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Gukurahundi Perpetrators Flock to Cleansing Shrine

by 07/09/2012 08:53:00 0 comments 953 Views
Gukurahundi Perpetrators Flock to Cleansing Shrine

Bulawayo — Serving and former soldiers who killed innocent civilians during the Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s are flocking to Njelele shrine in Matobo district, Matabeleland South province, seeking to cleanse their bloodied hands, a Cabinet minister said last week.

In the past few months, Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (Zanla) war veterans and some traditional leaders visited the respected shrine to conduct "bizarre cleansing ceremonies".

The visits have ignited anger from Matabeleland traditional leaders, civic groups, cultural activists and Zanu PF leadership.

Moses-Mzila Ndlovu, the co-minister of National Healing and Baster Magwizi, the spokesperson of Zipra veterans' trust, last week said the unsanctioned visits were conducted by people haunted by the spirits of people they killed during the Gukurahundi era.

The two said the perpetrators of the genocide must publicly confess their crimes for them to be properly cleansed.

"The information that we have about these people is that they are surviving members of the Fifth Brigade," said Mzila-Ndlovu.

"We heard that these people went to Mozambique and met a traditional healer who told them to go to Njelele and cleanse themselves. We are standing united as Matabeleland to block these people from coming here, so that they face the wrath for their past crimes."

Mzila-Ndlovu said the perpetrators would only be healed if they confessed in terms of national healing structures, failure of which they "will be haunted until they die".

Magwizi concurred with Mzila-Ndlovu saying those who were visiting the shrine were looking for sanctuary after being haunted.

"That is why they are going to Njelele, because it is in Matabeleland, where there was the Gukurahundi," said Magwizi.

"They are looking for a sanctuary to hide since they are haunted."

Njelele, one of the oldest religious shrines in the country, is usually visited at given months of the year, when people from all over the country come together for ceremonies such as rain-making.

Shrine guardian, Solifa Ncube, said the site was closed between September 29 and March annually.

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