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Britain assisted Mugabe during Gukurahundi madness

11 years ago | 38899 Views



FERGAL KEANE: Britain wants the world to get tough with this man, but what did Britain do when Robert Mugabe slaughtered thousands of his people in the 1983s?

ARCHBISHOP PIUS NCUBE: People being buried alive on their graves. A woman raped in the same house, in the same room as her daughter.


GEOFFREY HOWE: There is a limit to what this country can do to impose its will, and to some extent a greater limit in an ex-colony with an extremely sensitive government.


KEANE: This man led the killing for Mugabe, so why was he welcomed to Britain just after the atrocities and two years ago given vital military hardware by our government? As Robert Mugabe fights to cling to power Panorama reports tonight from here in Zimbabwe and from Britain on an extraordinary story. It involves the massacre and torture of thousands of innocent people. It's a story that leaves Mugabe with blood on his hands and Britain in the dock accused of appeasing a ruthless tyrant. Matabeleland, South Western Zimbabwe, 19 years ago this rural province witnessed some of the worst atrocities of our age. The man responsible is still in power. Robert Mugabe has unleashed a new wave of repression, but we first saw the real Mugabe in Matabeleland. Defying Robert Mugabe's ban, Panorama has travelled to the scene of his worst crimes.


FERGAL KEANE This is a country in a state of fear. Everywhere you go there are militia, police road blocks, and of course the spies whom you can't see. Now in circumstances like this, easily the most difficult I've ever worked in, it's very, very difficult to find people who are willing to speak out about what happened 20 years ago. But there are some brave people and I'm on my way to see them. A Catholic priest who keeps lists of the missing. Father Hebron Wilson remembers what happened when Robert Mugabe sent his special troops, the 5th Brigade, to Matabeleland.

Father HEBRON WILSON The people said Father, our children have been taken, we don't know where they are or will we ever see them again.

Lt Col ESAU SIBANDA Zimbabwe National Army, 1980-95 Typically what they will do, they would kill people or not even kill them, force them to take their own lives. Reconstruction Force their children, their wives, to bury them alive, and then they force them to dance on top of the grave, President Robert Mugabe. KEANE: Robert Mugabe had at first seemed a model African leader, democratically elected and not corrupt. But with political enemies he was to prove ruthless. Panorama has spoken to survivors of his atrocities and to key political figures in Zimbabwe and Britain.

Lord RENWICK Foreign Office, 1963-95 What he believes in above all is power and holding on to power by all means. Therefore in effective control over the intelligence agencies, the security forces and so forth. He also believes, as he used to tell me, that power comes from the barrel of a gun.

KEANE: Mugabe's ZANU party drew its support from the Shona Tribe who made up 80% of the population and backed his call for a one party state. That would prove devastating for the minority Ndebele Tribe who supported the main opposition. ROGER MARTIN Deputy High Commissioner Zimbabwe, December 1983-86 From one particular senior intelligence officer, I had a conversation with him, and he said "You must understand our history. Until 1890 when Cecil Rhodes blew a whistle and stopped play the Matabele raided us and treated us Shona like cattle. Now, 70 years later, the whites have gone away again and they still believe that they are the same Matabele and we are the same Shona. In fact they have the rights and responsibilities of a 20% ethnic minority within a majority Shona modern state and we have to teach them their position in life, and the way to do that is to beat them until they realise we are not the same Shona they used to tyrannise in the past." Now, I found that disgusting of course but at least it was comprehensible. It had a certain rationality other than mere brutishness. KEANE: The opposition leader, Joshua Nkomo was accused of plotting a coup. Some of his supporters began a terrorist campaign against government officials and white farmers in Matabeleland. Apartheid South Africa armed and trained dissidents to destabilise Zimbabwe. But Mugabe would use the dissident attacks and the murder of white farmers as an excuse to crush all opposition. JOSHUA MUGABE: [Speaking from a platform] My government will never rest until those within that party who are responsible for organising the dissidents are crushed and crushed fully. [Applause] KEANE: Mugabe was about to unleash these men, the 5th Brigade. Specially picked from Mugabe's Shona tribe they were trained by North Koreans. The 5th Brigade would be used to crush the Ndebele. They reported directly to Mugabe. Lt Col ESAU SIBANDA Zimbabwe National Army, 1980-95 He knew what was going on because every day there's a secretary debrief. The army chief will tell him what the army had been doing over the period of 24 hours.. the last 24 hours. So he is