Gukurahundi chief architect urged to close chapter on 'moment of madness'

Gukurahundi chief architect urged to close chapter on 'moment of madness'
Published: 04 December 2017 (206 Views)
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has shown his desire to cut Executive costs by going for a leaner Cabinet. And we note that in the lean and mean Cabinet he has a department that will deal with the vexed matter of national healing and reconciliation. That is in addition to a constitutional organ, the National Healing and Reconciliation Commission.

This should be a big plus for the President; except that in the past there has been little action, either because of lack of resources or the absence of enabling legislation.

Once again, the department for national healing and reconciliation will be headed by a Vice President after Zanu-PF's Special Congress to be held in the capital this month.

There are two reasons why we welcome this development, which apparently had been overlooked in the original Cabinet announcement last week. First is that the highest office in the land in the person of a Vice President will be directly involved in this important project.

The second is that President Mnangagwa must have been alerted to the necessity of this organ, and he responded immediately by taking remedial action by making adjustment to his original Cabinet line-up. That shows he takes nation- building seriously, given the attention he wants to accord it in the short period of his Presidency before the next elections next year. This is to be commended. But what will make a really difference between President Mnangagwa's administration and the previous one is action on the ground and its impact on the people affected.

If we take then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's policy of reconciliation in 1980 as a significant marker of national healing and reconciliation, the new department in the President's Office's brief covers mainly the Gukurahundi period from 1983 to the Unity Accord in 1987.

The opposition, MDC-T, has mainly focused on 2008, when it alleges a number of its supporters were maimed or killed in the run-up to the June Presidential election rerun.

These cut-off dates may look arbitrary, seeming, as they do, to ignore the atrocities perpetrated against blacks by the Rhodesian regime during the Second Chimurenga. We are using the 1980 reconciliation as a cut-off date for two reasons: First, the reconciliation policy of 1980 by then Prime Minister went largely uncontested, at least publicly. We assume everyone decided to let bygones be bygones. Second, past efforts to seriously engage the issue of national healing and reconciliation have come unstuck over this issue. If we ignore 1980, how far back should we should go? Given a platform, no doubt the San people living on the fringes of Matabeleland North province would demand their land back or compensation for displacement.

Our crude schema is proposed with a view to possibly bring closure to this rankling matter of national healing, reconciliation, lasting peace and genuine nation building in Zimbabwe. If President Mnanganwa can pull this one off, he would have etched his administration with stone in the annals of our nation.

The challenges we face by failure to engage constructively on these matters are that we don't get to know what those affected by the events of the early 1980s and 2008 think and feel. The talking has largely been left, without actual delegation, to academics and political parties. We know the challenge of mediators, especially if they are not impartial or, if they are politicians, how they seek to capitalise on it for electoral ends.

We believe it is time to do away with these self-appointed and self-serving mediators and get Zimbabweans talking to themselves directly. We might be shocked and surprised that what some of the victims want is not what we fear. We doubt that there are many who would ask for 20 head of cattle and $20 000 as compensation for a lost loved one because a human being can't be valued in monetary except under slavery.

A number of people have indicated they just want an official apology. Others want their relatives officially declared dead so that they get official documents which they cannot get now if they cannot produce a father or mother.

Former President Mugabe described Gukurahundi as a "moment of madness" which should never be repeated. Unfortunately, so long as we keep skirting around it, we are bound to keep talking about it, with some mad men making inflammatory statements around it. That way, we keep passing on the poison to our children and their children. That's definitely not healthy and it must stop.

- the herald


You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

Mugabes get a White Grand-daughter with a protest name 'Mai iya'

by Ryton Dzimiri | 17 March 2018 | 29 Views

It's time to say NO to Sexism

by Faith, Harare | 17 March 2018 | 20 Views

President Ramaphosa arrives in Zimbabwe

by Staff Reporter | 17 March 2018 | 26 Views

Zimbabwe elections might not be held soon

by Staff reporter | 17 March 2018 | 26 Views

Failure of Zimbabwe is the failure of leadership, says Ngarivhume

by Staff Reporter | 17 March 2018 | 21 Views

Mnangagwa fooled Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 17 March 2018 | 30 Views

Mnangagwa, allies respond to Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 17 March 2018 | 18 Views

Ramaphosa to endorse Zimbabwe coup

by Staff reporter | 17 March 2018 | 17 Views

Ramaphosa meets Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 17 March 2018 | 14 Views

Charamba accused of sex abuse

by Staff reporter | 17 March 2018 | 19 Views

Obert Mpofu urges Zim refugees in Botswana to 'go home'

by Staff reporter | 17 March 2018 | 16 Views

'Zanu-PF will not resort to violence to win elections'

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 257 Views

Jennie Williams set free

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 241 Views

Zuma to face trial for corruption

by BBC | 16 March 2018 | 208 Views

Mnangagwa set date for Gwayi Shangani dam completion

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 228 Views

'We can make Zimbabwe a heaven,' says Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 270 Views

No free, fair elections; Mujuru tells SDC

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 269 Views

Granary Park Harare letter to President Mnangagwa

by Concernedresidents | 16 March 2018 | 193 Views

Coup or not; Mugabe had to go

by Daphine Zulu | 16 March 2018 | 230 Views

Mugabe lost popularity long back

by Sibusiso Ndlamini | 16 March 2018 | 159 Views

Nurses down tools at UBH

by Byo24News Reporter | 16 March 2018 | 156 Views

Of Mugabe selfish rantings; Zim has moved on

by Tatenda Gono | 16 March 2018 | 139 Views

Mugabe out to trigger unrests, civil war

by Stephen Jakes | 16 March 2018 | 175 Views

Mugabe's appeal to sympathy only exposes his many evils

by Hopewell Chin'ono | 16 March 2018 | 234 Views

PHOTOS: Police officer dies in council vehicle - combi chase

by Byo24News Reporter | 16 March 2018 | 127 Views

Chamisa to address MDC Alliance rallies in Kwekwe, Gweru

by Luke Tamborinyoka | 16 March 2018 | 202 Views

Mugabe vs Mnangagwa and us all!

by Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda | 16 March 2018 | 126 Views

Zimbabwe destroy Ireland

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 159 Views

Mnangagwa in Matebeleland North

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 168 Views

Mugabe's zero-sum game

by Innocent Batsani Ncube | 16 March 2018 | 154 Views

Mugabe entitled to own opinion, says Mnangagwa

by Stephen Jakes | 16 March 2018 | 185 Views

Mnangagwa's office throws Chivayo under the bus

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 195 Views

Mugabe resigned voluntarily, lies Mnangagwa's office

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 152 Views

Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe 'has moved on' from Mugabe era

by Staff reporter | 16 March 2018 | 117 Views

Let Matebeleland become the 13 state in South Africa

by Anonymous | 16 March 2018 | 260 Views

People Rainbow coalition against the possible postponement of the elections

by Khulani David Ndhlovu | 16 March 2018 | 150 Views