3 ¾ It is prepared to incite violence and vengeful action against its political opponents and critics. ¾ It uses virulent language to condemn its opponents and critics, and the vituperation is aimed at intimidating and silencing these persons. ¾ Using its control over the broadcast media, it disseminates a constant stream of pro-government and anti-opposition propaganda. ¾ It constantly attempts to suppress the independent media. ¾ Not infrequently its rhetoric contains racial and ethnic slurs or anti-Semitic language. These statements constitute various types of hate speech. They were made at times when gross human rights violations were being perpetrated. Many of the statements incited these abuses or sought to justify or condone such abuses. Gukuruhundi “Gukurahundi” means “the spring rain that gets rid of the chaff from the last season”. The chaff that was being got rid of consisted of people. The record of events around the Gukuranhundi are amply chronicled by several important reports, and particularly the report produced by the Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources Foundation. 1 During this campaign up to 20 000 unarmed civilians were killed and probably hundreds of thousands of others were tortured, assaulted, raped or had their property destroyed. Of the people who died, some were shot where they were found; some were disappeared, then executed and buried or thrown down disused mine shafts; some were taken to torture camps and some died under torture or were later executed. 1 See CCJP & LRF (1997), Breaking the Silence-Building True Peace: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands 1980 to 1988,; Zimrights (1998), Choosing the Path to Peace and Development: Coming to Terms with Human Rights Violations of the 1982-1987 Conflict in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces, Harare: Zimbabwe Human Rights Association. Their words condemn them: The language of violence, intolerance and despotism in Zimbabwe.

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