Tsholotsho South MP Maxwell Dube (MDC-M) has called for the setting-up of a truth and reconciliation commission to heal the wounds inflicted on people during the post-independence disturbances.
Dube on Tuesday told parliamentarians that there was nothing as painful as passing by mass graves daily where there were skeletons of people who were buried alive.
He was contributing to a motion in Parliament debating the Presidential Speech.
“The people of Tsholotsho have walked with pain for a long time and they have wounds that need to be healed and issues that need to be resolved,” said Dube. “Can you imagine yourself passing daily by a mass grave where teachers were buried alive standing, and imagine the skeletons that are vertical in the soil?”
Dube said that kind of scenario did not give the people of Matabeleland a sense of security in their country.
“Why can we not be given the freedom to properly bury our beloved ones and resolve the affected estates and births and death registrations that have not been done so far?” Dube said.
It was not feasible to talk of national healing and then appoint the victims to preside over the healing process.
“Are we serious about resolving the point of conflict in our history, or we are postponing it in the hope that the passage of time will resolve it?” asked Dube.
He said it was high time Zimbabwe faced the truth and its consequences so that they could hand over a clean and harmonious nation to future generations.
“I believe that a truth and reconciliation commission is one course of action that we might consider to be taken to close this black chapter in our history,” Dube said.
“For the record, let me make it known to this House that these issues are of deep concern, not only to the people of Tsholotsho, but to the entire Matabeleland region.”
His MDC-M party has been at the forefront in demanding national healing for people of Matabeleland who were affected by the Gukurahundi massacres.
Last week, the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart, whose polling agent Patrick Nabanyama was abducted almost 10 years ago and was declared dead in August, incurred the wrath of war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba when he demanded that the realities of what happened during the pre and post-independence era be dealt with through a truth, justice and reconciliation process.
“I personally feel that it is a shame that we have never been able to deal with the reality of what happened in our nation in the 1970s through a truth, justice and reconciliation process,” said Coltart.
“The white community has never had to confront the excesses and gross human rights violations of the Rhodesian Front war machine and the fundamental injustices of white minority rule. It is the great dilemma that all citizens of our nation have as we grapple with our bloody past. We pretend as if it did not happen; we run away from it and bury it.”