The Gukurahundi: Who, What, Where, When, Why

The Gukurahundi: Who, What, Where, When, Why
Published: 12 December 2017 (1491 Views)
In about a week from today, on 1 July 2012,  Zimbabweans across the political cleavage will be celebrating the life and times of that great nationalist, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo. Without a doubt, Dr Nkomo's was traumatised, vituperatively vilified, ostracised and bastardised by his enemies, particularly the perpetrators of the Gukurahundi atrocities, for which Robert Mugabe accepted partial responsibility admitting that it was his "moment of madness" and disorientation.

To this day, there is still considerable myths and mysticism propagated by those who were complicity and culpable to the atrocities. Consequently, the facts and the truth relating to what actually happened during the Gukurahundi genocide has been relegated to a historical footnote epitomised by the disoriented Mugabe who has at least admitted to his own "moment of madness". Notwithstanding, this footnote, and the Catholic Commission's limited analysis of the tragedy, the Gukurahundi truth is yet to be told. Suffice to say Dr Joshua Nkomo's life was made hell here on earth by this killer brigade. A brigade that wreaked havoc, killing wantonly and heartlessly across the Matebeleland regions that were deliberately subjected to a scorched earth policy.

As usual, while Zimbabwe's so-called intellectuals are sitting back on their butts, in institutions like the University of Zimbabwe, NUST, inter alia, students as far afield as the University of Amsterdam are busy forensically documenting the tragedy of the Gukurahundi. In a ground-breaking PhD thesis that documents the whys and wherefores of the Gukurahundi, a student from Finland, studying at the  University of Amsterdam recently completed a research report on the Gukurahundi mayhem using sources that should enable our own lazy academics to analyse this tragedy with much ease. This should open the eyes of so-called academics in universities located in Matebeleland, that instead of being pre-occupied with their exclusion of Ndebele students from their institutions (.e.g. NUST) they could be rather doing productive work by conducting research into modern day contemporary genocides and holocaust events that have just taken place in their own backyards of Matebeleland.

Without going into the details (the devil is in the detail) of the research and conclusions drawn, the following sources that have been compiled by the Finnish student should help young students and lazy Zimbabwean academics who might want to do their own reassessment of the events surrounding the Gukurahundi. The sources detailed hereunder should help to answer questions the obvious questions: Who? What? Where? How? and Why?

Ironically, using Zimbabwe's dreaded media law AIPPA, one can request access to all Zimbabwean sources listed hereunder. Accordingly, here is the list of sources of Gukurahundi related information provided by the Finnish student at the University of Amsterdam:


