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‘Gukurahundi issue must be resolved the right way’


President Robert Mugabe’s government has to find a lasting solution to the emotive Gukurahundi issue if sustainable national peace is going to be a reality, a civil society group has said.


Save Matabeleland Coalition (Samaco) director, Busani Sibindi told NewsDay that his coalition believed that “true and sustainable peace” is necessary for the development of the country, as a whole, and Matabeleland, in particular.

“Samaco advocates for the proper recourse in terms of the atrocities. This includes bringing perpetrators to justice and subsequently rebuilding and reconstructing the Matabeleland community through restorative justice, rehabilitation, reconciliation, and retribution,” he said.

“Above this, Samaco believes that the people of Matabeleland must take the lead in all these processes and be capacitated to handle the process. Institutions based outside the regions have no right to impose solutions and this includes the current government of Zimbabwe, which has, through [Vice President Phelekezela] Mphoko’s statement, announced that they are reburying and issuing death certificates for victims they supposedly killed,” said Sibindi.

Sibindi said the government’s plan was tantamount to tampering with evidence, “and makes anyone, who participates in it, an accomplice of an ongoing genocidal crime”.

“The government cannot start by going to the finishing line, proper recourse must be followed,” he said.

Sibindi said the list of actors accountable for Gukurahundi cuts across all sectors of society.

“These include the State of Zimbabwe, for planning and carrying out the executions; Britain, for funding the plan and North Korea, for training and capacitating the executioners,” he said.

The lobby group also called for politicians to stop abusing the Gukurahundi issue.

“Such abuse works as a stumbling block to proper peace, truth, justice and reconciliation,” he continued.

“It is only used for political bickering, sloganeering and smear campaigns. This impediment does not only increase impunity it indeed promotes it and fuels tensions,” said the group.

Samaco is an initiative that brings together partners across the region of Matabeleland through networking and co-ordinating grassroots organisations around local democratic and civic participation for socio-economic transformation and restoration of fundamental freedoms and human rights using the principles of democracy as a means to that end.

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