After saying people are free to talk about Gukurahundi, Zimbabwean President himself avoided talking about the genocide when given the perfect opportunity to do so. In his speech at the National Heroes Acre where undisputed hero Misheck Velaphi Ntundu, President Mnangagwa pointed out that the larger than life man was a selfless cadre who was part of the first group to fire the shots of the second UMvukela, thereby inspiring thousands to join the struggle for liberation.
‘He (Velaphi) spent many years in prison and at some stage we met,…he remained humble and forgiving and tirelessly worked for the unity of the country”.
Like many victims of Gukurahundi believe, the president proved he is still a driver of an old tax by duck and diving and swerving away from the fact that it was under his command that Ntundu was thrown to jail without trial and tortured at the height of Gukurahundi. This was in a bid to cow all top Zipra cadres to submission. Several Zapu members were killed, including the likes of Lookout Masuku and Jini Ntutha. The remaining ones from Zipra were side-lined despite gallantly fighting tooth and nail to the end.
It was yet another opportunity providing the Gukurahundi architect to apologise and show that was remorseful and is a changed man. However, the resident completely brushed aside the post-independence disturbances.
In a recent interview (the Gukurahundi 36 years later documentary), Velaphi Ntundu opened up and challenge Chiwenga to tell the nation the names of those who were responsible for looting Zapu properties and confiscated Zipra documents which had all names of the combatants at Castle arms before taking properties worth over US$6,5 million and has not been returned.
Zanu pf also took away Velaphi’s Kezi farm, a property he had bought for $25 000 with his lifetime savings. For a man of his stature, he died poor while state resources are enjoyed by nonenties.
In an interview, the ailing Velaphi exhibited high intelligence, arguing that if Zapu had done something wrong, at least the properties should have been nationalised. The national hero left the million-dollar question. ‘Who has ever of heard of the relatives of the tourists who were allegedly kidnapped by ‘dissidents’?.
They were never there’ Velaphi made it clear that Mnangagwa, as Mugabe’s intelligence man shamefully lied about the arms cache, as they both knew of their existence and that they belonged to UMkhonto Wesizwe. Their aim was to annihilate Zapu and Zipra for their own sinister motives. Mugabe and Mnangagwa desired a one-party state hence their planned genocide. Velaphi died at the UBH after diabetes related hypertension at the age of 82 and leaves behind a rich history and legacy as he was the remaining to struggle stalwart. He was born in Seula, in the Matobo district of the Matabeleland South province.