briefed every day whether there's a war going on or no war going on. KEANE: Within days of their deployment here in Matabeleland the 5th Brigade began to spread terror among the civilian population. The people have come to know the campaign as the Kukorahundi. In English that means 'the wind that sweeps away the dust' for that is what the people of Matabeleland became to Mugabe's soldiers, mere dust that could be swept away. March 1983 KEANE: In the spring of 1983 Robert Mugabe warned villagers against supporting dissidents. "Don't cry if your relatives get lost" he said. Pius Ncube Archbishop of Bulawayo People just being gunned down, shot, people being herded into a hut, 40 souls together and they were set alight and outside the soldiers telling anyone who comes out I'll shoot. Most atrocious things, most unspeakable things were done. Reconstruction MANDLA NYATHI All of them were wearing red berets, very unusual faces, never smiling, very unfriendly. To say I was afraid of them, I don't think really describes exactly how I felt when I saw them. It was more than that. You could feel your bones shaking whenever you heard that they were around. KEANE: Travelling through Matabeleland you find a landscape crowded with memories of the Kukorahundi. The stories rank with the worst atrocities of our age. A family of 24 attacked in the village of Silobela. THEMBI One day I was sitting at home with my sister and then they arrived. They wanted information from my father who was the man in charge of the village. Reconstruction My father couldn't help them. They called him a liar and started to force us all into a hut. We were all forced inside. They planned to set the hut alight. Then one of the soldiers opened a door to let me out. I left and then had to watch as they set the hut on fire. They burnt all the men and women inside, my mother and father included. KEANE: Within a fortnight of the 5th Brigade's deployment the British press was reporting stories of widespread human rights abuses. The newspapers spoke of murder, rape and torture. In March 1983 Panorama broadcast a film which spoke of thousands dead and widespread abuse. Panorama 21st March 1983 REPORTER: Anyone suspected of any contact with the dissidents was liable at least to a beating. [scenes of violent beating] KEANE: But when Panorama questioned a British officer training troops of the regular army, he seemed unaware of the tribal rivalries. Colonel CHUCK IVEY British Military Advisory & Training Team And I must answer that here in this particular unit there are no... there's no evidence of this at all. And from what we've seen of all that student effort that come from everywhere, I think that what the problems of two years ago have now diminished into almost nothing. REPORTER: What, in spite of all the stories out of Matabeleland? IVEY: Well there are stories in Matabeleland and there are stories in Ireland and you want to believe who writes what story. KEANE: British trainers with the regular Zimbabwean forces were not allowed near the 5th Brigade but they were hearing about human rights abuses as were diplomats in Harare. Sir MARTIN EWANS High Commissioner Zimbabwe, 1983-85 We knew that there was an insurrection or something happening in Matabeleland. The 5th Brigade which had been trained by the North Koreans was down there and of course reports were coming out of some fairly brutal operations. There was obviously an unhappy situation down there to say the least. KEANE: As the former colonial power Britain faced a dilemma. It had negotiated the end of white rule in Zimbabwe but knew it was regarded with deep suspicion by Robert Mugabe. It didn't want to be seen to interfere in its former colony. But it became Zimbabwe's biggest aid donor. 21st December 1979 Lord Carrington Foreign Secretary, 1979-82 We shall give you all possible support in developing a spirit of reconciliation throughout Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, and ensuring the next decade there will be one of peace and prosperity. KEANE: But in the spring of 1983 Robert Mugabe's 5th Brigade was destroying the dream of peace in Matabeleland. Pregnant women were attacked at a clinic. ANONYMOUS: You know what happens with pregnant women, they go for checks monthly to see what happens. So they were put in this other clinic in this area. They were made to sing, in groups, they were made to sing and that was the last time they opened their mouths because they were cut like that and the foetus came out. So by the time we came to that clinic they were already dead and we put some blankets on, to cover them up. KEANE: Can I just ask you to be very specific in this, what was the name of the clinic? ANONYMOUS: They called it the Ntabeni clinic in Zhombe area. KEANE: And what exactly did you yourself see? ANONYMOUS: I saw the dead people there - dead. KEANE: Two names recur in this horror, Robert Mugabe who sent in the 5th Brigade and his close associate the Brigade Commander Perence Shiri . To officers from the regular army Perence Shiri was a distant figure. Lt Col ESAU SIBANDA Zimbabwe National Army, 1980-95 He's not talkative. He tends to be by