Zimbabwe Devine Destiny leader, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya, has criticised the government for failing to acknowledge its role in the train of violence that has marred peace in the country.
While addressing church leaders at a Churches Convergence on Peace Conference in Gweru Tuesday, Magaya condemned authorities for not showing remorse whenever violence occurred or taking corrective measures.
He said for instance, Gukurahundi was a genocide that affected many people yet numerous dialogues around it have ended without an apology.
“That moment was painful. It is sacred and should not be casually discussed. Perpetrators must own up and apologise for what they did,” Magaya said.
“If Gukurahundi had been addressed, we would not be seeing or feeling so much pain, motst which is exhibited by those who were affected.”
The bishop noted that Zimbabwe has endured a “horrible trail of violence” from Gukurahundi atrocities to land repossession, to the creation of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change where violent acts are done during electoral periods.
“One cannot miss the trail of blood shed and churches are the ones that remain behind nursing numerous survivors of violence perpetrated by our leaders,” he said.
Magaya suggested that for the country to overcome its socio-economic hazards, there is a need to prioritise the essence of truth, mercy, justice and peace.
“If the August 1 killings had been addressed and the Montlathe Commission recommendations adhered to and the perpetrators punished as deserved, violence would not be repeated,” the bishop said.
“When truth is told and justice is served, peace and mercy are the results. But for as long as there is loss of life and violence, which is not addressed, people will never be at peace.”
Magaya urged the government to desist from abusing its authority and mistreating people.
Instead, the government must be challenged to address cases of violence whenever lives are lost, he added.
“Former president, Robert Mugabe never addressed most killings that were carried out during his tenure. Now the current president, (Emmerson Mnangagwa) is following suit. It is only when such issues are resolved that bygones can be called bygones,” the bishop said.
“Mnangagwa made a lot of promises during his presidential campaign. Right now if anyone was to go to him and demand to know when he will deliver what he promised, that person would not be treated kindly by the security authorities.”