On 31 December in Bulawayo police and soldiers arrested, brutalized and detained eight Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) Youths for demonstrating against Mnangagwa’s involvement in Gukurahundi.
The youths wanted Mnangagwa to acknowledge his role during Gukurahundi which killed more than 20 000 innocent civilians in the early 1980s in Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.
The youths wanted him to begin the process of healing.
The eight youths have been charged with “insulting the person of the president”.
On the very day Mnangagwa issued out a statement saying that he was for the people.
“Fellow Zimbabweans whether at home or abroad, I would like to wish you and your families a very prosperous 2018. I also wish you good health, joy, peace and happiness,” he said in his maiden in-studio recording at Montrose Studios in Bulawayo.
“The New Year will undoubtedly have immense opportunities and its full share of challenges. But if we remain united as one people, nothing is insurmountable. Let us resolve to collectively work hard for the betterment of our country. The President implored Zimbabweans to thrive more than ever before, to be united in all endeavours, citing Psalms 133 Verse 1 which reads; “For it is indeed good and pleasant when God’s people live together in unity and harmony.”
“Government will continue to work tirelessly to create a peaceful and stable political and socio economic environment which will enable us to be a prosperous nation and to realise our full potential. 2018 should be the year of all Zimbabweans, 2018 should be the year of progress. 2018 should also be the year of credible, free and fair elections,” he said.
The arrest of the eight protesters has been condemned by Zapu and prodemocracy movements who have since demanded the immediate release of the protesters.