The Gukurahundi massacres remain a sore point in the history of Zimbabwe and it is worrying that the state has not yet conducted thorough investigations into these gross human rights violations that qualify as genocide under international law.
ZLHR has collaborated in the past with other like-minded organisations to compel the state
actors to release information to establish the truth.
In the constitutional case of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights & Another v The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe & Another filed as case No. 311 of 1999, the applicants sought a court order for the release of information to establish the truth about Gukurahundi.
Although the case was dismissed, ZLHR joins all progressive people who continue to call on state actors to release information for the truth to be established and bring the perpetrators of the massacres to account and pay reparations to the families of the victims and survivors.
The right to the truth and dignity of victims requires that the state pay reparations for the state-sanctioned gross violations and apologise. Similarly, the state should promptly and thoroughly investigate all documented cases of human rights violations such as disappearances of human rights defenders that have occurred in the past.
The August 1 2018 shootings must also be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators held accountable.
The relatives of all those who were murdered in cold blood by state security agents on that day are entitled to full knowledge about what happened to the victims as well
as reparations from the state.
On this International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, ZLHR urges state actors to:
o Take concrete measures designed to reveal the truth concerning gross
human rights violations that have occurred during different periods in
o Take steps to restore the dignity of the victims of gross human
rights violations by making reparations,
o Investigate the reported and documented cases of enforced disappearances,
o Pay reparations to the relatives of the victims of enforced disappearances,
o Urgently investigate all documented cases of gross violations and
make the perpetrators accountable and pay reparations to the relatives
of the victims.