Home Politics “Gvt turns Gukurahundi reconciliation process into a joke”

“Gvt turns Gukurahundi reconciliation process into a joke”

by Bustop TV News

Human rights activists in Matabeleland have expressed their disappointment with the government’s attempts to address the issue of Gukurahundi, describing it as a mere joke.

Gukurahundi refers to the period between 1982 and 1987 when the Fifth Brigade army, trained by North Koreans and under the command of former President Robert Mugabe, carried out a military operation in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces of Zimbabwe.

The operation, initially aimed at apprehending 400 armed dissidents, resulted in excessive violence and a devastating toll on the civilian population. Approximately 20,000 civilians were killed, thousands were tortured and went missing, and an estimated 400,000 people faced starvation due to targeted food limitations in the affected regions.

Mbuso Fuzwayo, the Secretary-General of Ibhetshu likazulu, told NewsDay that the government had turned this serious matter into a laughing stock.

Fuzwayo pointed out that there was no constitutional instrument in place to address the issue, further undermining any potential resolution.

Earlier this year, it was announced that traditional leaders would begin conducting hearings on Gukurahundi within a three-month period.

The training of 144 rapporteurs was reportedly initiated as part of this process. However, the lack of a statutory instrument and the absence of a budgetary allocation for the traditional leaders cast doubts on the effectiveness of these efforts.

The government’s initial response to the issue was the establishment of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, a legal entity meant to contribute to peacebuilding and healing.

However, the current state of affairs suggests that comprehensive measures and resources are still lacking to adequately address the issues of Gukurahundi and provide closure to affected communities.

“There is no sincerity in addressing the issue. It has been made a laughing matter by the perpetrators. Unfortunately, the mass murderers are making a joke out of this,” Fuzwayo said.

There is a possibility that the matter could come to a close, according to Chief Mathema of Gwanda, due to the lack of funds allocated for the project.

“Serious issues are done with adequate budget first,” Mathema said.

Despite mounting evidence of the Gukurahundi’s brutality, the Zimbabwean government has yet to fully acknowledge the extent of the violence.

Researchers believe that the late President Robert Mugabe and his close associates may had been directly involved in planning and executing the massacres.

However, no high-ranking officials have been held accountable for their role in these atrocities.

Mugabe himself once referred to Gukurahundi as a “moment of madness”.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the current president of Zimbabwe, held the position of minister of state for national security during the time when Fifth Brigade troops from the Zimbabwe National Army committed atrocities against civilians in the Matabeleland region resulting in the deaths of thousands of people.

Since coming into power through a 2017 military coup that ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa has made unsuccessful attempts to address the Gukurahundi issue.

During a meeting held last year at the State House in Bulawayo to discuss the sensitive Gukurahundi matter with civil society organizations, Mnangagwa stated: “I reiterate that as Zimbabweans we are one. Together we can overcome any challenges that confront us.”

Related Articles