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Open letter to Senator Monica Mutsvangwa

17 Aug 2020 at 08:54hrs | Views
Senator Monica Mutsvangwa
The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services

Archbishop Robert C Ndlovu
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Commission

RE: Letter of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop's Commission and the response by Governement of Zimbabwe through Minister of Information, Publicicty and Boradcasting Services.

As people living in the Diaspora by virtue of not being in our beloved countries of birth albeit in the mother continent, we are compelled to make a comment on the two documents referenced above.

We will start by appreciating the communication from both parties as it stands indicative and informative. In terms of the Zimbabwean constitution and the international bill of rights as expounded in the Unirvesal Declaration of Human Rights, section 60 and 61 of the constitution of Zimbabwe places both writers within their rights. It is the positions they both hold and the institutions they represent and the content of their documents that has invited our comment.

The ZCBC is not a government of the country in Zimbabwe or elsewhere but an institution of faith or worship like any other with significance of comment attributed by the beholder. On the contrary Senator Mutsvangwa's statement clearly shows that it is the voice of the GoZ. We have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the two communications and therefore will treat them as they purport to be.

To the ZCBC our view is that the letter opines the views of the institution in Zimbabwe as represented by its leadership which they are entitled to and the reference to scripture is of notable considering the institution represented. This indeed is clear cut in our view and commendable to be able to come up and share views representing the people of Zimbabwe affected by the torrid economic conditions in the country, courtesy of whatever one wants to attribute the the causes to. The letter even puts forward 5 bullets representing the claimed five core issues to be addressed in resolving the conundrum. In our view it is not a mere attack or trashing but a request to be engaged in solving what appears to be the problem.

On the extreme hand we have a response, long and seemingly grammatically incoherent inundated with verbosity, one needs a dictionary to try and make sense of it. We must admit that as per the office of the respondent, it appears the sense of communication is lost in these big words. The little that we made out of the letter is that the Minister either responded to hearsay or she failed to understand the letter she was attempting to respond to, or she has her own preconceived ideas she is responding to that she knows the Archbishop for.

The ZCBC in the letter in no way talks of the 31 July 2020 March, the reference to ‘The March is Not Ended' as taken from the speech at the Funeral of John Robert Lewis, talks of freedom, human rights and civil rights struggles which are  not only Zimbabwean. A grade 2 pupil would easily pick that up. The response of the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) in this instance is buffling and upsetting because it seeks to isolate the President of the ZCBC as being devisive and a Ndebele tribalist. The GoZ further likens Gukurahundi to the American Civil War, that cannot be furthest from the truth.

Gukurahundi was not a civil war because there were no warring groups but an intent and contrived agenda to wipe out the Ndebele population (Former President Mugabe acknowledged it as a moment of madness, although not moment but over half a decade of massacre) which stood unarmed attacked by trained specialised murder weapons and forces of the State which bayoneted open pregnant women to reveal the dissident children growing inside.  The people of Zimbabwe and Africa cannot continue to be patronised by the GoZ as expressed in this letter to be ridiculed and rubbished and told lies over and over about Gukurahundi. This, renews calls for a genuine attempt at dealing with those atrocities and bringing to book those responsible.

The ZCBC mentioned in passing the Gukurahundi, the GoZ on the other hand to divert attention, decided to single out the Archbishop of Harare and referred to the leadership as a ‘coterie' meaning a small group, that is devoid of the truth because the thousands of Zimbabweans seen in Zimbabwe and outside Zimbabwe wanting to protest cannot be a small group as they appear to share the sentiments of the ZCBC.

The GoZ acknowledges the economic disintegration in the country but places the blame on sanctions and the social unrest on dark forces and agents of illegal regime change. This clearly shows that the GoZ and the ZCBC both acknowledge that there is a problem in the country but apportion blame on different sources which is the only difference. The GoZ in its response could not have been more disingenuous and disrespectful of the populace (to borrow its term) about labelling the ZCBC as a coterie and representing tribalistic views.

In any case, it is the GoZ trying to single out people to try and tell them to stand separated using the divide and rule principle. Africa must wake up and smell the coffee. The people of Africa are rising up sooner than later as shown by the similarities in their situations, their unite of purpose in fighting what they find unacceptable like government corruption, dictatorships, abuse of law, disregard of the human rights of the ordinary people.

The GoZ brings through its letter the terms righteous Ndebele minority and the sowing of sins of collective guilty on the Shona majority. This analogy from a government is sickening and beyond comprehension and shows the desire of government to rule by divide principles. The Gukurahundi is seen to be a mere dark spot in the nation building of Zimbabwe. Nation building using such a brutal and inhumane act, and the GoZ sounds to brag that the act was an action of nation building.

The failure to take to task the Minister who said these words clearly shows that GoZ stands with her and holds true these sayings and has no intentions of dealing with the gruesome and murderous streak of Gukurahundi and holds it as a joke and laughs scornfully at those seeking recourse and closure from these happenings.

To state that Archbishop Ndlovu admitted that the 31 July 2020 uprising failed shows that the government employs gross incompetence in valuable offices as shown above. How do the Minister interpret statute if she fails such a simple letter and reads what is not there? This begs the question of the qualification of people in government and is an insult to Africa with so many technocrats and graduates. "The March is Not Ended" simply is a term talking about nation building and according to the GoZ fighting dark forces and sanctions which cause the collapse of the economy and according to others not in government fighting corruption, nepotism, patronage politics, human rights violations, and many others.

We are of the view that the GoZ if it needs to be taken seriously will act swiftly by firing the Minister in question and employ a qualified information and broadcasting specialist who will understand diplomacy, nation building, sensitivity and the plight of the people, and this cannot be the Senator in question who sounds exactly what she calls the Archbishop unless this indeed is GoZ position.


Yours faithfully

Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda
ADGN President


Source - Patrick Gabavu
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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