himself, drinking all the time, appears lonely to me, and I won't say he's a... I won't describe him as an intellectual type, no, he's just an ordinary chap, below average if you like. KEANE: Shire did more than give orders. MANDLA NYATHI I saw him demonstrating what he meant by beating a peasant and he was using a very massive log. He beat so thoroughly all over the body, buttocks, head, anywhere where he could land the log. KEANE: Some eye witnesses still live in fear of Shire. What do the local people call this man? ANONYMOUS: They used to call him a black Jesus. KEANE: Why? ANONYMOUS: Because he could determine your life like Jesus Christ. He could heal, raise the dead, whatever. So he claimed to be like that because he could say if you live or not. April 1983 KEANE: In the first two months of the terror Britain's then High Commissioner privately registered concern of Mugabe on two occasions. Then in late April the Foreign Secretary Francis Pim said he'd made Britain's concern very clear to Zimbabwe, but mindful of attacks by dissidents he added: "I think it's a difficult situation for Mr Mugabe to handle. He's got to deal with the situation as he finds it. In the course of doing that, some incidents have taken place which obviously everyone disapproves of, I daresay he does himself, but he's got to get control of his country." The Foreign Office was about to send a new High Commissioner to Zimbabwe. He faced a dilemma. Would he protest strongly about the atrocities and risk a row with the volatile Mugabe? Sir MARTIN EWANS High Commissioner Zimbabwe, 1983-85 I think to have protested to Mugabe or to have gone on record as not liking what was going on down there would not have been helpful. Mugabe would have resented it very acutely. I think it might even have been counterproductive, it might have damaged the policies we were trying to follow of helping Zimbabwe to build itself up as a nation. KEANE: Did you protest personally to Mugabe about what was happening? EWANS: No, I didn't. KEANE: No protest? EWANS: No. KEANE: Do you have any regrets about that? EWANS: No, I think this business has really perhaps been rather blown up. It wasn't pleasant and people were being killed, but as I said, I don't think anything was to be gained by protesting to Mugabe about it. KEANE: What was the advice from London about how one dealt with Mugabe, particularly around something like Matabeleland? EWANS: I think the advice was to steer clear of it in the interests of the.. of doing our best positively to help Zimbabwe build itself up as a nation. Reconstruction KEANE: There would be periods when no massacres took place, but the 5th Brigade remained at large. Violence may have fluctuated and the terror was constant. July 1983 KEANE: In the House of Commons neither the Government or the Labour frontbench condemned Mugabe. The only strong words came from a few Tories to whom the Foreign Office was guilty of appeasement. One of them asked if British aid would be withdrawn. NICHOLAS WINTERTON: Sir Geoffrey Howe replied: "Our impression is that the situation in Matabeleland has improved considerably in recent months. We have, nevertheless, heard of these reports and are seeking to establish the facts. KEANE: What do you think of that reply now? NICHOLAS WINTERTON MP Conservative backbencher I think it was a typical Foreign Office reply. It avoided the issue, avoided really what was going on. KEANE: You said at the time that it was your impression things had improved considerably in recent months. What gave you that impression. Lord HOWE Foreign Secretary, 1983-89 Well the reports we'd had at that time. We had been making representations, as I've said, since before I arrived in the Foreign Office early in that year, and the reports we were getting indicated changes in the pattern of behaviour, and I was simply reporting what I'd had reported to me. KEANE: Because things hadn't of course changed. HOWE: I'm not sure about that. The evidence fluctuated from time to time according to where your evidence was coming from. WINTERTON: The facts were there. Hundreds, thousands, of innocent Matabele had been slaughtered, and if they were seeking to establish the facts, well all I can say is I wonder where they had been. They must have been living in another world. 31st August 1983 KEANE: But the following month Britain suddenly got tough about a group of white detainees. Several white Zimbabwean air force officers had been illegally imprisoned. The Zimbabwean High Commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office and a bitter dispute with Mugabe erupted. There were hints British aid might be cut. Mugabe spoke of sending Zimbabwe's whites to Britain. The men were eventually freed but Mugabe professed surprise at Britain's concern. MUGABE: Why is there so much concern about these men, they are not the only ones in detention, there are others as well. Is it because they are white? Is it because they are Mrs Thatcher's kith and kin? HOWE: They were British citizens as well as Zimbabwean citizens and they were being held quite unlawfully and very badly treated, and that was raised. And obviously