Opposition political parties have been urged to desist from using the emotive Gukurahundi issue to advance their selfish agendas but should seek audience with the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) if aggrieved.

This follows the recent vandalism of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Matobo district heroes’ acre in Bhalagwe, where the remains of some victims of the disturbances are also interred.

Former liberation war fighters in Matobo district are breathing fire after some opposition elements allegedly vandalised the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Matobo district heroes’ acre two weeks ago.

Speaking to ZBC News Cde Elliot Mnkandla, a war veteran said the decision to establish the district heroes’ acre in Bhalagwe where two mass graves of victims of Gukurahundi are buried was reached in 1992 in order to secure the shrine.

He said it therefore defies logic for fly by night political parties to protest this arrangement through unruly behaviour in order to gain cheap political mileage.

“People are coming from nowhere to politicise this heroes shrine that we initiated as war veterans in the early 1990’s in agreement with the local citizens. No one is supposed to use the issue as a campaign tool. The fact that they lost to Zanu PF is none of our business, we will continue to use this heroes’ acre because it was there way before these opposition political parties were formed,” he said.

Other war veterans also added their voice on the matter saying those with concerns over the post independence conflict should take advantage of the NPRC which is mandated to deal with the issue.

“We believe that anyone who has a problem with issues to do with the post independence disturbances should go to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission,” said Cde Shadreck Ndlovu, another war veteran.

Cde Elizabeth Ndlovu another war veteran said: “The NPRC was here in Bhalagwe last Saturday to hear the concerns of the people , so we thank President Emmerson Mnangagwa for affording people in Zimbabwe through the commission to talk about these issues and find solutions”.

It is alleged that members of the Mthwakazi Republic Party have intentions of constructing a monument outside the heroes’ acre after they were denied the permission to do so within the shrine.

Meanwhile, the former freedom fighters want security to be improved at the district’s heroes’ acre to protect the grave site from further vandalism and for the government to assist with logistics when liberation war heroes die as lack of support has seen few cadres being buried at the shrine.