Time to close Gukurahundi chapter: Muzorewa

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United African National Council (UANC) leader Gwinyai Muzorewa

BY THOMAS CHIDAMBA

THE United African National Council (UANC) leader Gwinyai Muzorewa has called for closure of the Gukurahundi chapter in order for healing, reconciliation and unity to take root in the country.

Gukurahundi atrocities saw more than 20 000 civilians being killed in cold blood by the Russian-trained Fifth Brigade forces in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces between 1982-87.

Victims were accused of plotting to rebel against the now late former President Robert Mugabe’s regime. Forty years later, there has not been an apology from the government or compensation of the victims.

UANC, that governed the country during the transitional period in 1979 under the leadership of the late clergyman Bishop Abel Muzorewa, believes that healing can close the Gukurahundi chapter.

Muzorewa told Southern Eye that UANC was ready to work with the affected communities to initiate the healing process.

“The UANC will do everything possible to work with the regional community to listen to what would be more consoling for them,” Muzorewa, who is younger brother to the late Abel, said.

He said it was sad that lives lost in the atrocities could never be restored but there was need to restore material things that were lost by the victims.

“We uphold principles of human rights, peace and respect for a neighbour.

“So when the UANC is voted into government, such values will have to prevail to the benefit of the whole country,” he said.

The American educated university professor said Gukurahundi victims would be appointed in decision-making boards.

“The UANC will actively seek to make sure that the victims of Gukurahundi feel free and safe to be part of Zimbabwe as a nation.

“We will include them in decision-making boards and committees at national level.

“We condemn all forms of discrimination,” he said.

Efforts to close the Gukurahundi chapter have been stifled by alleged State agents who have been destroying memorial plaques at Bhalagwe in Kezi, Matabeleland South.

Muzorewa said his government would build a monument in respect of those murdered during the genocide.

Recently, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission spokesperson Obert Gutu torched a storm when he said Gukurahundi was one of the “small” issues that the commission was engaged in.

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