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3 years on - We still remember
Heal Zimbabwe Trust
April 07, 2011

Thousands of 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.

The memorialisation 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 . . .

Heal Zimbabwe 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:

  • Immediately 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 been served.

Extract from 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.

Visit the Heal Zimbabwe fact sheet

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