we'd have been in grave trouble had we not raised that. But I resent very much the suggestion there was discrimination on those grounds. KEANE: In the Ndebele tradition the dead can only rest when the living have shed their tears. The 5th Brigade would not allow this. Many who cried were themselves murdered. It would not be possible for us to tell this story without the bravery of a small group of church people. Father Hebron Wilson collected eye witness testimony, others risked their lives to get it to him, like the man caught near his church. Father HEBRON WILSON Automatically he fell down, and then I could see, because I'd seen them before in close range, with a bayonet you see, they bayoneted you near the hip, so he would screech, and then that is what I actually saw, and I managed to get the national identity of that person. KEANE: You got his name? WILSON: Yes, I've got his name. KEANE: What happened to him? WILSON: Well he died. November 1983 KEANE: In November Foreign Office minister Malcolm Rifkind visited Zimbabwe and met Robert Mugabe. His statement to the House of Commons on his return does not mention Matabeleland. One of the key British figures in Zimbabwe was the Commander of the military advisory team, General Sir Edward Jones who reported directly to Robert Mugabe. Were you worried by the reports that were coming back in of murder and torture and rape? General Sir EDWARD JONES British Military Advisory & Training Team 1983-85 Yes, of course we were concerned about it, but if you go on to ask the next question which is what could we have done about it, the answer is very little. I've already said that we were kept at arms length from Five Brigade, and had I raised the question critically with the army commander or with the Prime Minister, there's no doubt in my mind that the confidence that they had in us would have been undermined, and it would have been counterproductive to the work that BMATT was doing. KEANE: Delhi, November 1983. As the year was coming to a close Geoffrey Howe and Margaret Thatcher were to meet Robert Mugabe at Chogham, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in the Indian capital. You say, to the best of your recollection, Matabeleland wasn't raised. Wasn't he entitled from encounters like that and from the failure of people at a senior level - cabinet level like yourself or Mrs Thatcher - to condemn him on Matabeleland, that he could get away with murder? Lord HOWE Foreign Secretary, 1983-89 No, he was in no doubt about our disapproval of that. Frankly we were looking at a whole range of other issues at Chogham at that time, on the Commonwealth agenda. KEANE: But how much more important could they have been than the slaughter of thousands of people, the concentrations camps in which people.. there was mass rape. How much more.. what issues could be more important? HOWE: The whole future of South Africa was at stake in our discussions at Chogham. The state of the east/west civil.. military conflict, the Cold War was at stake. MIKE AURET The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Zimbabwe They could have done much more. They could have insisted that Mugabe stop the action there or the British Government assistance which has amounted to I think 57 million British pounds over the years would stop. HOWE: Our influence was necessarily limited. Had we sought to, for example, withdraw or cancel our aid programme then that could well have had a negative reaction, not just on Mugabe's performance but on the economic stability of the country as a whole. ROGER MARTIN Deputy High Commissioner Zimbabwe, December 1983-86 Among the short-term self interest, the points you might have put in your analysis of what our interests were was that no British Government wanted a couple of hundred thousand British citizens appearing with cardboard suitcases at Heathrow, the sudden expulsion of whites if we'd pulled the rug on the aid and as it were denounced Mugabe. This was a real threat. KEANE: So for the first 8 months of the Matabeleland crisis Britain stuck to the policy of quiet diplomacy. But there would be a new terror to challenge Britain's policy makers. In early 1985 the 5th Brigade was sent to the south of Matabeleland. A British diplomat who'd gone to the area to show solidarity with white farmers under threat from dissidents encountered the Brigade. MARTIN: A platoon of the 5th Brigade turned up, they had ordered all the workers from the farm to gather together. Thy were forcing them to sing songs in Shona, liberation songs, nothing to do with Matabeleland. They were poking them as they capered about singing these songs with their AK bayonets, not drawing blood particularly as poking, humiliating, and then making them lie flat if they didn't sing well enough on the ground face down and beating them with strips of rubber that they carried with them, or with sticks. KEANE: And you saw this happening. MARTIN: Saw this happening. We complained, we asked them to stop, we asked them to treat people well because had done no harm and they laughed and made quite clear they were not going to do that because that was what they were ordered