Gukurahundi: Peace commission on fact finding mission
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has started a process of engaging the survivors and perpetrators of the Gukurahundi atrocities.
This is part of the implementation of the strategic plan which was launched in October.
In an interview with CITE, NPRC Chairperson Retired Justice Selo Masole Nare said they have started the process of addressing one of the country`s most sensitive human rights issue.
“We are living at a time where the nation, in as far as provinces are concerned, are still bleeding,” said Nare.
“The victims would suggest how they want to heal. There is a lot that they have said. Some would want an apology, some compensation, and others want to be visited, they would like the improvement of their areas and job creation”.
The commission is expected to start visit some of the areas where the massacres took place.
“In January we will visit the affected communities and interview them and get the information. The information will be taken immediately to his Excellency the president then carry on with the process.,” said Nare.
He said the process has started and the Commission has met some of the stakeholders involved in the programme.
“On 14 November we drafted the roadmap leading to the implementation. There are certain items which should be attended to immediately and there are some which are a process, including the Matabeleland conflicts particularly Gukurahundi,” Nare told to CITE.
Nare also revealed that they are putting up peace commissions in provinces which will spearhead the process.
“We do hope that by end of December we would have put in place the peace commissions starting with the provincial committees then we will cascade to the district and then go down to the communities and villages if there need to be so that we can then go down to talk to the people concerned whether the victims or perpetrators,” said Nare.
He revealed that the Commission has already met with the Chiefs Council where they introduced the subject and discussed how they want them to be involved.
He revealed that the Commission will also have a meeting with Chiefs from Matabeleland during their annual chiefs meeting in December to introduce the commissioners.
“We will have provincial meeting with the chiefs from Matabeleland and if a need arises we will also meet those in Midlands,” added Nare.
He also said the Commission will engage the affected people in the diaspora.
“We would also create time and visit those in the diaspora. There are a lot of people in diaspora without birth certificates. They have obtained them from other countries. There are now citizens of those countries as opposed to be citizens of their own country,” he concluded.
According to a report produced by the Catholic Commission on Peace and Justice (CCJP), the 1980s genocide was orchestrated by a North Korean trained 5th Brigade which rampaged through Matabeleland and Midlands provinces killing 20 000 innocent civilians.
My view regarding Gukurahundi issue, for Reconciliation, the first step must be, separating the affected clans, establish the truth by meditation and payment of compensation relating to by-laws. The final step should be a long day ceremony designed to reunite the nation, including drinking, eating and dance cultural activities together as one nation,,,,