1)    '4255 Seized in Swoop on Dissidents', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 1 November.
2)    'Action Time', (1986) The Herald (Harare) 16 March.
3)    'Amnesty Success as Nearly All Bandits Give Up', (1988) The Herald 1 June.
4)    Army Rivals Continue Clashes in Zimbabwe'. (1981) The Washington Post. 12 February.
5)    "Atrocities"" Inquiry to Soon Report',(1984) The Herald (Harare) 2 June.
6)    Atrocities:: Reporters Find No Evidence' (1984) The Chronicle (Bulawayo) 11 May.
7)    'Bandits at Large to get no Mercy', (1988) The Herald (Harare) 15 June.
8)    'Bandits will be Court Marshalled', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 2 September.
9)    'Big Bulawayo Response to Atrocities Probe' (1984) The Herald (Harare) 12 January.
10)    'Book by Nkomo is Full of Lies - PM', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 16 April.
11)    'Catholic Bishops Talk of Reign of Terror in Matabeleland', (1983) The Herald (Harare)
12)    300 March. Also published under the title 'Reconciliation is Still Possible: A Pastorall
13)    Statement of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference', Easter 1983.
14)    Gweru:: Mambo Press.
15)    'Clamp on Bulawayo Suburb's "A Success'", (1982) The Herald (Harare) 3 July.
16)    'Curfew is Lifted' (1984) The Herald (Harare) 23 April.
17)    'Curfew Lifted, Stores Reopen in Two Areas', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 28 March.
18)    'Dabengwa:: Will His Release Bring Unity Closer?', (1987) Parade (Harare). February,
19)    pp.. 17,50.
20)    'Danger is Not Over Yet, Says Mugabe', (1982) The Herald (Harare). 1 March.
21)    'Declare Zapu the Enemy, Says Premier', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 12 November
22)    'Disarm Now Talk Later PM Tells Zapu', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 29 March.
23)    'Dissidents Caught in Forces Sweep', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 8 March.
24)    'Dissidents get More SA Arms - Premier', (1985) The Herald (Harare) 22 September.
25)    'Dissidents Respond to Amnesty', (1988) The Herald (Harare) 5 June.
26)    'Dissidents,, Not Zapu, Our Target, Says Nkala', (1986) The Herald (Harare) 17 February.
27)    'Dissidents:: The People Speak Out', (1986) Prize Africa. July, pp. 36,37,42.
28)    'Dr.. Jonathan Moyo's Article is a Display of Intolerant Tribalism' (1992). The Financial Gazette Gazette (Harare) 19 November.
29)    'Fifth Brigade Soldier Blows Whistle over Atrocities', (1997) Zimbabwe Independent. 20 January. .
30)    'Findings May not be Published' (1984) The Herald (Harare) 5 July.
31)    'Five Brigade to Stay Put in Matabeleland', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 12 February
32)    'Five Brigade Winning the People Over', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 21 November.
33)    'Former Dissidents Back in Gwanda', (1988) The Chronicle 23 June.
34)    'General Amnesty Declared', (1988) The Herald (Harare) 20, April.
35)    'Get Tourists Back, Mugabe Orders Zapu', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 30 July.
36)    'Grisly Discovery in the Jungle'. (1992). Moto (Gweru). February.
37)    "Gukurahundi" - Ten Years Later', (1990) Zimbabwe Defence Forces Magazine. Vol,7,
38)    No.1,, pp. 33-37.
39)    'Headaches for Zanu(PF)', (1986) Parade (Harare) January, pp. 21, 48.
40)    'Human Remains Continue to Surface in Matabeleland' 1992. Parade (Harare) October.
41)    'Immense Evidence Found Linking Zapu to Bandits - PM', (1987) The Herald, 1 October.
42)    'In Zimbabwe Two Rival Factions Count the Dead'. (1981) The New York Times. 16 February.
44)    'Inquiry into "Atrocities": Eyewitnesses Come Forward', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 29 March
46)    'Is New Brigade Party Force? Asks Nkomo', (1981) The Herald (Harare).
47)    'Killings Continue - Zimbabwe', (1983) The Financial Mail & April
48)    'Light at the End of the Unity Tunnel?', (1985) Parade (Harare) November, p. 7.
49)    'Matabeleland Buyers Flock to Curfew Area Shops for Maize', (1984) The Herald 12 March.
51)    'Matabeleland People Must Change, Say PM', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 21 May.
52)    'Minister Says No More Favours for Ex-Bandits', (1988) The Herald, 7 July.
53)    'More Bodies Found in Mine Shaft' (1992) Sunday Times (Harare) 28 June.
54)    'MPs Attack Nkomo on Dissidents' (1983) The Herald (Harare) 3 February.
55)    'Mugabe Faces the Media', (1985) Parade (Harare) September.
56)    'Mugabe Followers Riot, Evict Some Zapu Rivals', (1985) The Sun 9 July.
57)    'Mugabe Military Action Casts Shadow on Zimbabwe Election', (1985) The Christian Science Monitor 4 March.
59)    'Mugabe Orders Army to Crush Rebel Riots', (1981) The New York Times, 13 February.
60)    'Mugabe Orders Zapu: Disarm Dissidents Now', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 27 March.
61)    362 2
62)    'Mugabe Threatens to Ban Zapu over Dissidents', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 19 April.
63)    'Mugabe to Grill Zipra Command About Weapons', (1982) The Herald (Harare). 28 February.
65)    'Mugabe vann och forlorade' (2000) Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm) 28 June.
66)    'Murders Part of Zapu Poll Plan PM', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 12 July.
67)    'New Crackdown in Matabeleland', (1986) The Washington Post 11 February.
68)    'Nkala:: threat to Zapu', (1987) The Chronicle (Bulawayo) 23 June.
69)    'Nkomo Appeals for End to All Banditry' (1982) The Herald (Harare) 26 June.
