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Zimbabwean activists are taking the British government to court over massacres carried out by followers of Robert Mugabe in the 1980s. 

Lawyers acting on behalf of survivors of a campaign of violence that became known as the Gukurahundi launched proceedings in a bid to end a “conspiracy of silence” over the deaths linked to the former president.

They filed an application demanding the release of a secret Zimbabwean government report into the massacres at the High Court in Bulawayo on Tuesday. 

The law suit names Mr Mugabe, who was overthrown in a soft coup in November, as first respondent and accuses him of being the “architect” of a genocidal rampage of violence in which up to 20,000 people were killed or forced into exile.

But it also also names Theresa May, as the head of the British government, and Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mr Mugabe as president of Zimbabwe last year, and demands…