REPORTS by political parties and civic groups that Zimbabwe is a wounded nation cannot be taken lightly, hence there is need to find ways of healing the nation before we can think of moving forward.
This in itself demonstrates that the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), which launched its five-year strategic plan recently, has a lot of work to do.
We believe the commission should handle its obligations with the sensitivity and care that they require, given the delicate nature of some of the issues that have brought this nation to where it is now.
We cannot agree more with MDC Alliance secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora who indicated that historically, Zimbabwe has never enjoyed peace as a nation due to political turmoil, violence, political bickering and economic malaise. With that in mind, this is a reason enough to heal the nation State.
From the days of the 1970s liberation war through the Gukurahundi atrocities of the early 1980s to the mid-1980s, the political violence that ripped the nation between 2000 and 2002 right through to 2008, Zimbabwe has faced a history of turmoil.
Generations have been wounded through this cycle of violence and for that reason, one cannot take lightly the need to deal with this conundrum. What happened in the past happened, but forgiveness is paramount.
However, for the nation to get to the point of forgiveness, it is important to explore what happened during all these different epochs so that those that have been affected can find closure and move on.
Anything like South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission will perhaps be ideal for Zimbabwe, as it would provide a platform through which stakeholders can agree that such things would not be allowed to be repeated in the future.
Clearly, this process should also be gender sensitive, canvassing the views of both men and women because all need healing.
Without a doubt, any nation that knows no peace can never progress or prosper economically, but will remain trapped in the past, haunted by unpleasant memories of by-gone eras.
We believe government must lead by example and put in place policies that foster peace and reconciliation. This is also one way to attract investment and international engagement as the country moves forward into the future.
It is heartening though that the NPRC’s five-year strategic plan outlines key areas of initiating inclusive healing, facilitating enhancement of policy frameworks for national healing, strengthening the peace architecture as a catalyst for conflict prevention and transformation, and enhancing the national capacity and peace and reconciliation.
This is the first step in the right direction, and we hope all citizens will buy into this programme and help move the country forward.
Those that were involved in the violence must also be given an opportunity to clear their consciences during these hearings by way of confessing or repenting, and these include political leaders who are being haunted by their involvement.
Everyone needs healing, and Zimbabwe, let anyone who feels haunted come forward, or we will perish.