We will be guided by victims in resolving Gukurahundi: Chief Mtshane

The deputy president of the Chief’s Council, Chief Mtshane Khumalo, has said Matabeleland chiefs would be guided by victims in resolving the emotive Gukurahundi issue.

This follows a meeting of traditional leaders in the region held with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the Bulawayo State House, which resolved that Gukurahundi would be dealt with on a case by case basis with chiefs spearing the process in their areas of jurisdiction.

Speaking last night during a Skyz Metro FM radio programme which ran under the title: “Bringing finality to the Gukurahundi Question: Views from the chiefs, Chief Khumalo said chiefs would only be facilitating the process, adding victims would determine what they want to be done in order to bring closure.

“We will be guided by Gukurahundi victims in this whole process; we will be looking at issues brought forward by people whose relatives were killed or injured,” said the chief.

“On exhumations and reburials we are not the one to determine how it should be done. Since each and every chief will go out to consult, we will be told by the victims what they want to be done about those mass graves.”

He emphasized that as traditional leaders they would execute the task at hand without fear or favour, adding working with the government does not imply they are controlled by the latter.

“Chiefs will be free to execute that task,” he said.

“Even the country’s constitution says chiefs should not be involved in politics. That’s why a chief will not contest to be a councillor or MP. A chief can only be elected by other chiefs into the Senate.”

Asked by the presenter whether powers-that-be would apologise for Gukurahundi, Chief Khumalo said: “I cannot answer you, as to who is going to give an apology on Gukurahundi. The President knows that. He is the one who can respond to say an apology will be given or not.”

He however said the dialogues they have been having with the President could be a form of admission of involvement.

“If it wasn’t so we would not continue with these meetings,” said Chief Khumalo.

“The last week’s meeting wasn’t the first one. We started meeting in 2019. In the past, we wouldn’t discuss Gukurahundi.”

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