BY SILAS NKALA
THE opposition Zapu has criticised government and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) for failure to consider the1980s Gukurahundi victims emotions in conducting research on the sensitive issue.
The NPRC recently rolled out a research programme on pre-colonial, colonial, post-colonial and post-independence conflicts.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said his party had a meeting on December 11 with NPRC members where they pointed out to the commission that their research on Gukurahundi was insensitive to the victims.
The 1980s Gukurahundi massacres claimed the lives of about 20 000 Matabeleland and Midlands civilians.
“It is insincere, insensitive and insulting of the Zimbabwean government, through the NPRC to conduct a research on matters of rights violations they and the public are well aware of,” Maphosa said.
“We note and condemn the mischief by the Zimbabwean government which, and deliberately so, has bundled unverified folk tales of pre-colonial era with rights violations of post-colonial and post-independence era. We reiterate that what the Zimbabwean government refers to as “conflict” is actually human and citizens’ rights violations by the State on its people,” he said.
Maphosa said the crimes were well known, adding that they were monumental crimes against humanity and must, therefore, not be treated as conflict issues, but crimes. He also said that the NPRC in its entirety was compromised and, therefore, had absolutely no capacity to lead the resolutions of numerous crimes against humanity that were committed by their appointing authority, the government.
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Zapu said some of the crimes included electoral violence since 1980, economic crimes, State-sponsored abductions and torture, disappearances of citizens and Operation Murambatsvina.
They said after committing the genocide, the government could not then appoint itself to do research on how to resolve the problem.
Zapu also demanded the immediate release and publishing of the Chihambakwe and Dumbutshena commissions reports on the Midlands and Matabeleland genocide.
“We refuse to watch the perpetrating government of Zanu PF pacifying the victims with piece-meal resolution initiatives that are only meant to prolong the process and ultimately denying them justice, healing and peace,” Maphosa said.
Last week, NPRC commissioner Geoffrey Chada (pictured) said the commission would look into the issue of the Gukurahundi genocide next year during public hearings.