Gukurahundi not a small, tiny issue: Chief Mathema

Chief Mathema

CHIEF Mathema of Matabeleland South has urged citizens and government not to take the emotive Gukurahundi as small issue.He said it will take several years to bring it to closure amid indications by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the process will be completed within a year.

Mathema was speaking to NewsDay Weekender during the chiefs’ engagement with President Mnangagwa over the issue at the Bulawayo State House yesterday.He said a lot needs to be done before the issue is brought to finality.

“We need the voice of the victim and that of the perpetrator. There should be a proper budget with actual figures. We cannot say the process will take a year when there are so many issues around it such as abductions, killings, rape, forced disappearances and exhumations. This is not a small issue, it can take maybe 10 years because there are also other people who are in the diaspora who still fear to come back home because of what they experienced,” he said.

President Mnangagwa announced  that the budget for the Gukurahundi Community Outreach Programme has been confirmed and in place.

“We are committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in this process, and the figures will be reviewed before being made public. Let us remember that this journey is not just about addressing the wounds of the past; it is about building a stronger, more united Zimbabwe for the future. The Gukurahundi Community Outreach Programme is a testament to our collective resilience and determination to confront our history with courage and compassion,” Mnangagwa said.

Gukurahundi is described as one of the darkest periods in Zimbabwe’s history in which an estimated 20000 were killed in Matabeleland provinces and Midlands as Zanu PF plotted to establish a one-party State. The late former President Robert Mugabe described Gukurahundi as a “moment of madness”. 

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