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Govt finally decriminalises Gukurahundi discussions

by Methusi Ncube
09 Apr 2019 at 18:53hrs | Views
The government has with immediate effect approved measures to assist victims of the 1980 genocide popularly known as Gukurahundi, which include exhuming bodies that were buried in mainly unmarked mass graves.

The government will also ensure that Gukurahundi, where at least 20 000 unarmed civilians were butchered in Matabeleland and Midlands by government forces, will be talked about freely.
Hitherto, it has been a taboo subject in the country.

The government pledged to prioritise projects in Matabeleland like the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project that has been on the drawing boards since 1912.

In a follow up to a meeting that President Emerson Mnangagwa had with the Matabeleland Collective (NGOs and civic groups in the region) at State House in Bulawayo last month,  Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabhiza said the measures were a response to calls for compensatory development, national healing and devolution.

"The government will facilitate the exhumation and reburial of Gukurahundi victims and the issuance of birth certificates and death certificates for victims.

"We're also implementing protection mechanisms for those affected by Gukurahundi to be free to discuss their experiences," said Mrs Mabhiza.

She said the government will provide medical assistance to victims of Gukurahundi.

"The government will also prioritise the completion of the Zambezi Water project, which is expected to unlock economic value to communities," said Mrs Mabhiza.

The project, if completed, is expected to create a green belt of agriculture through the region and restore Zimbabwe to its historical status as the bread basket of Southern Africa.

She said the government would give monthly updates on the pledges which also include devolution and decentralisation of service from Harare to the rest of the country.

Matabeleland Collective convener Pastor Trevor Masuku said the government did well by responding to concerns raised by the civic society.

He said he was particularly impressed by the decriminalization of discussing Gukurahundi issues.

More than 70 organisations represented by over 100 civic made up the Matabeleland Collective that had the Indaba with the President last month.

Source - Byo24News

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