to do. Whereupon, having no other choice, we left, went on our trip, leaving the workers to their fate which was not going to be killed, it was going to be humiliated and punished physically. KEANE: How did you feel leaving? MARTIN: Terrible, obviously. What would you feel yourself, but what else could we do? We weren't doing any good there. So.. and this was happening, as we knew, across the whole of Matabeleland, very blatant. KEANE: As part of the new strategy Mugabe imposed a food embargo. No food aid was to be allowed into the drought stricken region. He was trying to starve the Ndebele into submission. Soldiers told villagers they'd be forced to eat their children. Then the disappearances began. Thousands of detainees would endure the horror of Milahwi Camp. Women were gang raped here, mutilated with sharp sticks. An eye witness told us that the 5th Brigade Commander, Perence Shiri , had used rape as a weapon of war earlier in the campaign. ANONYMOUS: They took about nine lady teachers. They took them to a place called Silobela where they were gang raped. KEANE: How do you know this? ANONYMOUS: They told us, the ladies told us, after the incident. Among those 9 there was one of my girlfriends, so this is the very person who told me everything. After I comforted her and told her, no, it's not your fault. I said , 'Say out please what happened.' Then she told me what happened. And Perence Shiri himself actually lined them up like that and chose the most beautiful one. March 1984 KEANE: In March of 1984 Zimbabwe received a royal visitor. Prince Charles would meet the man he'd first met at the Independence celebrations four years previously. Then after returning to Britain the Prince would have lunch with a newspaper editor who published who'd published his own eye witness account of the atrocities. Donald Trelford's story in the Observer had provoked a major controversy in Britain. DONALD TRELFORD Editor, 'The Observer' 1975-93 I was invited to lunch by Prince Charles, it was part of a charm offensive I think by Prince Charles and Princess Diana and I went to lunch with Peter Preston, the Editor of the Guardian, just the two of us. And in general conversation over lunch, because it was soon after I'd been to Matabeleland and obviously it was a subject to talk about, the subject came up. He said "Ah yes, those massacres in Matabeleland, the Foreign Office told me that it was all exaggerated. Well.. you know, I was tempted, had it been any other dinner party I would have taken up the cudgel. But I sort of said I'll let it pass, it's too complicated. But I was shocked that the whole thing could be swept away quite so easily. KEANE: In April Malcolm Rifkind expressed his government's concern to a Zimbabwean Cabinet minister. The deputy High Commissioner privately warns Zimbabwean ministers a shipment of EU food aid might be delayed. The Foreign Office may not have known the detail of the horror, but what it did know was troubling enough. ROGER MARTIN Deputy High Commissioner Zimbabwe, December 1983-86 Clearly we knew that atrocities were being committed. I did not know, although we had very good information, anything like the scale of killing that has since been revealed. By the time I left I would have hoped... it had stopped and I would have put the killing in the low thousands. KEANE: The low thousands! In May 1984 a minister said Britain condemned human rights abuses wherever they occurred in the world but had no right to interfere in Zimbabwe's affairs and no responsibility for them. Sir MARTIN EWANS High Commissioner Zimbabwe, 1983-85 We had very much an eye to what was happening in South Africa at the time with apartheid and we were hopeful that Zimbabwe would be something of a contrast, and South Africans would look at Zimbabwe and say ah yes, it is possible to work with as multiracial society. So I think Matabeleland is a side issue. The real issues were much bigger and more positive and more important. Pius Ncube Archbishop of Bulawayo Here we're supposed to speak up, that was the responsibility on the part of that British Ambassador to say that is a side issue. He should imagine if his own family is being murdered, is that a side issue? KEANE: After nearly two years of terror with the Ndebele crushed, the 5th Brigade was withdrawn. But the mastermind of their atrocities, Perence Shiri, was about to go on to much greater things, and Britain would help him on his way. MIKE AURET The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, ZimbabwePerence Shire above all knew precisely what was happening, he gave the orders, and he, if nobody else, he deserves the world court. The crimes committed by the 5th Brigade under his command were gross crimes against humanity. January, 1986 KEANE: But this is not a world court. It's a state financed institute of learning, one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world and it's here in London, a place that promises access to statesmen and government officials. The British Government knew that the 5th Brigade had committed serious abuses of human rights in Matabeleland. It also knew that the 5th Brigade was commanded