NATIONAL Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has urged stakeholders to unite in the formulation of progressive strategies to resolve the contentious Gukurahundi issue.
BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
NPRC representative Johnson Mkandla made the remarks on Monday in Bulawayo during a public lecture organised by Ibhetshu Likazulu for Njini Ntutha, the late Zipra cadre.
Ntutha was murdered in cold-blood by suspected State security operatives masquerading as dissidents during the Gukurahundi disturbances of the 1980s when the late former President Robert Mugabe deployed North Korea-trained Fifth-Brigade in Matabeleland and Midlands regions “to deal with an insurgency.”
Non-governmental organisations place the number of people killed during the raids at about 20 000.
Mnkandla said all the groups or parties that were dealing with Gukurahundi should unite to bring finality to the issue.
“It needs us all as victims, who come from Matabeleland region, together and stop forming other groups,” Mnkandla said.
“We should come together and stop forming new groups that purport to be also dealing with Gukurahundi because we are in this together.”
Mnkandla said it was important for the NPRC to talk to the people in the rural areas and hear what they have to say before taking matters to high offices.
“When the time comes for us to go on outreach, let us find out from the people what they want, let them tell us what it is that they really want to be done for them.
“They should be the ones to tell us how they want the burials to be done when the time for exhumation comes,” he said.
He said different regions had different approaches towards Gukurahundi and, therefore, the need for working together and achieve unity of purpose and come up with a strategy among the different stakeholders.
Mnkandla urged war veterans to work as a united front in their quest for justice for the slain Gukurahundi victims.
“We do not need to be a divided force. We do not need to go in different ways, we need to know that the perpetrator is not divided,” he said.