Community Peace Clubs (CPCs) working with Heal Zimbabwe trust in Tsholotsho North have petitioned the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) on the need to address the emotive Gukurahundi massacres.
The petition was a product of wide spread dialogue meetings conducted by 8 CPCs that work with Heal Zimbabwe in Tsholotsho. During the dialogue meetings, participants highlighted that very little has been done to address Gukurahundi atrocities that have made healing and reconciliation elusive for survivors.
“We have in the past attended consultative meetings on the NPRC bill and we had hoped that by now, the commission was going to swiftly move to address Gukurahundi. Today, we remain divided as a nation due to the reluctance to address Gukurahundi,” said one participant. Participants highlighted that the first step to address Gukurahundi would be for perpetrators to issue public apologies before affected people can be compensated.
“We have not seen anyone coming down here to just issue apologies to help survivors heal and we hope that by way of this petition, the NPRC will be forced to take action,” added another participant.
The petition was submitted at the NPRC Bulawayo office by representatives from the CPCs.
At the time of writing, the Commission was yet to call the CPC members to map a way forward. Other issues that came out during the dialogue meeting include the fact that most survivors of Gukurahundi failed to acquire key documents such as birth certificates and identity documents during the ongoing blitz by the Civil Registry Department. In some cases, community members did not have documents for their parents or guardians and this led to many being turned away. This practice was rampant in ward 4 and 3.
The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to empower local communities to help safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. Such platforms also facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe