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3 years on - We still remember
April 07, 2011
people gathered in Harare yesterday, 06 April 2010 in solidarity
with the Ndira, Kauzani, Nyeve, Chiroto and Chakururama family who
carried out a combined memorial service for their loved ones who
were brutally killed during the 2008 political
violence. The combined memorial service for Tonderai Ndira,
Better Chakururama, Abigail Chiroto and Godfrey Kauzani was held
at Dutch Reformed Church in Harare and was attended by close to
six hundred family members, friends, civil society organizations,
Government officials and members of the public.
The atmosphere was sombre where the family members vividly remembered
how the five activists were brutally murdered. The family members
never got an opportunity to openly grieve their beloved ones most
of whom were abducted and found dead with body parts missing after
several days. Family members took turns to testify on the loss of
their relatives and most of them stated that even though it is more
than two years after their gruesome deaths, the memories still live
on and the void they left in their respective families is still
to be filled.
Civil Society organizations present also took a swipe at the Government,
especially the Home affairs ministry, for failing to bring to book
perpetrators of political violence in Zimbabwe who continue to roam
free without any arrests or investigations taking place.
The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Hon Morgan Tsvangirai who was the
guest of honor consoled the families stating that the deaths of
the five was not just a loss to the family alone but the nation
at large and emphasized that such acts of criminality should not
ever take place again in Zimbabwe's future elections. Hon
Tsvangirai however applauded SADC for finally taking a stance against
political violence in the country by singling it out as the single
major threat to democracy and stability in Zimbabwe and the whole
region at large.
The event ended at Warren Hills Cemetery, were close to four thousand
people gathered for the unveiling of the tombstones. The crowd sang
songs of praise in remembrance of the five who demanded they be
accorded the hero status.
programme is an ongoing project which Heal Zimbabwe is carrying
out and so far it has worked in Midlands-Gokwe, Masvingo-Zaka and
Mwenezi, Manicaland- Headlands and Buhera, Mashonaland East-Murehwa
and Mutoko and Mashonaland Central-Muzarabani in an effort to restore
people's livelihoods and also restore traditional community
peace conflict resolution strategies.
Meanwhile . . .
is extremely concerned that violent elements attempted to disrupt
the memorial service using the same tactics that were used on the
day of burial of these five in 2008. State institutions which are
responsible for investigating and prosecuting criminal actions of
this nature have not provided a satisfactory response to the incidents
which occurred in 2008.
While abhorring the violence which happened yesterday in the strongest
terms possible, the fact that these individuals attempted to disrupt
the memorial service displays the levels of political intolerance
in the country and the duty and responsibility of the church, civil
society and government in rehabilitating the youths. We call upon
the authorities, in light of the increased mentioning of elections
and the development of the so called elections road map to:
carry out all impartial and non-selective investigations and prosecution
of acts of political violence
- Request the
police force to be a service to the people and not an extension
of political force to increase citizenry confidence and reduce
incidents of retaliatory acts of violence and defence
- Lastly as
the 5 individuals memorials were held yesterday, the state should
investigate these murders so that the departed souls of these
individuals can finally rest in peace knowing that justice has
speech by Heal Zimbabwe Director, Mr. Mahiya:
In the end,
the people of Zimbabwe want to be free to go about their daily
business without looking over their shoulders in fear of the state.
They should be able to discuss the past, the now and future of
their own country in private and public places without fear of
being "treasonous." Because we are All Zimbabweans,
we are passionate about our country, our people and our values
bind us together. Let's Heal Zimbabwe.
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