Former cabinet minister Professor Jonathan Moyo says there is a need to find a lasting solution to the Gukurahundi atrocities that remain unsolved for over three decades.
Between 1983 and 1987, former president Robert Mugabe deployed the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade to Matabeleland and Midlands, resulting in the mass killings, torture and abuse of thousands of civilians.
Speaking during a virtual meeting organised by Bulawayo based pressure group, Ibhetshu LikaZulu in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE) titled, Zimbabwe At 41: Finding a lasting solution to the Gukurahundi Genocide, Professor Moyo said the victims of the massacres deserve justice.
“Secondly, we must find a lasting solution to hold accountable the perpetrators of Gukurahundi. That is a necessary consequence of justice. You cannot have justice without holding accountable the perpetrators.”
Moyo also noted that finding a lasting solution to the mass killings will enable the victims to heal.
“They cannot heal without a lasting solution,” said Moyo.
“Their wounds have remained open for 34 years but as I said in general for 41 years. Only a lasting solution can bring closure to their wounds.
“We must find a lasting solution in order to enable, especially our communities, to reconcile. It is impossible to reconcile on the basis of anecdotes and temporal measures.”
In order to achieve justice, accountability, healing and reconciliation there was need for truth telling.
“The most important foundation of a lasting solution to this problem is truth-telling. It is notable that after 34 years, our body politic has failed to appreciate this seemingly straight forward fact that the first step in resolving a genocide, the first step that Zimbabweans have failed to take, perhaps some have refused to take and others have ensured that it is not taken is truth-telling,” Moyo noted.
Moyo said previous attempts to investigate the massacres were not comprehensive as they did not provide a platform for truth-telling.
In 1983, Mugabe established the Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry to investigate the massacres and to assuage widespread international and domestic criticism of the killings.
The report has never been made public.
“Of major concern of that report is that it became a secret report, it has remained secret to this day,” he noted.
Moyo revealed that one of his objectives while in government was to find the report but all his attempts did not yield any positive results.
“I tried every trick in the book, even in 2017, I was still looking for that report. In fact, in 2017, I doubled my efforts to find it because I could now see that the key enforcers of Gukurahundi were looming on the horizon employing the same old Gukurahundi tactics to grab state power,” he remarked.
Moyo said the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) is not an appropriate methodology to find a lasting solution to Gukurahundi by design.
“How can you find a lasting solution when you are temporary structure,” Moyo asked.