Back to Index
, Back to Inzwa Index
healing needs full disclosure, justice'
Lizwe Sebatha, ZimOnline
September 23, 2009
of human rights atrocities and justice for victims of political
violence dating back to the 1980s are key requirements to Zimbabwe
achieving true national healing and reconciliation, National Healing
co-Minister Sekai Holland said on Tuesday.
likely to cause discomfort within the troubled coalition government
between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and the former
opposition MDC parties, Holland told traditional chiefs from the
southern Matabeleland region gathered at Elangeni Training Centre
in Bulawayo that national healing needed to address the 1980s disturbances
in southern Zimbabwe.
About 20 000
innocent civilians lost their lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands
provinces after Mugabe unleashed the army's notorious 5th
Brigade ostensibly to crush an armed insurrection against his rule.
Mugabe has never
apologised for the army atrocities also known as Gukurahundi although
he has described the crackdown as "a moment of madness".
1980s there was talk of national healing and reconciliation after
the Gukurahundi but was it achieved?" said Holland, who is
one of the three ministers making up the Organ on National Healing
and Reconciliation drawn from the country's three political parties
in the unity government.
of violence has continued to haunt Zimbabwe because a truly national
healing and reconciliation process was never achieved. National
healing does not only mean forgive and forget. It also means full
disclosures, reparations to victims and some form of justice.
only way to tame this circle of violence is when we start talking
about national healing and reconciliation dating back from the 1980s,"
The organ is
on a countrywide tour consulting traditional leaders over the best
way forward to conduct the sensitive issue that analysts say might
collapse the coalition government if not handled properly.
deal signed between Mugabe and MDC parties leading to the formation
of the unity government in February, has national healing and reconciliation
as one of the priorities of government to unite Zimbabweans who
last year experienced some of the worst political violence in the
run-up to a presidential run-off poll between Mugabe and MDC leader
who is now Prime Minister in the unity government, eventually pulled
out of the run-off citing violence that his party says left more
than 100 of its members dead and at least another 200 000 displaced,
leaving Mugabe to claim victory uncontested.
and a host of African nations rejected Mugabe's victory while
the African Union and the regional Southern African Development
Community piled pressure on the Zimbabwean leader to form a power-sharing
government with the opposition.
But the parties
in the unity government are divided over who should lead the national
healing process with ZANU PF opposing plans by the MDC formations
to let the church and civic society steer the sensitive process.
ZANU PF, which
has been in power since the country's independence from Britain
in 1980, is said to favour a national healing process led by politicians
and political parties in the hope of striking concessions against
prosecution for past human rights crimes.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.