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OUTSPOKEN former war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda has attacked western diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe for failing to condemn the early 1980s mass slaughter of civilians in the country’s western provinces by President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
Sibanda was among former Zanu PF politicians now belonging to People First who were invited to Saturday’s prayer rally called for abducted journalist turned anti-Mugabe campaigner Itai Dzamara at Zimbabwe Grounds.
His comments followed an equally strong condemnation issued but the visually impaired by prominent clergy Bishop Ancelimo Magaya on African diplomats who have failed to condemn Dzamara’s abduction.
“I want to respond to where the Bishop said that the British and American embassies are the only ones issuing statements against the abduction of Dzamara,” Sibanda said in Shona.
“I personally am not convinced by the same embassies. Yes they speak over an important matter where someone has been abducted but in Matebeleland, there are more than 50,000 who died with America, Britain and Europe being quiet.
“The same Britain and America yakaenda kunotora harahwa, munoiziva harahwa inonzi Pol Pot kuCambodia to answer to his crimes of killing his people in court but everyone is quiet about people who died in Matebeleland.
“Maybe the Bishop was not yet a Bishop then, but now there is a Bishop, I am sure they are going to help us find out, even relocating our people’s graves so that we give them a decent burial.”
Independent estimates say up to 20,000 predominantly Ndebele civilians were killed under a military operation sanctioned by then Prime Minister Mugabe to hunt down armed insurgents who were sympathetic to former Vice President Joshua Nkomo.
Dzamara, a journalist turned firebrand pro-good governance activist, was abducted by suspected state agents four months ago and nothing has since been heard of him.
The embassies of Australia, America, Sweden, Britain and the EU have led calls for the release of Dzamara.
The EU, which is in the process of relaxing its sanctions on President Mugabe’s regime, has said the unresolved issue of Dzamara’s disappearance was unnecessarily straining its relations with Zimbabwe. source-newzimbabwe