By Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU)
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 properly and effectively addressed.
The attempts to assuage the pain and suffering caused by the Gukurahundi atrocities committed by the Zimbabwe government under the Zanu PF regime, can only lead to more bitterness and resentment by the victims of the genocide.
Those affected continue to carry physical and mental scars from the trauma and insincere, superficial attempts to paper over the painful era only increases mistrust and divisions in our country.
There however is enough evidence that resolution of the emotive issue does not make it on the government list of priorities. Instead what we witness are machinations by the Zimbabwe state and perpetrating regime to not only evade justice and accountability but to destroy the evidence of the genocidal tragedy.
One such machination is the Saturday 21 August so called meeting with chiefs.
ZAPU, as the primary and initial target of the killings which in result became an ethnic genocide on the Ndebele speaking people of Matabeleland and Midlands, hereby responds to this and any other acts of deception wrapped as efforts to resolve Gukurahundi:
1. The party rejects outright any process overseen by Emerson Mnangagwa. All evidence points towards Mnangagwa as one of the leading architects and authors of Gukurahundi.
How can one so implicated be trusted to act in a manner that would satisfy those still living with the aftermath of the genocide? Even using the lowest form of common sense it is impossible to see how he can be judge and jury in a case where he ranks among the top culprits.
2. ZAPU, which was the target of the massacres and thus, of essence must be central to any process aimed at resolution of the genocide, demands the setting up of an International Commission to deal with the issue. That commission ought to be provably and demonstrably neutral and non aligned to any contesting parties and should ensure that compelling findings and recommendations thereof be respected and implemented. A Commission as demanded by ZAPU had a precedent in the Motlante Commission which was set up to investigate the killing of ten people in Harare. If the government was willing to accept such an exercise for killing of ten people, how does it justify refusal to do the same for tens of thousands that perished through Gukurahundi?
3. Once the Commission pronounces on the issue of genocide, steps thereafter would follow the established international processes for dealing with such circumstances.
4. ZAPU demands the immediate publicising of the Dumbutshena and Chihambakwe Commissions of Inquiry, if the Zanu government is to retain any credibility in the quest for justice and peace in Zimbabwe.
5. In order to ensure confidence in the processes ZAPU advocates, we demand that all current efforts that the government be stopped forthwith as we believe that they are aimed at defeating the course of justice. These include activities set for the NPRC, the CSO’s, Chiefs and reburials as such activities could be interfering with what are numerous crime scenes.
ZAPU notes with regret that post traumatic disorder of the victims is hereditary and has been passed on to the next generation, amid the tribal cracks which are emerging within our society, which breeds grounds for repetitive civic unrest, a sad development that has been weaponized by the ruling party to divide the masses through tribal grounds for their continued unconstitutional hold to power, all this being exacerbated by the unresolved Gukurahundi Issue.
Issued by Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU)
Inquiries: Iphithule Thembani Maphosa