HomeNews‘Mphoko unfit to lead National Healing and Reconciliation’

‘Mphoko unfit to lead National Healing and Reconciliation’

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HEAL Zimbabwe, a human rights pressure group has piled pressure on Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko saying he was unfit to lead the National Healing and Reconciliation portfolio after his ‘insensitive public remarks on Gukurahundi’.

by VENERANDA LANGA

Mphoko, who was recently appointed the second Vice-President and doubles up as Minister responsible for the National Healing and Reconciliation portfolio stepped on the toes of Gukurahundi victims in Matabeleland when he said the massacres that left an estimated 20 000 people dead in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces was a conspiracy by the West.

To date, victims of the 1980s massacre were still crying out for compensation and an apology from President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

“We believe that the victims and survivors of Gukurahundi deserve a remorseful apology than insults from the VP,” Heal Zimbabwe said.
“The VP’s insensitive remarks affirm his unfitting importance to lead the National Healing and Reconciliation portfolio.”

Heal Zimbabwe said the portfolio required truth telling in order to institute healing, yet they were surprised that Mphoko had decided to ignore the truth, and had ‘manipulated the facts towards his unpardonable selfish interests’.

“As the voice of survivors and victims of violence, Heal Zimbabwe implores political leaders and government to encourage truth telling –objective, narrative and forensic truth. In fact, the challenge that stands in the way for true national healing and reconciliation is that institutions and systems that perpetrated violence, torture and gross human rights violence have become the attempted spokespersons of the survivors,” the NGO said.

The pressure group said what was expected at the moment was a public apology rather than to justify the deaths of thousands of people under the guise of a conspiracy by the West.

“Heal Zimbabwe strongly opposes any attempts to force the masses to forget the past without truth telling, justice, healing and reconciliation. The organisation implores public office bearers and government leaders to desist from manipulating the truth at the expense of the masses. The trauma that Gukurahundi victims suffered, directly or otherwise, continues to haunt their lives,” Heal Zimbabwe added.

The organisation said it was now imperative to fully establish the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to deal with transitional justice without distortions.

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