No apology, no reconciliation, Mugabe told

President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have been challenged to apologise for their roles in political violence if they are sincere about engaging in a peace and reconciliation process.

BY MOSES MATENGA

Political violence victims from different parts of the country, including Zaka, Muzarabani, Hurungwe and Tsholotsho, told a Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT)-organised workshop in Harare yesterday that most of the people who terrorised them were known Zanu PF and State actors and should not be allowed to lead the healing process.

“The President’s intervention will not be acceptable. We can’t also send views to the minister because he is appointed by the President. Most of the violence was State-sponsored violence,” one of the victims said.

“The State must acknowledge that it was State-sponsored violence and should pay damages.”

Another victim questioned the role of the reconciliation arm in Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s office.

Vice prseident Mphekezela Mphoko speaks at Grace Mugabe's rally. Pic: Aaron Ufumeli

The victims said the stance taken by Mphoko on Gukurahundi also disqualified him from spearheading the reconciliation process.

“Mphoko is refusing to acknowledge Gukurahundi, but he was there. We don’t want these people or any other minister whose hands are dirty,” one of the victims said.

The government is going around the country canvassing views on a peace and reconciliation legislation, but there was scepticism at the workshop that this would go smoothly, as some feared the process would be manipulated by the ruling party.

Others said the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up under the new Constitution, should send its findings to Parliament and not a minister who reports and owes allegiance to Mugabe.

Victims narrated their ordeals at the hands of Zanu PF supporters and suspected State security agents.

Some said they were raped during violent election campaigns, while others had their property destroyed.

“My brother was shot nine times as we were walking towards the shops. This was in 1983 during the Gukurahundi era,” Davey Ndlovu said.

Freddy Matonhodze, a political violence victim from Muzarabani, who had his tractor burnt in 2002 and his home destroyed in 2008, said although they welcomed the exercise towards justice, they should be allowed to speak freely.

Lawrence Zanga, who survived violence in Zaka that left several MDC-T supporters dead and others seriously injured, said the law was a noble idea.

“It is regrettable. As citizens and victims, we don’t want him (Mphoko) to have anything to do with that. He has shut out Gukurahundi and we can’t have him.”

HZT director Rashid Mahiya said trust was key in reconciliation processes and the role of the minister compromised the independence of the commission.

The workshop was meant to facilitate the gathering of views to be included in the proposed peace and reconciliation legislation.

5 Responses to No apology, no reconciliation, Mugabe told

  1. Abbie January 20, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    Here is what we have learnt over the past 36 years; Mugabe never accepts responsibility for wrongdoing. This country will never move forward as long as he remains at the helm. Any attempts to embark on a genuine process of healing and reconciliation will be derailed by the ruling party because they will seek to white their blood soaked rule.

    We need to realise that this reconciliation portfolio has always been assigned to someone from the very region that was traumatised by the indescribably brutal genocidal Gukurahundi. He always chooses the candidates carefully; cronies willing to sell their souls to the devil and sell the dummy that the unity accord dealt with Gukurahundi. It speaks to a crafty president whose sole strategy is to neutralise rather than heal. Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and political violence were serious crimes against humanity and partly explain why Mugabe will die in office.

  2. Thomas Muzuka January 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    Plizz stop fueling up tribalism in a peaceful nation like Zim . Do you see what is happening in Iraq and Iran and other parts of the world were war is still existing due to tribalism . Adding to that stop reminding people for their previous angers ;what are you teaching between them ; thus bringing hatred among them . It is wiser to preach peace among Zimbabweans rather than speeding up violence like what you are doing . That’ s why Mandela is considered as the best leader in Africa because he forgiven everybody after he released from twenty seven year Jail . You media you are tarnishing the image of Zimbabwe everyday . Plizz plizzz stop stop stop fueling tribalism in our beautiful nation we had already forgiven each other as Zimbabweans. Even Mugabe and Tsvangirai can share the same plate because they don’t want tribalism again even though they have their own political deferences . Plizz past is past let us focus on our future and build Zimbabwe together .

  3. ras January 20, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    We must forget yes but they keep on bullying us.

  4. anonymous January 21, 2016 at 4:36 am #

    Thomas kwana wazvinzwa? Anger is worse when it’s kept hidden. It grows until it erupts. Do you know what it’s like to have to have your life destroyed and have someone say it never happened? It’s not about tribes. Even brothers have been betrayed by their own brothers for political power.

    I’m glad you don’t have any personal stories. If you did the pain would have been too much to say what you said

  5. Mupangi January 21, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    Hey dont talk about Gukurahundi…… asingazive kuti before Gukurahundi mashona aibatirirwa neMandebele ndiani? now you call it city of Kings and queens nemhaka yei? kanai imi venews moda kumutsa kumakana kwanga kwapera. its unfortunate that the ndebeles were the last to receive it but we are now civilised so ngazvichipera tivake nyika tese

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