Walk the talk Mr President


Recent remarks by President Robert Mugabe at the National Heroes’ Acre that the process of reconciliation was national are a breath of fresh air.
However, President Mugabe has to walk the talk if these calls are to be taken seriously.
Zimbabweans’ greatest fear is that his calls are meant to ensure Zanu PF supporters – who constitute the majority of those who perpetrated political violence since the formation of the MDC in September 1999–may get off the hook.
Sentiments swirling are that Zanu PF supporters who engaged in these heinous acts will be the biggest beneficiaries of the blanket amnesty proposed by President Mugabe.
What Zimbabwe needs is transitional justice. There can be no national healing unless those responsible for politically–motivated violence and murders are brought to book for disregard of human lives and property.
If South Africa and even Ghana have had Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, why then should the uneasy coalition government of President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara be an exception?
Unless such radical actions are taken, then the message of national healing will lack meaning and relevance.
There is no way there can be national healing and reconciliation when perpetrators of violence are walking freely on the streets, at times coming face-to-face with their victims.
This then just becomes grandstanding which no right-thinking Zimbabwean will take seriously.
The deadly snare of political conflict will remain a reality, and that demon cannot be exorcised unless bold steps are taken to send a very strong message that political violence will not be tolerated.
It is important for action to be taken against those who have perpetrated wanton violence and reparations made to surviving victims or their kin.
Unless President Mugabe toes this line, then his messages on unity are going to be taken as vanity because this is not the first time people have heard the rhetoric.
The only way Zanu PF can cleanse itself is by taking action against those of its members who raped, tortured, maimed and murdered all in the name of the party, which has in the past boasted of its “degrees in violence”.
It is the hope that – as part and parcel of the ongoing national healing process – all these dreadful cases will be revisited, examined and justice served before the country can move forward as one without skeletons in anyone’s cupboards.

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