibre of the leadership Zimbabwe has and how low politicians can sink.

This is the kind of tripe which has been fed to Shonas by Mugabe for the past 20 years, which has reduced this country to a banana republic. Other people have been made scapegoats by Zanu PF for all the ills of the country: the Ndebele, the whites, the white farmers, Zanu Ndonga, Muzorewa, ZUM, Joshua Nkomo, South Africa, UK, America and now the MDC and all other forms of opposition.

When are the Shona going to realise that they are being led down the garden path? Msika has the cheek to raise the Gukurahundi issue at the funeral of a man who lost two children who were shot in his supermarket during the Gukurahundi era.

If Slobodan Milesovic stood trial, why shouldn’t Mugabe? Morgan Tsvangirai has on occasion mentioned Mugabe’s safe exit in a negotiated political settlement. He needs to be reminded that he has no mandate to determine what should happen to Mugabe should there be a change of government. The people of Zimbabwe will decide. The damage done is just too great for Mugabe to get away scot free. Besides, Zimbabweans would be sending a totally wrong message to future Zimbabwean leaders that they could abuse citizens and still get away with it.

To the people of Matabeleland I say, do not be intimidated by Mugabe through his puppet Msika. You demonstrated at the last election that Zanu PF is now irrelevant, the food shortages, the glaring injustices in the distribution of land and other inequities in other facets of life clearly show that you were right voting MDC. The balance of power is in your hands, use it.

Bigboy Boka,


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