‘Gukurahundi swept under carpet’

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Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu says lack of government commitment to address the issue of Gukurahundi seriously affected his ministry’s ability to carry out its mandate in 2011.

Ndlovu told NewsDay yesterday the organ also failed to achieve its set objectives due to political violence, which was “persistent” throughout the year.

“It is sad that political violence and beatings carried out by the State machinery were persistent throughout the year,” he said.

“Violence and intimidation perpetrated by the State machinery is a product from orders coming from above and this is what is also affecting the healing process because one cannot heal people who are continually being wounded.”

Ndlovu said the organ had failed to address ethnic divisions in the country, which could be traced to the Gukurahundi atrocities in Midlands and Matabeleland.

“The most important issue that the organ failed to address is the ethnic division in the nation, which can be seen in the mentality of those in position of high authority in the nation and even some ordinary citizens,” he said.

“Our major challenge as the organ was convincing Zanu PF that the Gukurahundi issue is a divider of the people.

“But Zanu PF still considers it as water under the bridge and healing cannot take place until the issue of the Fifth Brigade massacres is dealt with.

“One cannot start to heal people of the scars they got from Operation Murambatsvina or violence in the 2008 elections without considering Gukurahundi.”

But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo accused Ndlovu of living in the past and propagating negative opinions.

“He is a Minister of National Healing and if it was a failure last year, then that is how he sees it,” Gumbo said.

“It is unfortunate that he is the one who guides us with a negative opinion on national healing.

“It is vital that we work together to bring unity and we cannot live in the past, but should look into the future on how we can unify the people of Zimbabwe.

“One cannot blame Zanu PF for their failure in uniting people as there are people who defected from his MDC party to others, but no one from Zanu PF forced them to do so.”

Ndlovu was arrested last year for addressing a meeting in Lupane, Matabeleland North province, where villagers wanted to discuss Gukurahundi.