Fortune Charumbira Chickens Out Of Mnangagwa Appointment To Lead Gukurahundi Victims Reburials Following Heavy Public Outburst
25 November 2020
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Paul Nyathi

Chief Charumbira

THE President of the Chiefs’ Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira has chickened out of his appointment by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to lead the Exhumations and Reburials of Gukurahundi victims saying that only chiefs from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces whose people were affected by Gukurahundi will participate in the processes.

Mnangagwa appointed Charumbira to lead the process after meeting with chiefs from Matabeleland and Midlands with the presence of Charumbira at the end of October.

Local Government minister July Moyo presented the resolutions of the State House meeting indicating that chiefs led by Charumbira will now lead the process of exhumations and reburials of the 1980’s massacres.

“Going forward his Excellency undertook to meet the national chief’s council led by Chief Charumbira next week to frame details on the next steps in moving the matter forward and also to provide comprehensive responses to ancillary issues raised by the chiefs in respect to their areas of jurisdiction and in their regions,” Moyo added.

Speaking during the relaunch of the Zunde raMambo/ Isiphala se Nkosi programme at Chief Mapanzure’s homestead in Zvishavane on Saturday, Chief Charumbira said traditional leaders from the affected provinces will be involved in reburials.

“We have heard lies being thrown in the media. They are saying we have been captured to white-wash the Gukurahundi reburials. Well, let me make it clear that is not the case. Only chiefs from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces who have their people affected by Gukurahundi will partake in the programme,” he said.

It was impossible, Chief Charumbira said, for, for example, a chief from Mashonaland to be involved in the reburial of victims from Midlands.

“How can a chief from Mashonaland go and start leading the reburials that may happen in Tsholotsho? That is not practical. That is not possible. The position is that chiefs in whose area there are graves and there is need for burials, then those will take part in those programmes,” he said.

Chief Charumbira said the rest of the chiefs under the Chiefs’ Council just endorsed an initiative for traditional leaders taking leadership in the process of addressing Gukurahundi issues.

Chief Charumbira said it was shocking that there were some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) funded by Western countries that wanted to sensationalise the matter so as to divide people and their Government.

He said NGOs should stick to their mandate as given by the Government and not to cause mayhem and despondency.

“We are saying no to NGOs that divide the people, that tell lies, that have an agenda to discredit our Government.

He said there was no room for tribalism in Zimbabwe adding that as traditional chiefs, they were all united and behind President Mnangagwa and his vision.

“There is no room for tribalism in Zimbabwe. From the communities we stay in, we say no to tribalism. We urge you to be like the chiefs who work together and that is a Zimbabwe we want as we walk towards Vision 2030,” said Chief Charumbira.