FORMER Bulilima East legislator, Norman Mpofu (MDC-T), has urged government to carefully handle the emotive Gukurahundi issue and facilitate national healing and reconciliation, saying failure to do so could trigger civil strife.
BY SILAS NKALA
The warning came amid rising public anger over Zanu PF’s failure to address amicably the conflict that claimed over 20 000 lives of suspected Zapu supporters in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the 1980s.
Mpofu told Southern Eye yesterday that citizens were becoming agitated by government’s refusal to bring the issue to finality.
“Crimes against humanity have been committed by a bunch of criminals currently masquerading as democratic leaders of this country. Human rights have been violated by government institutions like the army, police and Central Intelligence Organisation against the citizens.
What is sad is that these heinous sins continue to be committed even today,” Mpofu said.
“It then goes without saying that the nation is sick and, as such, it definitely requires a form of healing and reconciliation.”
Mpofu said other forms of justice cannot work due to the numbers directly and indirectly involved, as victims and perpetrators “are just too big for justice to
“An attempt to arrest and bring to book perpetrators might trigger more problems for the already troubled nation. A civil war is a big possibility. Zimbabwe, as a nation, is not ready and ripe for healing and reconciliation,” he said.
“Zanu PF and its current crop of leaders are at the centre of the problem. If a commission on national healing is set up today, obviously Zanu PF will dictate the pace and have a big say on who goes in.”
He said the problem was that State-sponsored violence and crimes against humanity still prevailed.
“If the government leaders are still in a Gukuraundi mode, why waste time and resources to heal the nation . . . Zimbabwe needs to go through political metamorphosis. A new crop of leaders, who are politically sober and free from the sins of the past, are the only answer to bring together the dislocated nation,” Mpofu said.
“Without a (late former South Africa President Nelson) Mandela kind of a person, Zimbabwe can kiss goodbye to national healing.”
Post-Independence Survivors Trust director, Felix Mafa Sibanda, said: “It is surprising that Zanu PF preaches love, forgiveness, healing and reconciliation to hoodwink citizens to garner votes.”
MDC deputy spokesperson Mbuso Siso said the Gukurahundi issue would only be solved if the coalition of opposition parties wins the 2018 elections.
Siso said the fact that Zanu PF, during the Government of National Unity, opted to negotiate for the national healing to be deferred for 10 years, showed that it was not ready for national healing.