70)    'Nkomo Flees as Civil War Fears Heighten' (1983) The Guardian (London) 10 March.
71)    'Nkomo in New Call for Joint Meeting' (1982) The Chronicle (Bulawayo) 1 November.
72)    'Nkomo Plea to Dukwe 3.000', (1988) The Herald (Harare) 19 May.
73)    'Nkomo Sacked in Reshuffle. Zapu Leader Tried to Woo SA: Mugabe', (1982) The Herald 18 February.
75)    'Nkomo Turned Down Top Job Three Times', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 15 May.
76)    'No Evidence of Atrocities by Army - Ministers', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 30 March.
77)    'No Mercy for Zapu', ( 1984) The Herald (Harare) 19 May.
78)    'No Need for the Fifth Brigade - Nkomo', (1981) The Herald (Harare). 25 August.
79)    'No Reason to Ban Zapu, Says Mugabe', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 13 March.
80)    'Nothing Sinister About the Fifth Brigade', (1981) The Herald (Harare). 21 October.
81)    'One-Party State' (1986) The Herald (Harare) 31 December.
82)    'Parliament Must Probe Banditry Now- Nkomo', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 5 July.
83)    'Peace at Last as Dissidents Accept Amnesty', (1988), The Herald (Harare) 31 December.
84)    'PF-Zapu will Wipe Out Bandits, Nkomo Tells Rally', (1983) The Chronicle (Bulawayo) June.
86)    'Playing the Tribal Card is a Dangerous Game' (1992) Herald (Harare) 8 December.
87)    'PM Explains Why He Expelled Zapu Two', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 22 November.
88)    'PM Lashes Bishops over "Shocking" Statement' (1983) The Herald (Harare) 6 April.
89)    'PM Meets the Press', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 17 April.
90)    'PM Sacks Two Zapu Ministers', (1984) The Herald (Harare) 13 November.
91)    'PM Spells Out Next Steps for Accord', (1987) The Herald (Harare) 23 December.
92)    'PM Tells How Six Foreign Tourists Met Their Fate', (1985) The Herald (Harare) 28 March.
94)    'Pretoria Plotting to Send in Bandits', (1985) The Herald (Harare) 11 October.
96)    'Ruthless War on Rebels Promised', (1981) The Herald (Harare). 26 October.
97)    'Saboteurs Must Leave - President' (1988) The Herald 12 August.
98)    'Six Councils Dissolved', (1987) The Herald (Harare) 1 October.
99)    'State Names 'Atrocities" Probe Team (1983) The Herald (Harare) 14 September.
100)    'State to Step up War on Banditry\ (1982) The Herald (Harare) 18 September.
101)    Army is Vital for Defence', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 22 March.
102)    Because of the Dissidents' (1984) The Chronicle (Bulawayo) 9 March.
103)    'The Bertrand Syndrome' (1982) Moto (Gweru) Vol. 1. No. 3, p. 9.
104)    'The Fifth Brigade', (1981) The Herald (Harare) 26 August.
105)    'The Fifth Column that is Shaking Zimbabwe' (1983) The Guardian (London) 13 February.
106)    "Throw Away Guns and Help Build Zimbabwe: PM\(1983) The Herald (Harare) 9 April.
107)    'Time has Run Out for Zapu - Nkala', (1985) The Herald (Harare) 19 June.
108)    'Tragedy at Tsholotsho' (1992) Horizon (Harare) July, pp. 14-15, 18, 21.
109)    'Tragedy at Tsholotsho' (1992) Horizon (Harare) July.
110)    'Tribal Rule Out, Says Mugabe' (1983) Sunday Mail (Harare) 20 February.
111)    'Troops Move In as Arms Cache Found', (1982). The Herald (Harare). 26 March.
112)    'Uncovering South African Agents' Role in Matabeleland Affair' (1990) South Scan Vol.5,, No. 43, 16, November, p. 334.
114)    'Unity Breakdown', {1987)The Herald (Harare) 7 May.
115)    'Unity is Being Delayed by "Certain Individuals"- Nkomo', (1987) The Financial Gazette 4 October.
116)    'Unity Talks at Advanced Stage- PM', (1986) The Herald (Harare) 19 August.
117)    'Unity Talks Dead', (1987) The Sunday Mail (Harare) 19 April.
118)    'Unity:: Nkomo Talks to Parade', (1986) Parade (Harare) October , p. 9-10.
119)    'Unity:: What are the Obstacles?', (1987) Parade (Harare) April, pp 9,19.
120)    'We are Set to Train Militia, Says PM', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 12 September.
121)    'We have a Subversives List - Nkala', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 20 July.
122)    'We Knew of Plots, Says PM', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 19 February.
123)    'We Will Crush Mercenaries Says Mugabe', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 10 March.
124)    'Who Planted Arms? Asks Zipra Man', (1982) The Herald (Harare). 16 February.
125)    'Why the West is Critical- Premier', (1983) The Herald (Harare)
126)    'Youths to be Armed, Says PM', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 10 May.
127)    'Zanu(PF)) and Zapu Keen on Unity - Nkomo', (1986), The Herald (Harare) 10 March.
128)    'Zanu-Zapu Unity - The Indaba Goes On...', (1986) Moto No. 49, pp.5-6.
129)    'Zapu Deployed Agents to Disrupt Poll - PM', (1985) The Herald (Harare) 5 August.
130)    'Zapu did not Know About Arms: Nkomo'. (1982) The Herald (Harare).,9 February.
131)    'Zapu Members "Will be Welcomed into Ruling Party'", (1987) The Herald (Harare) 15 May.
132)    'Zapu Plotted Overthrow from Zambia, Says Mugabe', (1982) The Herald (Harare) 22 March.
133)    'Zapu Shunning Reconciliation Drive', (1983) The Herald (Harare) 30 September.
134)    'Zapu's Fate to be Decided Soon: PM', (1982) The Sunday Mail (Harare). 14 February.
135)    'Zapu's Stand', (1987) The Herald (Harare), 4 October.
136)    'Zimbabwe Troops Seal off Suburbs', (1985) The New York Times 3 March.
137)    'Zimbabwe's Still Patriotic Front' (1981) The New York Times. 18 February.

- Mncumbatha

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