by Perence Shire. So what did it do? Did it push for an investigation of Perence Shire? Press for him to be brought before a court? No! In fact the British Government allowed Perence Shire to come here to the Royal College of Defence Studies in London as an honoured guest. General Sir EDWARD JONES British Military Advisory & Training Team Zimbabwe 1983-85 I think I'm right in saying that he was the first officer from the ZNA to go to the Royal College of Defence Studies and we had him down here for lunch one day because I felt it was... I wanted to hear the news from home so to speak, and he came down here, we had a most enjoyable Sunday lunch and he charmed our other guests. KEANE: Do you know what the Ndebele called him? JONES: No. KEANE: Black Jesus. JONES: I'm sure. KEANE: Because he was the bringer of divine retribution. JONES: Yes, I'm sure. KEANE: They remember him as a war criminal. JONES: Yes. KEANE: I'm just wondering if you feel any unease about the kind of welcome he was given in this country, not just by yourself but by the fact that he was brought to the Defence Studies College. JONES: Well I think that all of these things, it's very easy to question these sorts of things, but undoubtedly he was the man who was going to be important in Zimbabwe and I think it was important that we should influence him positively in so far as we could. AURET: That's unforgivable, unforgivable! He should not have been allowed into Britain. He should never have been allowed into Britain. I've no doubt that if you sat opposite Milosevic he'd be a very charming man. He would no doubt offer you a glass of wine and have a chat about the weather. The same might have been said about Hitler in the early days, you know. Perence Shiri is undoubtedly a charming man but Perence Shiri was responsible for the deaths of many thousands of people in Matabeleland - horrifying deaths, not easy deaths, horrifying deaths. Perhaps Jack the ripper was a charming man. KEANE: Perence Shiri rose to the top of Zimbabwe's power structure becoming head of the air force. Just two years ago Britain came to his aid by selling him crucial parts for these Hawk 200 jets. Tony Blair himself approved that decision. Now the men London failed to confront in the past have come back to haunt Britain. When Robert Mugabe started to seize white farms two years ago it was his old friend Perence Shire, the Commander of the 5th Brigade, who was called in to organise the terror. DONALD TRELFORD Editor, 'The Observer' 1975-93 Mugabe, because he was unrestrained, because he was allowed to do anything he wanted, he even dared then to turn on the whites which he would never have done initially unless he felt well people are not taking any notice, they're not bothering, I can go on to the next phase and start taking their land unconstitutionally, beating them up, sending in people to beat them up, having the opposition killed. He just knew, because of the silence, he could get away with murder. Lord RENWICK Foreign Office, 1963-95 It is true that the international response to the crisis in Matabeleland was extremely feeble, indeed almost nonexistent. I think that there should have been stronger protests, yes, at the time - not just by us but by others - about what was happening there because it was a horrible precedent. But I want to come back to what's happening now. I'm less interested in the mistakes we made 18 years ago than in the mistakes that could be made now, and unless we're prepared to be much tougher about this kind of thing, and when this sort of thing happens in Bosnia or Kosovo the world gets its act together and acts, and Milosevic ends up facing a crimes tribunal in the Hague. Now if we really want to do something about these situations in Africa, we can't fail to try to do something similar if we really want to make a difference in Africa. KEANE: Such fighting talk has come 19 years too late for the Archbishop of Bulawayo, a man relentlessly condemned by Robert Mugabe. He defies death threats to speak out for human rights and wonders why others failed to do so in the past. PIUS NCUBE: People must try and feel with those who are involved how they feel. It's quite nice to say from the ivory tower 'yes, no, it will make no difference' but try and feel with those people who are feeling the pinch, it makes any difference. At least you can say I tried, even if you fail, I tried my best. HOWE: Of course he has total sympathy with the situation there and one has a total understanding of how he might have wished for things to happen differently in the past. But that is applying the wisdom of hindsight. We did not have power to control what Mugabe did. KEANE: The victims of Mugabe's terror, most do not even know where the bodies of their loved ones have been dumped. 'SITHABILE' Thembi's grandmother Which law can control them, who can we turn to? They are a law unto themselves. They make up their own laws - and they kill us. 