Ex-combatants have clashed with Sekai Holland, one of the ministers of National Healing and Reconciliation, over the national healing process, with the former accusing the latter of incompetence because of her ministry’s failure to effectively conduct the long-awaited exercise.
Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) veterans accused Holland of failing victims of violence, saying there was no clear roadmap to the process.
The exchange of harsh words between Holland and the Zipra ex-combatants took place during a function held in Bulawayo at the weekend to launch a new organisation aimed at assisting victims of politically-motivated violence in Zimbabwe.
The organisation, called the Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust (ZIVOVT), is chaired by Patience Nabanyama, wife of the late Patrick Nabanyama, an MDC activist who was abducted and killed during the run-up to the 2000 general elections.
ZIVOVT seeks to address the shortcomings of the government-initiated process.
The ex-fighters have launched a parallel process.
Zipra war veterans’ association deputy chairman Buster Magwizi accused Holland and her colleagues of incompetence.
“This thing called National Healing Organ is just useless because of your incompetence . . . You guys in the National Healing Organ have done absolutely nothing since its formation because you are incompetent,” Magwizi told Holland at the meeting.
Holland refused to take the blame.
“Please stop shouting and abusing me. Do not accuse me of being incompetent. You do not have the right to insult me and tell me what to do because you are former military men. I am not the only one in this
organ . . . (Vice President) John Nkomo is also there, but you want to target me,” Holland retorted.
Nkomo, who chairs the National Healing and Reconciliation Organ, was not in attendance.
Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee co-chairperson and MDC-T deputy spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo who was chairing the meeting had to intervene to cool tempers.
Meanwhile, Bekithemba Nyathi, the secretary of the newly-launched ZIVOVT, said the organisation sought to bring together all victims of political violence regardless of political affiliation.
“As victims of political violence we are really worried and concerned by the current national healing process which tends to sideline real victims of political violence.
“Our organisation will look into all violence that was committed over various periods in our history and try to assist the nation in coming up with genuine national healing strategies leading to justice and accountability,” said Nyathi.