HomeLocal NewsZanu PF, MDC meet to discuss political violence, national healing

Zanu PF, MDC meet to discuss political violence, national healing

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The MDC-T national executive says it will demand immediate action on the national healing process today when it meets the Zanu PF politburo and MDC’s national executive.
This combative stance may further strain the politically-volatile and highly-divisive issue that has dogged the inclusive government since its formation in February last year.
MDC-T believes justice and peace will prevail if victims of political violence that broke out during the 2008 presidential run-off are compensated and rehabilitated.
The decision-making bodies of the three political parties to the Global Political Agreement are expected to meet in Harare today and deal with the slow pace of the national healing process in a ground-breaking gathering in the country’s history.
Observers say the meeting is expected to be volatile considering the parties’ ideological differences and entrenched positions on issues.
MDC-T spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, yesterday said the milestone meeting was important in bringing the three political parties together to chart the way forward on violence, adding that his party’s main expectation was for the national healing process to get underway immediately.
“The desirability of national healing should be there, wounds of the past have to be healed through the truth and victims of the violence have to be restored and rehabilitated,”Chamisa said.
Chamisa said the parties would compare notes on how to stop the ongoing political violence reportedly occurring mainly in rural areas; Gibson Sibanda, the co-chairperson of the National Healing Organ, said issues should hinge around mechanisms on how the three political parties can stop violence completely.
“There is an agreed agenda by the three parties and discussions will hinge around how the parties can stop violence around the country, that is what this meeting will mainly be about,”Sibanda said.
He said mechanisms to deal with issues of amnesty would be dealt with at a different stage.
MDC-M secretary general Welshman Ncube said the meeting was an effort to see how best the country could deal with past, present and future cases of violence.
He said other players who were not part of the inclusive government should also play a role in the process.
“There is no doubt that the organ will have to be as inclusive as possible if the healing process is to succeed,” he said.
Zanu PF’s chief whip Joram Gumbo said he was unaware of the agenda of the meeting but Zanu PF be represented.
However, a statement issued by the MDC-T ahead of the meeting said issues around the 80s Gukurahundi massacres, Operation Murambatsvina and the 2008 election violence should be discussed.
“Our view over the issue of transitional justice is important. The people of Zimbabwe need to speak openly about issues of pre-independence violations, post-independence commissions around the Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and 2008 violence, to name a few crimes. Without openness on these crimes, national healing is a mirage.
“We urge those attending this crucial and historic indaba to seriously tackle the issue of violence and the imperative need for restorative and rehabilitative justice so that Zimbabwe can be healed again,” the MDC-T said.
“There can be no effective national healing programme in the absence of transitional justice. The fears of the victims of violence can only be allayed if all known perpetrators are brought to book.”

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