'THEMBI' I think about it all the time. Nothing can stop me thinking about it. I remember vividly seeing the fire and everything that happened. It has ruined my life. I will be poor for all my life. KEANE: Britain knew the real Mugabe from the very earliest days of his rule. It did face a dilemma in Zimbabwe, but by putting its faith in quiet diplomacy it ended up becoming a bystander to crimes against humanity. _________ CREDITS Reporter: Fergal Keane Film Camera: Peter George Sound Recordist: Peter Woods VT Editor: Boyd Nagle Dubbing Mixer: Bradley Mason Colourist: Chris Packman Graphic Design Kaye Huddy Julie Tritton Film Research: Kate Redman Production Team Rebecca Maidens Kath Posner Bessie Wedgwood Production Manager: Martha Estcourt Unit Manager: Maria Ellis Film Editors: Bob Hayward Andy Worboys Researcher: Nicola Behrman Assistant Producers: Jonathan Brunert Esella Hawkey Producer: Mark Dowd Deputy Editor: Andrew Bell Editor: Mike Robinson _______________________________________________________________________________ Transcribed by 1-Stop Express Services, London W2 1JG Tel: 020 7724 7953 E-mail

9 Taliyana
Tags: Mugabe,Gukurahundi,MyByo24


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Anonymous user 10 years
Britain, the Margaret Thatcher's of this world, should indeed hang their heads in shame. Why they could not listen to their own son's in that once beautiful country, is an absolute disgrace. It is abundantly apparent that Britain 'rules the waves' no longer. Their resentment, their jealousy of their own sons, the first white settlers, those who dared, has blinded them, and has thus caused the worst possible atrocities and countless thousands to die. Maybe they're satisfied now that those very self same sons of sons have lost their homes, their farms and, in some instances, their lives. Long before Mugabe came into power, my father told me that the man was evil, a murderer. He'd met him. But that's the 'qualification' these days in Africa, to get you into the 'hot' seat! A Rhodesian doctor friend too, confided in me years ago.. that Mugabe particularly hated the white man because some fellow doctors had removed his manhood. In the late stages of gonorrhoea they had no option - he would otherwise have died. This racism thing too, has now gone too far. Britain has become soft and apathetic.. and will someday pay for it. It may have even already started. It is said 'the devil looks after his own'.. but then it is also comforting to know that 'history repeats itself'.. the new colonials are already in Africa, only the indigenous inhabitants of that continent don't know it.. and when they do it will be too late.
Anonymous user 10 years
Mugabe, and 5th Brigade wiil meet a superior power, soon. Then God help them,,,not1
Anonymous user 10 years
Dont blame all of us brits please. You can blame each successive British government as much as you like but don't say Britain should hang its head in shame, say the British government at the time should hang its head in shame. Thank you
Anonymous user 9 years
these atrocities were a nccsry evil they led to the unity accrding and to GOD betraying whse side he is on by leting Mugabe triumph.they arrested the contegent Renamo in Zim.
Anonymous user 9 years
these atrocities were inherent they curbed a pssible Renamo in zim,severed the head of disunity, thwarted any equivocation abt GOD s chosen ruler and britain knew betta than to get its hands dirty by getting btwn a man chsn by his pple becoz of minor collateral damage.
Anonymous user 9 years
This goes to show how hypocritical the British Conservatives are. They were happy and pampering their wannabe white boy mugabe when he was slaughtering black people in Southern part of that country, and now the same people are after mugabe's head because he has now turned his war to the white farmers. A point of correction by the way, mugabe was not chosen by God as reflected by those two daft commentators. The real deal in Zimbabwe, was and will always be Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, index.
Anonymous user 9 years
So what is so called super powers(AMERICA AND BRITAIN)Doing about the Matebeleland massacres?Whats the use of your international criminal court,our innocent families were murdered....and that would be a lifetime trauma injury inflicted in our souls.
Anonymous user 9 years
On the article"dont blame us all brits"Yes we blame you all brits till you shut tha up about the Matebeleland massacres,firstly your government pampered Mugabe to kill Innocent people in Matebeleland,secondly you people like to comment on these atrocities as if you were here when it happenned therefore inflicting bad memories of the past in our hearts e.g your journalists etc,please do us a favour by keeping quiet as your government failed us,thank you.
Anonymous user 8 years
Yes•This is true and we witnessed all these and even today iys still on our minds.Friends ,relatives dissapeared and were not found.I always wonder why Britian has pride.they had the power to stop ths but they didnThings will change one and we will regroup as we scattered all over the world.Britian will have to pay for its did.This won't last forever but if we could only get support from outside.they only realised when he started attacking white farmers.
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