Chief Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna has rapped the government for leaving out judicial processes in dealing with the highly emotive Gukurahundi issue.
Chief Ndiweni pointed out that all the efforts announced by the government, were “null and void,” if they excluded judicial processes that will make perpetrators accountable.
Instead, the government is engaged in smokescreen activities that ‘only provide temporary relief’ and will not fully appease victims, he said.
“Without judicial processes, the criminal gets away with committing the crime,” Chief Ndiweni said in a press statement addressing the status of the Gukurahundi genocide in Zimbabwe.
He noted the government may continue carrying out exhumations and give some individuals financial incentives but that would not mean the ‘Ndebele Genocide,’ which was a crime against humanity is resolved.
“That could not be further from the truth. The government would really not have started on this matter. Not one bit,” said Chief Ndiweni who stated the way to deal with the genocide is fairly straightforward.
First, the government must, “investigate and gather the evidence,” Chief Ndiweni said, noting “the Zanu PF government has not done this in 40 years.”
The chief stated that what the government is now seeking was to “ destroy evidence by allowing and indeed forcing, the exhumations of victims of Gukurahundi.”
Those gravesites are “crime scenes” said Chief Ndiweni, adding pathologists and teams of qualified investigators were required to go through everything around that locality.
“So that ultimately a proper cause and time of death can be scientifically established. People should record anyone seen engaging in this reckless destruction of evidence. For a crime is being committed right there,” he underlined.
Tampering and destroying evidence, in a crime scene is a crime, remarked the chief. He said after forensics were done, prosecutions have to follow in due course, for all who may be involved in these exhumations.
“Be it a herd boy in the bush or a government Minister. Prosecutions will follow,” Chief Ndiweni said.
Having obtained evidence and facts from the crime scenes, individuals must be arrested and prosecuted in court, noted the chief.
“If the individuals are be found guilty they are sentenced and imprisoned.”
Chief Ndiweni emphasized that after judicial processes would there be peacebuilding and reconciliation.
“Restitution will then also follows as part of this process.”
Chief Ndiweni hinted that should a credible government come into the office, it would prosecute the genocide perpetrators.
“People will be arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated. Proper peacebuilding, reconciliation and restitution will occur,” he said.
Concerning recent comments made by Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, the chief indicated the Zanu PF government, for the first time, was publicly, admitting that they “will lose the elections in 2023.”
“For the Zanu PF government to combine the 2023 elections and the Ndebele Genocide/Crimes Against Humanity, means Zanu PF knows that this time around they are out of power,” remarked Chief Ndiweni.
He added that due to this realisation, the government was preparing for “an exit road, that does not have thorns on it.“
“The Ndebele Genocide is a very big thorn, that will stop many prominent individuals in Zanu PF, leading to their arrest, trial and incarceration for their natural lives.”
Therefore for them, it would be logical to prepare a suitable exit route, without the issue of Gukurahundi hanging over their heads, claimed the chief.
“Hence, the speaker’s words of haste, trying to hurry the process onwards. Whilst the threat of imprisonment is very serious on its own. There is an even more serious matter hidden by The Speakers words. Words that touch Zanu PF itself as a political organisation.”
Once a guilty verdict was given to the perpetrators, Chief Ndiweni believed Zanu PF would be banned.
“For Zanu PF as a political organisation, would have been implicated throughout all of the proceedings of the trials,” he said, adding the genocide did not spontaneously occur.
“There were no sightings of civilians chasing each other on the streets of the country. Neighbour against neighbour. This was organised and structured. Evidence is there that Zanu PF effected this Genocide/Crimes Against Humanity on its own, using the instruments, ways and means of the government to effect these crimes. Thus incriminating itself with the responsibility of this crime.”
To make matters worse for Zanu PF, Chief Ndiweni said events that have occurred after the genocide further incriminate the ruling party to these crimes.
“For 40 years Zanu PF has frustrated the judicial process, of dealing with this Ndebele Genocide We have now arrived at the juncture, that Zanu PF is now advocating for the destruction of evidence of the crime of Genocide by the illegal exhumation of bodies,” he said.
As a result, Zanu PF knows the importance of the 2023 elections for its survival, as a judicial process will outlaw the existence of the party that was linked to the genocide, Chief Ndiweni explained.
The chief also said it was worrying how some government officials from the affected Matabeleland provinces, were “willing to be used on a tribal basis, to speak terrible things about this open wound.”
“Why did the Minister with portfolio responsibility enunciate this matter? Why the deliberate selection of a Ndebele member of parliament to speak and deliver this message to the Ndebele Nation?”
Chief Ndiweni noted that looking at these issues, “never before in the history of this country has so much hung upon an election.”
“The need to register and vote has never been greater.”