BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZAPU has petitioned government to erect a monument at the Bhalagwe mass graves in Matobo, Matabeleland South, as part of measures to bring closure to Gukurahundi victims.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa yesterday said the party had handed the four-page petition to Bulawayo Metropolitan minister Judith Ncube at her Mhlahlandlela government offices on Tuesday.
He said the petition was influenced by the Zanu PF government’s evasiveness in tackling Gukurahundi and numerous issues affecting the people of Matabeleland and the Midlands,
including its refusal to address concerns by Zipra and Zapu, among them the issue of properties confiscated soon after independence.
In the petition, Zapu remarked that Zimbabwe could not achieve peace and development unless the Gukurahundi issue was addressed.
On Monday, the party said it was open to dialogue on the issue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“… a Zimbabwe national Gukurahundi genocide monument must be constructed and maintained in perpetuity at national level to remind future generations of the evils of the genocide and
as an educational deterrent against such reactionary and primitive tendencies,” the petition read.
Ncube yesterday said she had not seen the petition when contacted for comment.
“I have not seen the petition. In actual fact, I am out of town and will only be back in office tomorrow (today),” Ncube told Southern Eye.
The petition also lists a cocktail of demands presented by the clergy, civic society organisations and traditional leaders to President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a pre-requisite to addressing the Gukurahundi atrocities.
“The Zanu PF government (must) guarantee, through the international community, the safety and security of the victims and survivors of the genocide and all witnesses giving evidence or information on any aspect of the atrocities,” the petition added.