Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Announces Implementation Matrix for Matabeleland Issues

The Matabeleland Collective, an association of Civic Society Organisations in Matabeleland, met the Permanent Secretary of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Virginia Mabikwa. The meeting was a follow up on a dialogue with the President Emmerson Mnangagwa which happened at the State House in Bulawayo on the 21st of March 2019. Mabikwa presented an implementation matrix which includes the following:

Birth Certificates
Issuance of birth certificates to communities and victims of Gukurahundi.

Death certificates Death certificates will be provided to dependents of Gukurahundi.

Exhumation of victims of Gukurahundi
Legal exhumation and reburial of victims will be allowed upon application by interested parties. This will be done in an orderly and cultural manner.

Open discussions on Gukurahundi
The government will come up with protection mechanisms to allow those who were affected by Gukurahundi to freely discuss their experiences. Freedom of expression is part of the healing process as “Pain not transformed is pain transmitted.”

Provision of medical assistance
Special medical attention will be availed to communities with special needs.

Zambezi Water Project
The Zambezi Water Project will be prioritized as it will unlock economic value to citizens across the country.

Alignment of local governance legislation
There will be harmonization of laws governing local authorities to ensure efficiency and ease in the implementation of devolution.

Devolution
Government processes will be devolved by prioritizing local businesses in the awarding of tenders and giving locals first preference when filling in positions.

Social service delivery
Social service delivery will be improved through provision of clinics, schools, clean, safe and potable water to needy communities.

Increase participation of women in government and parliament
Intensive awareness campaigns will be undertaken for the increased inclusivity of women in parliament, cabinet and other governance structures.

NGO / State Engagement Platform
To establish NGO/State engagement platforms for sustained dialogue between state and non-state actors

National Peace and Reconciliation Commission lifespan
The lifespan of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission will be extended. A recent judgement in Masvingo ruled in favour of the extension of the commission’s lifespan.

Promotion of local languages
Local languages will be promoted.

Police inaction during the January 14 riots
To investigate and report on the causes of alleged police inaction and perceived insubordination during the 14 to 16 January riots which saw widespread looting around the country with Bulawayo being the most affected

Corruption in Rural District Councils
To institute immediate investigations into reports of corruption in Rural District Councils in the Matabeleland districts and elsewhere in the country where this corruption manifests itself.

The matrix has been sent to the relevant ministries and line ministries.

Source: Women Institute for Leadership and Development (WILD)