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Mnangagwa insincere on Gukurahundi

by Staff reporter
27 Aug 2020 at 07:33hrs | Views
THE Matabeleland Forum (MF), a consortium of civic society organisations (CSOs), which recently snubbed President Emmerson Mnangagwa's meeting with other regional civic groups, has dismissed government's latest move to resolve the emotive Gukurahundi issue as insincere given the way the matter has been handled in the past.

Mngangagwa was in Bulawayo last week where he met CSOs affiliated to Matabeleland Collective and pledged to put the matter to rest by facilitating issuing of identification documents for victims of the State-sanctioned Gukurahundi massacres.

He also promised to fasttrack the exhumation and reburials of the slain villagers.

At least 20 000 innocent civilians are reported to have been killed by a crack army unit deployed by government to crush Zipra dissidents in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the 1980s. Mnangagwa was State Security minister then.

The late former President Robert Mugabe later described the mass killings as "a moment of madness", but declined to apologise or facilitate for the victims to obtain national identity cards.

In a statement on Monday, MF challenged government to avoid tokenism, but allow survivors to lead the exhumation and reburials to foster national reconciliation and community healing among the affected communities.

"Truth telling must be conducted ahead of any compensation or assistance to the victims and or survivors of Gukurahundi. An inclusive and holistic approach must be considered to ensure there is sustainable conflict transformation within affected communities. Exhumation of the remains of deceased persons as a result of Gukurahundi genocide should be guided by a policy framework in accordance with the Constitution and international norms," the forum said.

"Non-State actors should be allowed to present evidence-based reports on the political, social and economic impact of the Gukurahundi genocide before the relevant parliamentary portfolio

committees. Finally, we submit that all community healing processes should be co-ordinated by the NPRC [National Peace and Reconciliation Commission]. As a forum we do not support any reconciliation process that does not recognise principles that promote victim or community-centred approach, truth telling and conflict transformation."

MF members that snubbed Mnangagwa's Bulawayo meeting include Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association, Balancing Rocks, Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation, Habakkuk Trust, Ibhetshu Likazulu, National Youth Development Trust, Ukuthula Trust, Women Institute of Leadership and Development, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, among others.

Source - newsday