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Siwela demands US$100bn Gukurahundi genocide compensation

by Douglas Mwonzora
13 Aug 2020 at 07:26hrs | Views
MATABELELAND Liberation Organisation (MLO) led by the self-exiled Paul Siwela has petitioned government to pay a total of US$100 billion to the victims of Gukurahundi.

The demand came after President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government last month announced that it will pay white farmers a total of US$3,5 billion compensation for their farms.

MLO information and public affairs secretary Israel Dube said now that the government of Zimbabwe finally signed a deal to pay white former commercial farmers compensation for infrastructure developments on disposed farms, it should also pay US$100 billion compensation for the Matabeleland genocide committed between 1980 and 1987.

"It is not only white people that you have wronged. You have also committed unforgivable and unforgettable sins in Matabeleland, where you have murdered, raped, looted and plundered. Now it is time to pay," Dube said.

"The amount will cover Matabeleland genocide, illegal occupation of Matabeleland, gross abuse of Matabele people, properties in the form of houses, businesses and cars that were forcefully taken from Matabeles living in Harare by Zanu-PF youth brigade and Zanu-PF women's league led by Sally Mugabe in 1984 and 1985."

The late former President Robert Mugabe in the mid-1980s unleashed the North Korea-trained 5th Brigade to deal with alleged insurgency in Matabeleland and Midlands regions and the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace estimates that over 20 000 people were killed.

"Due to the fact that Matabeleland genocide was plotted and carried out by the government of Zimbabwe, the current and future governments of the same country shall continue paying the reparations regardless of which party would be ruling until the debt is fully paid," Dube said.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa referred Southern Eye to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

"There is a Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) under the Constitution of Zimbabwe. They will be ready and competent to deal with your question as per their mandate," she said.

NPRC chairman Selo Nare said they had started consulting the people on how the issue of Gukurahundi should be handled when the whole process was disturbed by the outbreak of coronavirus.

"We had started talking to the people about this issue, but we were disturbed by the coronavirus outbreak," Nare said.

"We were getting the information from the affected people as to what should be done. If all was well, we would be out by now talking to the people and hearing how they want the Gukurahundi issue to be addressed."

He added: "As I speak, I am in Bulawayo and the other commissioners are in Harare and other places. We are unable to conduct our usual business because of the virus. But when things become normal, we will continue listening to the people on how they want this issue addressed."

Nare also said the commission was engaging chiefs and churches as stakeholders on how to deal with the issue.

He said chiefs live with the people and it was important for MLO to first engage the traditional leaders before deciding compensation.

Source - newsday