GWERU residents on Wednesday called for the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to be led by church leaders, as was the case with South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the chairperson.
By Stephen Chadenga
The residents said church leaders would bring confidence in the ongoing national healing and reconciliation processes.
“We envisage a situation where the commission is led by a church leader as this would bring confidence in the national healing processes,” John Chuma said at the NRPC consultative meeting.
“Church leaders would bring the voice of God in national healing.”
Another resident, Marvellous Moyo, said the composition of the commission lacked the “church element”, which she said would inspire trust and confidence during deliberations.
A Mkoba resident, James Ncube, said it was important for the commission to have church leaders as reconciliation and national healing could not be complete without including the prayers.
“As much as we can be prayerful in our own way, a church leader heading such a commission would bring the prayer element,” he said.
Other residents also emphasised the issue of compensation and national apology by political leaders who were involved during the Gukurahundi era.
The Gukurahundi disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands in the 1980s resulted in the death of an estimated 20 000 people.
In January on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly refused to apologise for the Gukurahundi massacres, saying he had put in place measures to deal with the issue.
Former President Robert Mugabe never apologised for the massacres, but only described it as a “moment of madness”.