Presidential aspirant Rev Dr Gwinyai Muzorewa, the leader of the United African National Council (UANC) has vowed to deliver justice for Gukurahundi victims in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
Rev Muzorewa is continuing the legacy of his late older brother, Abel, who was the founding leader of the party.
Addressing members of the media at a press briefing in Bulawayo, Friday, he said victims of Gukurahundi deserve justice and as a government in waiting, they will ensure that the victims are apologised to, compensated and led through a healing process.
“It is a pity that after 1980, the Zimbabwean government started to victimise its own people. It pains my heart but that is the reality, that is what happened. It is not a rumor nor is it gossip. What I believe that our party will do to make a difference is we will not continue to support the perpetrators. What I would encourage the people to do is to continue to look at other types of leadership,” he said.
“Our party is committed to making a difference, not by bringing decisions from outside but by asking the affected people of Matabeleland to make decisions and recommendations of what they need. After all they are the ones who were hurt, you cannot expect the person who slapped you on one cheek to come and make you feel better. If you are the one who hurt me, leave me alone. I must look for someone who’s going to be able to heal.”
Rev Muzorewa said as a party they intend to have traditional leaders from the affected provinces to hold higher offices in government so that they may be able to lead the process by engaging the victims and upholding their recommendations on how to address the matter.
“We need people in leadership positions from Matabeleland to hold influential offices so that, because they are the ones who were hurt, they can be able to put policies that make sense for the affected people. The government should be able to compensate these people financially, emotionally and otherwise. Apologising alone will never be enough. After apologizing, we need to begin the healing process. The healing process is not forced. What heals is the spirit of humanity among us,” he said.
The party’s deputy president and aspiring MP for Bubi, Chief Bekezela Nyathi, said he relates to the genocide as his family was also affected, and should they be voted into power, they will see to it that justice is served for the victims.
“I am one of those who was affected by Gukurahundi, and this is a matter that is close to my heart. When this happened, I was around three years old, and my father almost died during that genocide. I understand the effects of that whole turmoil. Right now, there are some victims who do not have national documentation because of that genocide,” Chief Nyathi said.
“Should we be voted into power, we will make sure that this issue is resolved, and the affected people get justice and are also compensated accordingly. Compensation in terms of the homes that they lost, their livestock as well. There is only so much that can be compensated financially but yes, they do deserve to get something.”