Harare: – Zimbabwe’s Deputy Information minister Energy Mutodi has blamed former President Robert Mugabe for the killings of 20 000 civilians in the 1980’s and over 200 opposition supporters in the violent 2008 presidential run-off election.
Reports on Saturday said Mugabe – giving a speech at his 95th birthday celebrations at his private home – cautioned his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa over the killings of over a dozen civilians in a brutal January army crackdown in the aftermath of the anti-fuel price hike protests.
The former leader condemned Mnangagwa’s move to deploy the army to put down protests, but the country’s deputy information minister gave Mugabe the middle finger saying he himself killed several thousands.
“We have noted some words of repentance by former President Mugabe saying army must protect not kill. True that a few have lost lives in running battles with the police but that cannot compare with Gukurahundi or the 2008 violence when he was at the helm,” Mutodi tweeted on Sunday.
Over 20 000 civilians were killed in southern Zimbabwe in the 1980’s when Mugabe deployed a North Korean trained force to fight alleged dissent to his rule in an episode known as Gukurahundi.
Mugabe said it was a moment of madness.
In 2008, over 200 opposition supporters were killed, several arrested and hundreds of others forced to flee their homes in a presidential run-off poll campaign period.
The late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who had won the first round of balloting against Mugabe was forced to boycott the polls as a result of the violence. Mugabe contested against himself and won the disputed polls.