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Peace Commission Exhumes Remains of 2 Gukurahundi Victims Dumped in Shallow Grave

Remains of two people dumped in a shallow grave in Cross Level Siding by the Fifth Brigade were exhumed on Sunday

The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) on Sunday exhumed remains of two people who were killed by the Fifth Brigade in 1983 at Cross Level Railway Siding, Gwayi, Matabeleland North province.

The remains of Thembi Ngwenya Tshuma, who was butchered by members of the brigade while she was a few months pregnant and her husband Justin, were removed from the shallow grave by a team of experts from Kuthula Trust.

Justin Tshuma was shot dead before his wife’s throat was slit by Gukurahundi soldiers.

The exhumation of such remains is part of a state-sanctioned program to settle Fifth Brigade atrocities of the 1980s perpetrated by the North Korean-trained Gukurahundi, a militia that was aligned to the ruling party then led by President Robert Mugabe.

Justin Tshuma’s brother, Amon Joseph Tshuma, said, "I’m happy that this has been done and I believe that these two needed to be laid to rest in a proper way instead of what happened to them after they were killed by the notorious brigade.”

Both the NRP and Kuthula Trust are expected to conduct similar exhumations in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces where the Fifth Brigade was deployed to suppress an insurrection led by some disgruntled former ZIPRA combatants.

Gukurahundi killed an estimated 20,000 people in the two regions. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has been accused of taking part in the killings, has urged Zimbabweans to talk openly about Gukurahundi and rebury remains of their loved ones dumped in shallow mass graves.

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