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Zimbabwe genocide outreach to begin by July

by Staff reporter
26 May 2024 at 13:41hrs | Views
Public hearings to document and address the violent disturbances of the 1980s are set to begin in July, marking the start of a significant national healing and reconciliation process.

These hearings, part of the Matebeleland Peace-Building Outreach Programme, will be supported by a handbook and manual translated into local languages by linguistics experts from Midlands State University to ensure broad participation and understanding.

The government has allocated a budget for this initiative, aiming to bring closure to the post-independence clashes, primarily affecting Matebeleland and Midlands provinces.

Attorney-General Mrs. Virginia Mabiza, who leads the secretariat for the Matebeleland Peace-Building Outreach Programme, told The Sunday Mail, "We anticipate that the programme will be launched before or at the start of the third quarter of 2024. The provisional planned time frame demonstrates our political will and prioritisation of reconciliation efforts within our country."

Mrs. Mabiza emphasized the strategic planning behind these consultations to maximize effectiveness, inclusivity, and create a constructive environment for dialogue, healing, and reconciliation. "The Government is committed to creating an inclusive environment where everyone's opinions are valued, contributing to a meaningful and impactful process," she said.

Preparations for the outreach programme are at an advanced stage, including logistical arrangements, venue selection, and resource coordination. Translation of the programme materials into local languages by Midlands State University has been completed, ensuring effective communication and participation.

Administrative forms have been developed to collect personal information from all participants, enabling the chiefs' panels to systematically archive testimonies using procured information and communication technology gadgets. The procurement of logistical equipment and consumables is ongoing to support the hearings effectively.

President Mnangagwa's administration is committed to addressing the country's past by resolving issues associated with the disturbances. Mrs. Mabiza stated, "This outreach is a significant step forward in demonstrating the Government's commitment to addressing and healing the wounds of the past."

She assured that a dedicated budget has been established to address historical grievances related to the Gukurahundi issue comprehensively and transparently. "This allocation ensures that all necessary resources will be available to support the successful implementation of the programme, reinforcing our dedication to a thorough and meaningful resolution process," she added.

The hearings aim to address critical issues, providing a platform for victims and their families to share their experiences openly and honestly, helping to uncover the truth behind the events of Gukurahundi. They will be led by 72 chiefs from Matebeleland North and South provinces, with a resolution that no chief shall interfere with another's proceedings within their respective domains, fostering a sense of ownership by the affected communities.

"We believe this strategy will enhance the authenticity and effectiveness of the consultative process, ensuring that the voices of the communities are accurately represented and heard," said Mrs. Mabiza. "Central to the hearings is the documentation and identification of victims to ensure that the Government takes appropriate remedial action."

The hearings also present an opportunity for victims and stakeholders to propose recommendations for remedies.

Source - online