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ZAPU Demands Inclusion In Gukurahundi Hearings

3 months agoTue, 20 Feb 2024 09:51:32 GMT
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ZAPU Demands Inclusion In Gukurahundi Hearings

The opposition Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) party has questioned the ZANU PF-led government’s commitment to a genuine resolution of the Gukurahundi massacres.

This follows the exclusion of key stakeholders from taking part in planned hearings set to be rolled out in affected communities to resolve the Gukurahundi legacy.

Addressing the media on Friday, ZAPU president Sibangalizwe Nkomo said the perpetrator was in charge of the whole process while the primary target of the massacres was excluded. Said Nkomo (via ZimLive):

Fellow Zimbabweans, we have witnessed an attempt by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to deceive our people into thinking that he sincerely wants to address the Gukurahundi genocide.

Our major discontentment is the fact that the perpetrator is not only in charge of the process but determines the terms of the whole process.

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As if that is not enough, ZAPU, the primary target of the Gukurahundi military operation, has not been considered by the government.

We have clearly stated that any process that does not include us as victims is an exercise in futility.

The Gukurahundi hearings will be led by traditional leaders in communities where the atrocities were committed.

However, little has been mentioned about restorative justice against the perpetrators. Said Nkomo:

Compatriots, Gukurahundi affected our people in different ways. Those who lost loved ones need healing and closure. Those who were raped deserve healing. Many lost their properties and deserve compensation.

ZAPU and ZPRA also lost properties which are yet to be returned. ZAPU insists that the starting point in addressing Gukurahundi is making public the Chihambakwe report.

It is for this reason that we appeal to President Mnangagwa to halt the process and consult widely so that for once, he can do something that can outlive his chequered legacy.

Gukurahundi was the code name used during military operation in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces ostensibly to neutralise dissidents in the 1980s.

An estimated 20 000 civilians, according to independent estimates, were killed during the disturbances.

Meanwhile, Nkomo urged survivors to avoid exposing themselves to possible retribution by the state through certain utterances during the hearings.

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