President Mnangagwa must apologise OR should he?

President Mnangagwa must apologise OR should he?
Published: 04 December 2017 (462 Views)
As confirmed by the International Association of Genocide scholars, the 5th Brigade of the Zimbabwean National Army murdered some 20 000 Ndebele speaking people in Matabeleland and Midlands between 1983 and 1984 . Many innocent women and children , noncombatants and old people who had nothing to do with political views or may have been critics of ZANU PF were incinerated .

Those massacres cast long shadows over our contemporary politics and will undoubtedly continue to unless and until something is done by a transformational administration managed by and through a combination of Political, Civil and Church Organizations.

ZANU PF has never fully accepted responsibility for the unspeakable atrocities that they perpetrated against helpless innocent civilians. At their best, they could only call it " Moments of madness" . Whether it is the Former President R.G Mugabe, the present President E.D Mnangagwa, the late Cde E. Nkala or and any of their allies , too many to mention, the one thing that sticks out like a swollen thumb is that the last man standing should apologize to the affected region(s) . As if not enough, the new regime has granted the architect or the would have been orchestrator immunity from prosecution undoubtedly as a fig leaf . Apparently ,no one can stonewall that, It is a threadbare.

That rapid depopulation of a sovereign state can not be looked at over a shoulder given its extreme degree. Indeed, moral and ethical considerations should always be taken into account. There are other factors that may make the cost of the apology prohibitive, for instance, compensation policies ,commemoration policies, and the generality of the official historical narrative of the country. However, the sitting President should still apologize for the psyche of the country going-forward. There is seemingly no better time for President Mnangagwa to polish his shoes off the historical tragedy . Procrastination and sheer hard -headedness will lead Zimbabwe nowhere .The cost of ignoring the damages will continue to sky-rocket. From a physiological perspective , people become persuaded by what they hear. Costs and benefits can not only be measured in Zimbabwean bond dollars , they can moreover be measured in moral and emotional terms . If the Government fully comprehends the depths of depravity to which some of the families gave into during the time then apologizing would be as easy as cutting butter with a hot knife.

Until ZANU PF or its government , categorically and collectively takes responsibility for its abominable acts in 1983/84 and apologize as a Party or on behalf of , for their misdeeds ,the people of Matabeleland and Midlands will never forgive ZANU PF leadership for the past or let alone trust them in the future. Without a clear and unequivocal apology, there will be no forgiveness and trust . The President thus should humble himself and kneel down before the victims' families and apologize , unless if he thinks they never committed a humanity crime, then in that case he surely  has the memory span of a fly . It's about time that ZANU PF admitted on a government and national level the terrible torture and abuse meted out to Matabeleland / Midlands .

In my opinion, the longer they take to apologize will be a great exhibition of that they are not sorry . How can victims forgive if the perpetrators have shown no true remorse . Until the President finds it in himself to apologize, the whole regime change frenzy is a stillbirth . The ball is on the state house side of the court . His Excellency has the "carte blanche " .

There is a saying that goes, " The Sins of the father, Son must pay" . I strongly believe Mnangagwa is no exception in as far as his involvement in the Gukurahundi is concerned . As a Zimbabwean, I feel the excruciating pain of Mothers, Sisters , Uncles ,Fathers and Grandparents that were routinely targeted during the Gukurahundi era. The majority of younger Zimbabweans further afield do not even know what atrocities were committed against fellow Zimbabweans as the history books are doctored to show a different story. The younger generation must be shown what their elders have gone through before forgiving can start.

Nevertheless, until President Mnangagwa issues a formal apology and formally educates the Citizens in Matabeleland and Midlands on his role in the atrocities and not merely meaningless diplomatic words of sympathy and regret, the wounds can not begin to heal . Until then the people of Matabeleland / Midlands will continue to turn their backs on him .

Matthew Dube ( Zimbabwean Citizen )

- Matthew Dube


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