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'Mnangagwa lacks sincerity to resolve Gukurahundi conflict'

by Staff reporter
07 Sep 2020 at 06:35hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa lacks sincerity to resolve the emotive Gukurahundi issue as he has so far avoided meeting the actual victims based in rural parts of the affected areas, MDC Alliance vice-president Welshman Ncube has said.

Ncube was part of the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice (CCJP) which documented the 1980s killings of over 20 000 people by the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands province.

In an exclusive interview with Southern Eye at the weekend, the constitutional lawyer said Mnangagwa had so far not shown seriousness in resolving the issue despite his public stunts on the issue.

During the Gukurahundi era, Mnangagwa was the State Security minister in charge of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operations.

Ncube said Mnangagwa was in fact a perpetrator of the atrocities.

"That he was one of the perpetrators is not something for debate, it is fully recorded. For the better part of the operations of Gukurahundi, he was the Minister of State Security. In every community, the CIO which he politically led at that time did much of the work (killings)," he said.

"Even his utterances at that time make him complicity. He can be convicted not for the acts he did in closed doors, but in public such as the statements he made publicly. These include that people who were in support of dissidents would have their heads separated from their bodies.

"So, in respect of that it is not government, whether it is Mnangagwa or someone who should be playing any leading role in this (solving Gukurahundi conflict).

"It is the job of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe to lead this exercise. It is supposed to be non-partisan and independent. This is what the people of Zimbabwe agreed on during the process of making that Constitution."

Despite having conducted meetings with a group of controversial civic societies in Matabeleland coalescing around Women of Zimbabwe Arise leader Jenni Williams, Mnangagwa according to Ncube, was still insincere in resolving the Gukurahundi massacres.

"You can't be sincere without first politically acknowledging that you created a problem," Ncube said.

"You cannot be sincere without first acknowledging that you did things that should not have been done.

"You can't be sincere without first going to the victims in their communities to say we did a wrong and we want to correct that wrong and ask them to say what we can do."

Ncube added that the Gukurahundi issue was a very emotional issue, in particular to the survivors, who experienced "senseless killings, senseless torture of people who had done no wrong". Anyone, Ncube said, trying to bring closure to the issue must tread very carefully.

"What we see right now is firstly, a group of civic societies and individuals motivated completely by self-interest and greed, motivated by politics rather than the national issue.

"They are beginning to create a process that does not put victims of the Gukurahundi on the centre of whatever they are doing. This is what is wrong about it," he said.

"If (Mnangagwa) was serious and sincere, he would say for example, most of the victims were based in rural areas where they fall under traditional leaders. In those communities, there is oral history on who did what, to who, when and how.

"This is not even to say you will get people who were told of the stories by their forefathers or their fathers but people who were actually there when the atrocities happened. They can tell you that so and so was abducted there, was killed there or were made to dig their own graves there.

"They can tell you people who do not have birth certificates because their family members were killed. So that becomes your starting point to resolve the conflict by engaging these people if you are sincere. But that should be done through NPRC which is mandated to do the job."



Source - newsday

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