Ibhetshu Likazulu Secretary General Mbuso Fuzwayo has urged the government to treat the Gukurahundi genocide with the urgency it deserves.
In an interview with CITE on the sidelines of the ongoing 2018 Transitional Justice Policy Symposium at Amagugu International Heritage Centre in Matobo, Thursday, Fuzwayo said the state is dragging its feet in adopting the bill that seeks to address the 1980s atrocities.
“The state, seeing it is the perpetrator, is expected to address this issue and drive for reconciliation. Would the time they proposed to deal with the issue lapse, they must be prepared to make an extension. If they are sincere and genuine then they need to give it enough time,” said Fuzwayo.
Fuzwayo decried the move being taken to change Bhalagwe from a victims’ acre to a heroes’ acre.
“It is sad, criminal and everything that is wrong to change a victim centre to a heroes’ shrine all in a bid to conceal atrocities that happened. Bhalagwe can never be a heroes’ acre. It is one centre where people need to commemorate their loved ones who were lost during the genocide. It is a place that reflects what Matabeleland people went through,” he said.
Fuzwayo added: “There can be another place that can be identified within Matobo to honor and celebrate freedom fighters without interfering with the sacred area.”
Chairperson of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Rtd Justice Selo Nare said the commission faces a huge setback in addressing people’s concerns due to lack of resources.
Justice Nare said the commission is in the midst of engaging relevant ministerial authorities to acquire resources as well as to push for urgency in addressing all concerns that need immediate attention.
“The country is wide and there is a lot to be done. We need enough resources to reach out to where those who need assistance are. As a commission we need to get to the perpetrators, victims as well as traditional leaders when we address people’s concerns,” said Justice Nare.
Traditional leaders from Matabeleland have also lobbied President Emmerson Mnangagwa to speedily address the Gukurahundi issue, accusing government of paying lip service to the genocide that claimed more than 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands region.