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Chief Maduna playing politics

12 Dec 2018 at 10:53hrs | Views
Recent actions by Chief Vezi Maduna of Avoca, Filabusi in Matabeleland South to petition the United Nations to intervene in the Gukurahundi issue in Zimbabwe may have been a miscalculation by those who are handholding the elderly traditional leader. Chief Maduna, who is in his early 90s, recently wrote a letter to the United Nations imploring it to intervene on the issue on the grounds that authorities in Zimbabwe have failed to act on the issue and that they were also implicated in the disturbances.

Chief Maduna is the Chairperson of the Matabeleland South Council of Chiefs which has the mandate address various issues as raised by traditional leaders for their various areas of jurisdiction. He was a Senator in the 8th Parliament. The Chief has every right to raise his concerns on the Gukurahundi issue, first as a citizen of Zimbabwe, and secondly, as a concerned traditional leader. It is the platform that he uses to raise those concerns that may become a problem.

The Chief was among the hundreds of traditional leaders who attended the recent National Council of Chiefs meeting with President Mnangagwa in Kadoma. At that meeting, traditional leaders made several resolutions, among them, the setting up of a panel of Chiefs from Matabeleland North, South and Midlands provinces to spearhead the resolution of the Gukurahundi issue. Obviously, Chief Maduna is part of that panel by virtue of his origination. That panel is mandated to spearhead resolution of the emotive issue through grassroots engagements and other relevant interventions. Chief Maduna has that platform to articulate his concerns on the issue.  It is therefore surprising that the Chief goes on to internationalise the issue through involving the United Nations, despite the home-grown solutions set in motion by his peers.

The Chief is also reported by the NewZimbabwe online publication to have sought the intervention of anti-Government Amnesty International of South Africa, alleging that President Mnangagwa had set the CIO against him for his Gukurahundi activism. The Chief claimed that he had been placed under house arrest. Now, this is just sensationalising the issue for no apparent reason. Amnesty International has no mandate to offer any protection to the Chief.

Internationalising the issue may be a plot to pile pressure on Government to address the Gukurahundi issue, according to the Chief's machinations.

Over and above the Chiefs Council initiative to resolve the Gukurahundi issue, Zimbabwe's independent National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has initiated broad-based grassroots consultative hearings to gather citizens' views on how to muster grassroots peace and reconciliation. President Mnangagwa has given the NPRC the mandate to engage communities in pursuit of nurturing national peace and reconciliation.  This demonstrates Government commitment to addressing the various contested periods of the country's history.

Chief Maduna needs to appreciate that, to the extent that the Gukurahundi issue was an internal Zimbabwean issue, solutions to it also lie with Zimbabweans. Dragging Amnesty International and the United Nations will not yield much, besides antagonising Government and other relevant stakeholders.

The language and arguments being attributed to the Chief clearly show that there are some forces behind the actions by Maduna. It is surprising that Maduna, at such advanced age, and  deep in rural Matabeleland, knows about the recent killing of Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Kashoggi in Turkey and the resultant fall-out involving the US and Turkey. There are clearly forces behind the Chief's machinations.

The Chief should be advised to follow the formal platforms at his disposal to engage the President on the Gukurahundi and other areas of concern. Playing to the gallery will not help his cause.

Source - Bevan Musoko
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