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Opposition party distances self from its leader's utterances

by Staff reporter
31 Jul 2020 at 07:40hrs | Views
NEWLY-FORMED opposition party, The Patriotic Front (TPF) has distanced itself from utterances made by its leader, Darryl Collet last week where he urged the country to forget both colonialism and Gukurahundi in order to move forward.

Collet's utterances allegedly enraged some sections of society from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces who felt the opposition leader was offside in calling on people to forget about the atrocities without proper healing.

A former commercial farmer, Collet was unveiled as interim president of the opposition party at a Press conference in Bulawayo last Wednesday.

But party spokesperson Mxolisi Ncube said Collet, who is also a victim of Gukurahundi, after having lost two relatives to the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade, was expressing his personal opinion, which is not the party's position.

Ncube said as a party, they would not expect people to just forget their bad experiences.

"It was at this juncture that he, speaking in his own capacity, said he had forgiven those who committed such acts against his family because he realised that he had benefited nothing from digging up his relatives," Ncube said. "We, however, note his comment has been taken out of context and viewed as a TPF stance about Gukurahundi."

Ncube said TPF's stance on Gukurahundi and all past atrocities was that there should be a victim-centred approach which affords people a chance to get closure, mourn their loved ones and get the kind of recourse in a way defined by them with the view of allowing for reconciliation with justice.

"We cannot as a party hope or suggest that people should just forget about painful experiences, especially those in which they lost their loved ones," Ncube said.

Ncube said the TPF stance on Gukurahundi and all other atrocities Zimbabweans have gone through was contained in the party's founding document.

"We will do consultations with communities affected by all past atrocities, including Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, the land reform violence, company grabs and political violence, to come out with remedial action and restitution as defined by the victims and survivors, to help them find closure and restitution, for the nation of Zimbabwe to find unity and move forward as one," he said.

Collet said deep-seated poverty faced by Zimbabweans forced TPF members to come together to offer solutions to the country's myriad of challenges.

"These are issues that need to be addressed and it is for this reason that TPF has been founded in order to bring together the great minds of the country in an all-out effort to bring in the change that is needed," Collet said during the event.

Collet, who said he was forced off his farm during the agrarian reforms, added that Zimbabweans had a right to demonstrate against the government on July 31 as the crisis they faced was unbearable.

Source - newsday