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Justice Min Ziyambi Says Government Will Never Arrest Gukurahundi Perpetrators

1 year agoFri, 19 Aug 2022 11:33:08 GMT
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Justice Min Ziyambi Says Government Will Never Arrest Gukurahundi Perpetrators

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has the government has no intention to ever arrest anyone implicated in perpetrating the Gukurahundi genocide.

According to the minister, the perpetrators were forgiven by late former President Mugabe in a blanket amnesty.

Ziyambi Ziyambi spoke in Geneva, Switzerland this week where he is leading a delegation from Zimbabwe to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

He also objected to the genocide being referred to as a ‘massacre’, saying it was a ‘disturbance’.

Said Ministyer Ziyambi Ziyambi:

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We united our people and parties and that concluded that process at that juncture. We do not have the mandate to go after people and arrest them because of the amnesty that was declared

Lastly, madam chair I would like to place on record our objection to use of the term of massacres, where reference is made to disturbances in parts of our country shortly after attainment of sovereign independence in 1980.

Soon after independence, because of our close proximity with South Africa that was still under apartheid, there were again disturbances that led to what you refer as Gukurahundi; it was not one sided, and it wasn’t confined to Matabeleland and Midlands but even parts from where I come from, because on the other side, I also lost relatives to dissidents.

In 1987, there was a political settlement to ensure that we bring our people together after the signing of the unity accord between the parties that were involved.

In terms of what you call justice for the victims, we are conflicted in that there was a general amnesty that was declared and we now need to conclude it by ensuring that concerns of the community like if there were those that did not have birth certificates, if they are children that need documentation which we have already started.

Commenting on Ziyambi’s statement, exiled former minister in Mugabe’s government, Jonathan Moyo said on Twitter:

Sad but the implications are clear in terms of international law: since domestic remedies have been exhausted, and a deadend has been reached, it means the matter should now be pursued within and in accordance with the relevant protocols of
SADC, African Union, and the UN

Gukurahundi, as it became known, was a genocide carried out in Matabeleland and Midlands targeting people of Ndebele origin. The operation, which resulted in the death of an estimated 20 000 people, was carried out in the 1980s by the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade, an elite regiment of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

Gukurahundi is derived from a Shona language term that loosely translates to “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.

In 1999, Robert Mugabe described Gukurahundi as “a moment of madness”. However, no action was taken to make public the findings of a truth commission set up by the government to investigate the genocide.

For Gukurahundi timeline click here: https://www.pindula.co.zw/Gukurahundi_Timeline_(1980_-_1990) 

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