Friday, March 9, 2018

'Failure to address Gukurahundi ticking time bomb'

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Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA) leader, Noah Manyika and his Democratic Opposition Party (DOP) counterpart, Harry Wilson have described the government's failure to address Gukurahundi as a ticking time bomb, warning the victims' anger is slowly boiling over with disastrous consequences.

Wilson and Manyika recently said the protests and disruption of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission hearings explained the victims' growing frustrations over governments' failure to find redress to the emotive issue.

"My take on this sensitive matter and having lost family in the massacre — killing is crime — we ask the question why justice has not been served in this genocidal crime.

As a region and as victims we strongly feel the government cannot start by going to the finishing line without proper recourse being followed," Wilson said.

The government is sitting on a powder keg, and sooner, rather than later, the people's anger will boil over with disastrous consequences because how can we genuinely achieve unity and forgive if government, especially the President would come out in the open and publicly apologises and acknowledge all wrong doings."

The NPRC recently rolled out public hearings to address past human rights abuses, and issue of the 1980s mass killings was topical in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South.

In Bulawayo and Matabeleland North, the NPRC hearings were, however, disrupted by activists, who called on the government to release the Chihambakwe commission of inquiry report, which contains findings of an investigation into Gukurahundi.

Protests have also been held against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the last being at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), where he was attending a prayer meeting organised by various churches.

Mnangagwa was recently cornered during his visit to Switzerland to publicly apologise, but he did not, saying the NPRC and traditional leaders are dealing with the issue.

"I believe that in a democracy, the pain of the people or groupings must be respected and people must have a right to express their pain in whatever form without fear or favour. It (protests and NPRC meeting disruptions) shows the frustration of the people in this province," Manyika said

"If you dismiss the pain of the people, you will have these protests, calls for secession and the like and the will keep playing out, and with time, you will have a situation where it will get out of hand, and it will if there is no redress."