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Zapu's position on gukurahundi genocide

by Zapu
08 Jul 2019 at 08:27hrs | Views
It is an objective reality that Zimbabwe cannot move forward as a nation towards peace and development; unless and until the thorny issue of Gukurahundi is seriously and effectively addressed. The assuaging of the pain and suffering brought about by the Gukurahundi atrocities; committed by the ZANU-PF government led by Robert Gabriel Mugabe, can only be achieved through an honest and sincere address of all the concerns of the victims.

There are basically two possible approaches to this search for a permanent resolution of the ZANU-PF Gukurahundi tragedy.

The first approach is that of pursuing the legal route. Under Zimbabwe's domestic legal regime, evidence is overwhelming that thousands of murders with actual intent were committed by the murderous Fifth Brigade; under the command and direction of the political leadership of the ZANU-PF regime. Indeed, the culprits admit that this military brigade was created for this very purpose of committing murder and mayhem, only claiming mitigation on the ground of a purported "monument of madness".

In the circumstances, in the absence of any compelling reasons; it may be argued that the law of the land must take its course and that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes must be brought to book.

The obvious added value of criminal prosecutions is that of deterrence. It tells the perpetrators and those coming after them who may be like minded, that such criminal conduct in the name of politics and political power will not be tolerated in Zimbabwe; and that perpetrators will receive appropriate sanctions according to the laws of the land and according to international law.

The current prevailing situation is that of total disregard of the law and complete impunity.

The second aspect of this legal approach is to recognise and acknowledge that the crime of genocide was perpetrated in contravention of international law. International Law demands, in the interests of maintaining international peace and harmony; and the protection of human rights; that such cases be prosecuted under international law and before international tribunals.

The second approach, and the alternative to the legal route is to treat the issue of the Matebeland and Midlands genocide as a political problem amenable to political, social and economic remedies.

Under this approach, the massacre of ZAPU members and the Ndebele people in Matebeleland and the Midlands Provinces of Zimbabwe; would be defined as a political problem subject to resolution through political dialogue.

In this regard, the following demands would be made to the government as a step towards the resolution of the problem and assuaging the pain and suffering of the victims of the genocide.

1.    That the government acknowledges the genocide and Gukurahundi crimes that were committed by the ZANU-PF regime.

2.    That the government apologizes for the murders and atrocities that were committed in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces of the country.

3.    That the government compensates the victims of the genocide. This compensation must be at regional level, at community level, and at individual level and family levels.

4.    That the government of Zimbabwe returns all NITRAM Company properties that were confiscated by the ZANU-PF regime as part of its execution of the genocide atrocities in Matebeleland.

5.    That the government of Zimbabwe returns to the Party all ZAPU archives, files and records which were confiscated by the ZANU-PF regime at the height of its genocidal military campaign against the ZAPU Party and the people of Matebeleland.

6.    The government of Zimbabwe must declare all persons who were caused to disappear through being killed or illegally executed by the murderous Fifth Brigade and other coercive organs of the state during the genocide as dead and issue civil documents to their families and descendants.

7.    That the government releases and publishes, without delay the reports of the Dumbutshena and Chihambakwe commissions on the Gukurahundi massacres in Matebeleland.

8.    That the ZANU-PF government guarantees through the international community the safety and security of the victims and the survivors of the genocide and all witnesses giving evidence or information on any aspect of the genocide atrocities.

9.    That the government provides resources for the descent burial of the remains of the victims of the genocide.

10.    A Zimbabwe National Gukurahundi Genocide Monument of Matebeleland must be constructed and maintained in perpetuity at National level to remind future generations of the evils of the genocide and as an educational deterrent against such reactionary and primitive tendencies.

11.    Under this approach devolution of power must be implemented and expedited as an integral part of the comprehensive solution to the problem.

The enormous challenge bedeviling this second approach is that its implementation and effectiveness depends on the goodwill of the perpetrators. Its success and effectiveness ultimately depends on the contrition, repentance and cooperation of the criminals themselves.

Regrettably these elements, contrition, repentance and cooperation are terribly wanting. The latest evidence shows that to expect cooperation from the perpetrators is a pipe dream.

The chief culprit Robert Gabriel Mugabe has only very recently denied responsibility for the heinous crimes and instead blaming the mayhem on the victims.

Similarly, his Successor Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has denied responsibility and refused to apologise blaming the atrocities on his predecessor.

The challenges confronting the reconciliation approach are clearly demonstrated by the recent appointment of an ethnically biased Peace and Reconciliation Commission which has already hit rocky ground on that score alone even before it has started tackling core issues.

This appointment demonstrating an ethnic agenda, together with the attitudes and sentiments of both the former and current presidents of Zimbabwe clearly show want of sincerity and honesty in resolving the genocide issue.

In the circumstances, the ZAPU position on the thorny issue of the Gukurahundi genocide of Matebeleland in Zimbabwe is that all approaches summarised above must be vigorously pursued. 

The Party, ZAPU therefore appeals to all progressive forces, the international community; international legal institutions and tribunals for support and help in prosecuting these two approaches to addressing the tragedy and the crimes of the genocide committed by the ZANU-PF regime in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces of Zimbabwe.

Source - zapu
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