VICE-PRESIDENT Kembo Mohadi yesterday acknowledged that government’s failure to address past conflicts in the country had made it difficult to achieve sustainable peace and national healing.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Mohadi, in his remarks before a meeting with Matabeleland North traditional leaders in Bulawayo, said Zimbabwe would not move forward before it addressed past conflicts, as citizens would always be at “each other’s throats”.
Outspoken Matabeleland North Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni was not invited to the gathering, which the chief said he would have snubbed in any case.
“It is not a meeting I would want to attend,” he told Southern Eye.
Yesterday’s meeting followed a similar gathering Mohadi held with chiefs in Mashonaland Central, in what he said was part of a nationwide initiative to find “cultural ways” of creating and preserving peace.
Mohadi, in his remarks before a closed-door session with the traditional leaders, said conflict resolution initiatives to be adopted should not only dwell on post-independence, but should date back to the pre-colonial era.
“There are conflicts of the past that make peace-building difficult. Yes, there have been many conflicts in the pre-colonial days, colonial days, during the liberation struggle and post the liberation struggle. These are the areas we need to be focusing on,” Mohadi said.
Southern Eye heard Gukurahundi, one of worst conflicts the country ever endured in the early 1980s, where over 20 000 civilians were killed in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces, dominated the discussion.
“What are these conflicts of the past in Matabeleland North and how can we resolve them according to our old cultures in order for our people to live in peace and harmony. What are they? What are these conflicts, the ones that haven’t been resolved?” Mohadi said.
“How can we then resolve them so that our people can live in peace and harmony? Let us engage in a constructive discussion for us to come up with ways to resolve these conflicts, in order for our nation to move forward because with these conflicts we can’t move forward…We will always be at each other’s throats.”